The Faith Hustings at Brighthelm saw eight local election candidates for the City Council pledge their support for the city’s diverse Faith Community.
After a period of reflection led by faith leaders and a two minute silence remembering the victims of the Sri Lanka bombings, the evening’s discussion began with candidates sharing their thoughts on faith hate. Moving from the global to the local perspective, discussion then followed on the rise of faith hate crime in our city. Audience members offered their own perspective and asked questions of the panelists, particularly about “how” to address the issue of hate crime in the city.
Some challenging questions came from the audience too about lost opportunities by previous Councils to address community cohesion in the city and what would the panelists themselves do to correct this. It was noted that levels of Islamophobia and Antisemitism are such in the city that mosques and synagogues still have to provide security personnel on their doors during times of worship! What more than could or should be done about it?
Despite the emptiness of the two front rows, an engaged audience listened and participated in the discussion as can be heard from the video! The evening was hailed a great success by all those who came and future events are planned for the future to enable the faith community and the “powers that be” grow in trust and understanding of each other.