Statement from the Brimingham Faith Leaders’ Group following the attack in Westminster

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The Birmingham Faith Leaders’ Group joins with the great majority of people across the world in condemning the attack which took place on Westminster Bridge and in the environs of the Palace of Westminster on 22 March. Many times in recent years we have, tragically, found it necessary to issue condemnations of such action both in the United Kingdom and abroad. The indiscriminate inflicting of terror, death and serious injury upon innocent people pursuing their everyday lives is indefensible and fundamentally contrary to the teachings of all our major faiths.

We wish to offer our condolences to the families of those whose lives were lost yesterday, and our prayers for them and for all who were caught up in the horrific events. We also pay tribute to the public services which protect us and we recognise with gratitude the dangers their work can sometimes bring, as was so tragically demonstrated yesterday.

It has been disturbing today to learn of the apparent Birmingham connection to this atrocity. We implore people to recognise that such actions are taken by individuals, not by whole communities. We completely reject any attempt to see an opportunity to blame any particular community or faith, or any other community in this city, for the perverted actions of an individual. All the religious communities have demonstrated their strong ethos and tradition of service, as well as their support for the rule of law and democratic values.

The cause of those who perpetrate such acts as this will be served if communities start to distrust or turn upon one another. Every day in Birmingham we see examples of creative, productive and supportive relations across the faiths. We should unite in our condemnation and strive to create better, stronger relations with fellow citizens, especially in trying times. We are determined that the murderous actions of the very few will not prevail over the goodness which lies at the basis both of our local communities and the faiths we espouse.