The East London & West Sussex Guardian – Interfaith vigil shows ‘Redbridge will not be cowed by terrorism’

Lara Keay

Redbridge, 23 June 2017. Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Hindus came together for a candlelit peace vigil to show “Redbridge will not be cowed by terrorism”.

People of all and no faiths gathered outside the town hall last night (June 22) in a display of unity and condemnation of the recent terror attacks in Westminster, London Bridge, and Finsbury Park.

The borough is among several in east London targeted by police as part of the investigation into the London Bridge and Borough Market attacks on June 3.

After residents witnessed armed officers storm several addresses in Ilford, chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) Wilson Chowdhry decided to organise the interfaith event to bring people together.

He said: “It is hard to believe the violence of recent months has occurred in our beautiful city where most people hold very cosmopolitan views.

“But it has and the people of Redbridge have come out fighting and will continue to show solidarity.

“We simply will not be cowed by extremists.”

Imam of the Al Bayan Welfare Centre in Ilford Sheikh Khalid said: “To eradicate hate in the world we must show love.

“Our vigil sent out a clear message that you can have different cultures and faiths, but they all share something – humanity.”

Chairman of the Vishwa Parishad Temple said Redbridge Hindus “stand united with our brothers and sisters of all faiths”.

Ilford Asian Church’s leader Shaheen Zar added: “The vibrant multi-faith and multicultural communities of Redbridge have lived in harmony for so long – nobody can change that.

“Together we can defy any attempt to shatter our peace with events like this.”

After lighting candles and holding a minute’s silence to remember those affected by the terror attacks, faith leaders and community members linked arms in front of a sign saying “Together we are stronger”.

The event was also supported by the Redbridge Faith Forum, who’s next interfaith meeting will be held at Redbridge Central Library in Clements Road on July 25.

http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/15368054.Interfaith_vigil_shows___39_Redbridge_will_not_be_cowed_by_terrorism__39_/

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