Redbridge mosques warned to be alert after New Zealand terror attack
PUBLISHED: 13:00 15 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:32 15 March 2019
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Mosques in Redbridge have been warned to be alert after 49 people were killed and at least 20 wounded in shootings at two places of worship in Christchurch, New Zealand this morning.
The Federation of Redbridge Muslim Organisations (Formo) is devastated by the terror incidents and has advised mosques to work with the police and wider community to ensure Redbridge remains a safe and secure place.
“We condemn any acts of hatred, violence and terrorist activities regardless of the perpetrators or their motivations,” said Formo chairman Farouk Ismail.
“Acts of this nature seek to divide and destroy unity in our community and we must stand firm and resolute in ensuring that we remain united.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and friends and the community in New Zealand - we hope and pray that the suspects are brought to justice.”
Mr Ismail said far-right extremism is a serious threat worldwide and it is time our government takes heed.
“There has been a marked rise in anti-muslim and anti-Islam rhetoric coming from far-right groups, as well as senior politicians and the media,” he added.
“In the meantime, we urge our mosques to be alert and work with the local police and the wider community to ensure Redbridge remains a safe and secure place.”
The British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA), in partnership with Imam Sheikh Khalid from the Albayan Welfare Centre, is holding a candlelight peace vigil tonight (Friday, March 15) to show that the community in Redbridge is united against hate.
“It is important that we stand in solidarity with the victims and their families of this repugnant attack,” said BPCA chairman Wilson Chowdhry.
“It is important we offer the weight of our support to those affected.
“We encourage people to take this as an opportunity not to further their animosity against each other but rather to bridge the gap between different ethno-religious groups.
“As a charity we are saddened to hear of this condemnable news - it harks to a deep, disparaging xenophobia and innocent muslims have been caught in the collateral of an ideological war that has gone too far.”
The vigil will take place at 6.30pm outside Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford is open to all residents.
It will be followed by a community solidarity event at 7pm.