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Finsbury park residents gather for service of hope
Residents, politicians and faith leaders have gathered together at the Finsbury Park Mosque for a service of hope marking two weeks since the terrorist attack that killed Makram Ali and injured eleven others.
The service was attended by over 150 people, including local MP and leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, who called on the public to combat all forms of racism, and to stand up for those who are abused because of their religion or ethnicity.
Also in attendance was the Acting Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Pete Broadbent. In his address to the congregation, Bishop Pete spoke of the importance of rejoicing in the richness of London’s many cultures, and also of the responsibility of faith leaders, whatever their religion, to challenge murderers and extremists who mask their acts in the name of religion.
Bishop Pete said:
“Be under no illusion, we have to name terrorism as murder as well. Some of the groups who publicly denigrate Islam claim a Christian justification for their actions. We are all only too aware of those who mask their terrorism and murderous tendencies by claiming that they act in the name of Islam. Our mutual and joint calling as religious leaders is to challenge such people – and to work with the police and intelligence agencies to ensure that such people do not succeed in their evil purposes.
“On behalf of the churches and the Church of England, I bring my condolences for all who have suffered following the attack, particularly for the family of Makram Ali. I want to say that we stand with you in peace, solidarity, justice and friendship, because God in Jesus Christ demands that we as Christians do so.”