Ealing Trinity Circuit joins forces with Southall Faiths Forum to stand against racism and intolerance
On Sunday the 17th March 2019 representatives from the Ealing Trinity Circuit including the Superintendent, Revd. Rachel Bending and Deacon Lemia Nkwelah joined with our sisters and brothers of many faiths, as well as civic and business leaders, to show our support for the members of the Muslim community in Southall, and to mark the horrific events in New Zealand earlier in the week.
As we met we were aware that, in just a few weeks time, we will be commemorating the 40th anniversary of the death of Blair Peach as he campaigned for civil rights and against the National Front in Southall. As we remember him, we will also commemorate the death of Gurdip Singh Chaggar in 1976. We stand together with our neighbours of all faiths and none to combat racism and intolerance and to celebrate the richness and diversity of our life together.
We join with our brothers and sisters in Southall Faiths Forum in the following statement:
Southall Faiths Forum is shocked and deeply saddened by the mass slaughter of Muslim worshippers at the Al-Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday 15th March 2019.
We unreservedly condemn the killings as an act of pure evil and grieve with our Muslim sisters and brothers in Southall and beyond.
No-one has the right to take human life and a place of worship should be sacrosanct as a place of safety and sanctuary. To desecrate a place of worship in this way cannot be justified by any ideology or faith.
The fact that some of those killed were fleeing violence in their countries of origin in the Middle East compounds this dreadful tragedy and heinous crime.
The horror of this attack takes its place in recent infamy alongside other recent barbaric killings by other far-right extremists at the Emanuel African Methodist church in Charleston, USA and Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.
There is no place for hatred of anybody in our community and we will strive to call out behaviour and language from ourselves and others that could be divisive and inflammatory.
We are people of peace and call for the freedom of worship that we hold dear to be at the forefront of government legislation, thinking and planning for our country.
We commit ourselves to working alongside people of goodwill from faith and no faith backgrounds in Southall to counter hate speech and anti-religious violence.
We mourn with those who mourn and pray in our own traditions for God’s peace and blessing for those who have lost loved ones and community members.
Southall Faiths Forum
Sunday 17th March 2019