As you can imagine, faithful reader, many comments and statements will be made regarding the incident in Woolwich, Wednesday 22 May 2013. I'm posting a selection of these on the blog, limited to relevant organisations with which Leicester Council of Faiths is involved to some extent. Below is a statement by Leicestershire Interfaith Forum, issued today in the names of the Chair, Mr Suleman Nagdi, and Vice Chair, Mr Resham Singh Sandhu:
The Leicestershire Interfaith Forum join with people across the country and world in condemning in the strongest possible terms the atrocity that took place on the streets of Woolwich yesterday. The Forum also calls for calm and peace on the streets of our city and county and for people to remember the murdered victim and to offer thoughts and prayers to his family at this sad time.
The Chair of the Interfaith Forum, Mr Suleman Nagdi stated that he was "immensely saddened at the tragic curtailing of a life spent in service of this country". Mr Nagdi also stated the following: "I am truly shocked at the fact that this tragedy happened in daylight on a street in my country and to a fellow citizen. I am also numb and outraged that two people intent on violence have 'hijacked' my faith to such an end. This is a complete distortion of the true meaning of Islam. It betrays all Muslims who have peace and compassion in their hearts and particularly those in our Muslim communities across the UK who serve our nation in the armed forces and indeed in all areas of life".
The Vice-Chair of the Leicestershire Interfaith Forum, Mr Resham Singh Sandhu wholeheartedly endorsed Mr Nagdi's comments, calling for people of all faiths and none to ensure that the hatred behind the murder was not in any way reciprocated or continued in its aftermath.
Mr Nagdi and Mr Singh Sandhu were united in their conviction that peace and harmony must prevail, that people saw the true meaning of Islam and of all faiths as messages of peace, goodwill, cooperation and friendship across our communities. The Interfaith Forum stands as an embodiment of this commitment and will continue to work to bring people of all faiths and none together for the common good.
Mr Suleman Nagdi (Chair of the Leicestershire Interfaith Forum)Mr Resham Singh Sandhu (Vice Chair of the Leicestershire Interfaith Forum)