'We stand together as one' - Gravesham religious and community leaders unite in wake of Manchester terror attack
PUBLISHED: 10:10 02 June 2017
The bombing took place on May 22 after an Ariana Grande concert in the city
Religious and community leaders from around Gravesham and Dartford stood together this week in solidarity against the Manchester attack which saw 23 people killed, including terrorist Salman Abadi.
On Wednesday, Muslim, Sikh and Christian representatives gathered alongside the mayor of Gravesham Harold Craske and Gurvinder Sandher, CEO of Kent Equality Cohesion Council, a not-for-profit organisation which strives to bring communities together and eliminate discrimination.
Chairman of the Gravesend and Dartford Muslim Association, Ejaz Aslam, welcomed Reverend Richard Martin from Ifield St Margaret’s church and Tarsem Singh Mahil, general secretary of the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara, to the Gravesend and Dartford Muslim Association Mosque.
Mr Aslam said: “These terrorists do not discriminate in who they target or kill, they want to cause discord and do not represent in any way Islam, my faith or the teachings of the Quran.
“I’m grateful to all those who attended today and stood shoulder to shoulder with the Muslim community to condemn this attack.”
Mr Sandher, who last year ran in the election for police and crime commissioner, said: “I felt it was important that here in Gravesham, a place where we have always prided ourselves on our positive community relations, we took a stand not only to condemn the recent attack in Manchester in the strongest terms, but also to show those that seek to divide us that, regardless of faith or background, we stand together as one.”
Cllr Craske added: “Listening to the speakers from some of the different faiths that we have here in Gravesham was both reassuring and positive. The attacks in Manchester and other recent terror incidents around the world are heart breaking and today was a shining example of how a community should stand together as brothers and sisters against terrorism. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone that has lost a loved one or has been affected by these unnecessary attacks.”