Faith leaders join forces in stand against terrorism
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