From the Acting Chair of Brighton & Hove Faith in Action & The City of Brighton & Hove Faith Council, The Most Revd Dr Jerome Lloyd, Titular Archbishop of Selsey
For immediate publication
“Brighton & Hove Faith in Action the multi-faith charity and facilitator of the city of Brighton & Hove’s Faith Council representing over 100 of the city’s faith communities has issued the following response to the shootings at Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre, in Christchurch New Zealand:
“On behalf of all our member faith communities in Brighton & Hove, the multifaith charity Brighton & Hove Faith in Action (BHFA) and the city’s Faith Council would like to express our deep sadness ref the shootings at Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch and the Linwood Islamic Centre, New Zealand.
Throughout history, across the world and irrespective of belief, civilised societies even in times of war have always regarded, respected and even protected places of worship as sanctuaries of neutrality, safety and peace. The most heinous occasions of sacrilege in history have always betrayed a dehumanising attitude by the perpetrators of “the other” and betrayed our common humanity to the detriment and not the good of mutual flourishing.
The hijacking of any religion by perpetrators of violence to justify their actions and taint all believers with their contempt for human life is condemnable. Similarly is the adoption of violence to quash the freedom of others to practice their religion, impede their freedom to express themselves civilly in speech and conscience and seek to impose ideologies by coercive force or oppression.
In solidarity of prayer and principle, member faith communities of the BHFA & Faith Council stand together with the bereaving families and congregations of the Al Noor and Al Huda mosques and their surrounding communities, so egregiously attacked, murdered and terrorised while at prayer, seeking peace in their lives. We pray too for the perpetrators, that the realisation of the horror they have committed might bring them to repentance and confession of their crime, that justice may prevail for the consolation of the bereaved and peace not fear take hold of their communities.
We invite anyone interested to combat ignorance of religious beliefs with knowledge, to make contact with us that we may dispel misunderstanding and promote harmonious living within our society. For more info our Combatting Faith Hate initiatives visit http://www.bhfa.org.uk”
Photo: members of the BHFA and Faith Council with Suleman Nagdi MBE