Relaymedia

Christians & Muslims Stand United to Denounce London Bomb Attacks

Christians and Muslims in Britain issued a joint statement expressing sympathy for the families of victims in Thursday's London attacks, as British society leaders pushed to prevent a backlash against
( [email protected] ) Jul 09, 2005 04:06 PM EDT

Christians and Muslims in Britain issued a joint statement expressing sympathy for the families of victims in Thursday's London attacks, as British society leaders pushed to prevent a backlash against Muslims.

The Muslim Council of Britain and Churches Together in Britain and Ireland pointed toward the scriptures and traditions of both communities to repudiate the violence that killed 50 and injured hundreds.

"We continue to resist all attempts to associate our communities with the hateful acts of any minority who claim falsely to represent us. In the present uncertainties, we look to all community leaders to give an example of wisdom, tolerance and compassion," they said in a statement.

The statement also noted that much has been achieved in recent years as the two communities worked together to understand each other and their differences.

In a separate statement posted online, the assistant general secretary of Churches Together wrote a prayer asking God to "protect our Muslim neighbors form revenge attacks."

Similarly, the Secretary General of the Muslim Council expressed hope that "we will remain together in our time of crisis and not allow extremists to divide us," according to the Telegraph.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Tony Blair welcomed the comments by the Council, and said a "vast and overwhelming majority of Muslims, here and abroad, are decent and law-abiding people who abhor this act of terrorism every bit as much as we do."

Both Blair and police leadership repeatedly cautioned against targetting out Muslims in the aftermath of the attacks.

According to the Guardian, police officials met with representatives of the Muslim community at an emergency meeting of the Muslim Safety Forum to assure them their protection from hate crimes.

Nonetheless, Azad Ali, chair of the Muslim Council, said he believes "this is the biggest test for community relations."

"The years of planning, of ifs and buts - now the time has come," said Ali. "Our concern is of the potential backlash. We have already received numerous reports of spitting, verbal abuse and attacks."

Police said they would respond robustly to any hate crimes.

"Our aim is to prevent a backlash, we've got to work hard to prevent tensions and deal robustly with any incidents that arise," said Assistant Chief Constable Rob Beckly, head of the Association of Chief Police Officers on policing faith-based communities.