Ilford South MP calls on faith communities to stand against extremism

Mike Gapes, MP for Ilford South

Mike Gapes, MP for Ilford South - Credit: Archant

An MP has called on the borough’s faith communities to unite against extremism.

Cllr Dev Sharma, FORMO chairman Farouk Ismail, Redbridge Foodbank trustee Peter Gee and MP Mike Gape

Cllr Dev Sharma, FORMO chairman Farouk Ismail, Redbridge Foodbank trustee Peter Gee and MP Mike Gapes at FORMO's Eid celebration event at the Ilford Islamic Centre, Albert Road, Ilford. - Credit: Archant

Ilford South MP Mike Gapes made the comments at a Federation of Redbridge Muslim Organisations (FORMO) Eid celebration event at the Ilford Islamic Centre, Albert Road, Ilford, on Sunday.

Joining Mr Gapes on a panel was Cllr Paul Canal, Cllr Dev Sharma, FORMO chairman Farouk Ismail, and Redbridge Foodbank trustee Peter Gee, who fielded questions before sitting down to an Eid feast.

Mr Gapes said: “It’s important that we recognise that there is diversity in Redbridge and all the communities work together.

“There are some people around that try to cause trouble and definitely it is causing problems for the Muslim community.

“Certainly in Redbridge we are combatting that kind of extremism and there are people in other communities too that want to cause divides.

“If we continue in the way we have we will be successful but it requires cross-party work.”

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The Labour MP added: “I think whatever happens internationally it’s very important that we in this community stand together – it’s about people and their relationships with the people in their community.”

Mr Ismail echoed the MP’s sentiments and said the event was vital in building cross-community relations.

“It’s an important thing for us to be able to do this and share this occasion with everyone,” he said.

The mosque coalition leader also presented Redbridge Foodbank with a £500 donation at the event.

Mr Ismail said: “We’re supporting community cohesion and diversity and the food bank is for anyone of any religion, who is going through hard times.

“It’s very important during Ramadan for us to give back.

“Anyone who can afford something parts with what they have so we can support each other – we find the same thing in Sikhsm for example.”

For more information on FORMO visit formo.org.uk

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