Faith lead­ers join forces in stand against ter­ror­ism

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FAITH lead­ers from across Greater Manch­ester met to dis­cuss how com­mu­ni­ties can tackle ter­ror­ism in the wake of the Manch­ester Arena at­tack.

Lead­ers from the Jewish, Chris­tian, Sikh, Bud­dhist and Hindu faiths joined their Mus­lim friends at The Wer­neth Suite Con­fer­ence Cen­tre, in Old­ham, on Fri­day night.

They were also joined by the hon­ourable Shaykhs of the Sufi Shrine in Pak­istan as guests of hon­our.

Shaykh Naqeeb ur Rehman and Shaykh Has­san Haseeb ur Rehman have worked for years to pro­mote peace and cam­paign against ter­ror­ism. They vis­ited the UK as a show of sol­i­dar­ity with the Bri­tish peo­ple.

The Counter Ter­ror­ism Con­fer­ence, or­gan­ised by The Ra­mad­han Foun­da­tion, sought to ad­dress what can be done to bring com­mu­ni­ties to­gether and ad­dress ter­ror­ism.

Mo­hammed Shafiq, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Ra­mad­han Foun­da­tion, said: “The Ra­mad­han Foun­da­tion in part­ner­ship with the Shaykhs of Eidgah Sharif are host­ing this im­por­tant con­fer­ence to send a clear mes­sage against ter­ror­ism.

“Those that carry out these evil crimes, fi­nance them or sup­port them are en­e­mies of the whole of hu­man­ity. The Ra­mad­han Foun­da­tion held a mul­ti­faith vigil af­ter the dread­ful at­tack in Manch­ester, once again we are bring­ing faith and po­lit­i­cal lead­ers and opin­ion for­m­ers to ad­dress how we can counter ter­ror­ism.”

Speak­ing at the con­fer­ence Imam Qari Asim, of the Makkah Mosque in Leeds, said it was vi­tal to build ‘cas­tles of peace’ in the minds of each lo­cal com­mu­nity.

He added: “We, as peo­ple of faith, have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to show this unity to those who want to di­vide us. We will not be di­vided.”

The Rev Nick An­drews said com­mu­nity lead­ers must work with dif­fer­ent faiths to pro­mote ‘love, trust and re­spect’.

Old­ham mayor Shadab Qumer said the Manch­ester at­tack was an at­tack on free­dom but the re­gion re­sponded with ‘love, unity and com­pas­sion’.

“They want us to blame each other – we can’t and we won’t,” he said. “We ● stand united against these de­spi­ca­ble, hor­ri­ble peo­ple who try to di­vide us.”

A minute’s si­lence was held to re­mem­ber the peo­ple killed in the Manch­ester and Lon­don at­tacks.

The Counter Ter­ror­ism Con­fer­ence or­gan­ised by The Ra­mad­han Foun­da­tion in Old­ham

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