Faiths unite in face of Trump’s im­mi­grant ban

Groups con­demn pres­i­dent’s pol­icy

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Goolis­tan Cooper goolis­tan.cooper@trin­i­tymir­

A GATHER­ING has taken place at­tended by peo­ple of dif­fer­ent faiths in a con­dem­na­tion of prej­u­dice and dis­crim­i­na­tion fol­low­ing Don­ald Trump’s im­mi­gra­tion ban.

The multi-faith event was held at Yiewsley Bap­tist Church, on Thurs­day Fe­bru­ary 2, and was or­gan­ised by its pas­tor Rich Blake-Lobb in re­sponse to the US pres­i­dent sign­ing an ex­ec­u­tive or­der, which barred cit­i­zens from seven Mus­lim ma­jor­ity coun­tries from the Mid­dle East and Africa.

Among those at­tend­ing were peo­ple from Jewish and Mus­lim faiths, who signed a pub­lic ‘unity, wel­come and peace’ state­ment, which will be sent out to faith com­mu­ni­ties in Hilling­don to en­able more peo­ple to sign.

Rev Blake-Lobb felt moved to ar­range the event at short no­tice be­cause of ‘in­creas­ingly di­vi­sive rhetoric’ and ‘in par­tic­u­lar the ex­ec­u­tive or­der of Pres­i­dent Trump ban­ning cit­i­zen’s from seven Mus­lim ma­jor­ity coun­tries’.

He said: “The Bible clearly teaches that we are to love our neigh­bours and in this case that means stand­ing to­gether with peo­ple of all faiths and none in the face of dis­crim­i­na­tion and wel­com­ing refugees, asy­lum seek­ers, aliens and strangers.”

Dur­ing the event, held at the Bap­tist Church, in Col­ham Av­enue, mem­bers from dif­fer­ent faiths took to the floor to speak.

Rev Blake-Lobb added: “It was a won­der­fully mov­ing time to hear the pas­sion of peo­ple from dif­fer­ent faiths recog­nis­ing and hon­our­ing our shared hu­man­ity, as well as apolo­gies from those who ex­pressed re­gret at be­ing quiet on is­sues of dis­crim­i­na­tion pre­vi­ously.

“What was shared did not fo­cus on in­di­vid­ual per­son­al­i­ties, but on the role we each can play in com­bat­ing dis­crim­i­na­tion.”

The Stand­ing To­gether state­ment reads: “We the un­der­signed have dif­fer­ent faiths and be­liefs yet are united in our hu­man­ity. We stand to­gether and with our dif­fer­ent voices seek to wel­come neigh­bours and strangers with com­pas­sion and love.

“We recog­nise and af­firm the role of gov­ern­ments to man­age and main­tain bor­ders but do not con­sider vet­ting and kind­ness to be in­com­pat­i­ble.

“We stand to­gether in our op­po­si­tion to dis­crim­i­na­tory lan­guage, ac­tions and abuse.

“We stand to­gether in our long­ing for jus­tice, mercy and hu­mil­ity.

“We stand to­gether in our sup­port and wel­come to refugees, asy­lum seek­ers, aliens and strangers.

“We stand to­gether seek­ing to love our neigh­bours as our­selves.”

Trump’s visa ban was ditched af­ter a US judge deemed it “un­con­sti­tu­tional”. Since then the US fed­eral ap­peals court has re­jected a re­quest from his ad­min­is­tra­tion to have it re­in­stated.

We stand to­gether in our long­ing for jus­tice, mercy and hu­mil­ity”

STAND­ING TO­GETHER: Rich Blake-Lobb (cen­tre, in suit and tie) at the multi-faith event he or­gan­ised at Yiewsley Bap­tist Church; (left) US pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump

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