Community remembers victim of knife crime with vigil at scene of attack
On Friday, the Bishop of Kensington and the Revd Ali Walton led a prayer vigil in remembrance of the killing of Abdirashid Mohamoud, a 17-year-old boy who was stabbed to death in Isleworth on the evening of Friday, 22 March.
More than one hundred people gathered from across the community to show solidarity with Abdirashid’s family, who were in attendance, and for the neighbours who witnessed and attended the aftermath of the attack.
The Revd Ali Walton, the Vicar of All Saints Isleworth, led the vigil at the location of the stabbing, outside a block of flats on Union Lane. Leading the prayers, she said:
“Many of us have been profoundly affected by the fatal stabbing of Abdirashid Mohamoud at this spot a week ago – last Friday night. We are deeply saddened by the loss of a young person in such a violent way.
“There is also a sense of shock that such an event could happen in the heart of our community. We know from the news that such tragic events happen all too often, but on this occasion it has happened in middle of our daily lives.
“The week has brought for many a swirl of emotions: grief and distress at the needless loss of a young life; for the residents of Union Lane here, distress that home space, which should be a safe sanctuary, has been a place of violence; a deep sense of shock for many that this has happened in the heart of our community; fear about the possibility that it could happen again; perhaps anger that our community has been disrupted; perhaps the grief of this situation has triggered other griefs that are in our hearts and minds.
“We come together tonight in an act of peace and unity to strengthen the bonds of our community together; to acknowledge the distress that the week has brought; and to think of the family and friends of Abdirashid Mohamoud who lost his life at this place.”
The Bishop of Kensington, The Rt Revd Dr Graham Tomlin, offered a closing prayer and blessing, inviting those in attendance to “greet those around you with words of peace.”
Fi Budden, Community Chaplain at All Souls Church, said:
“The vigil was deeply moving, and yet beautiful and full of hope. There was a real sense of people coming together from across different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and faiths, in true peace. From our work on the Ivybridge Estate, I knew some of the young man’s extended family, and was humbled by the family’s acceptance of me as a friend. My ongoing prayers for the family, and for those affected by this tragic event.”
Bessie White, from the Isleworth Interfaith Group, said:
“The event was very appropriate and well-paced, recognising all those caught up in the dreadful incident and holding everyone gently together in love. It rightly felt very inclusive, bringing people of all faiths and none together.”
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