Faith groups unite in call for peace

Drummer Lee Rigby
Drummer Lee Rigby
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After the tragic death of soldier Drummer Lee Rigby at Woolwich in London, a whole series of organisations have called for peace.

That includes Christians and Muslims who do not want to see violence impacing the whole community.

One of two men arrested in connection with Drummer Rigby’s death is still in hospital after being shot by police officers, and other arrests have been made.

Both the Church of England in Lancashire and the Lancashire Council of Mosques issued a joint statement in the wake of the terrible event.

Bishop of Burnley and Acting Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Rev. John Goddard, and forum counterpart Salim Mulla – chairman of Lancashire Council of Mosques and Mayor of Blackburn – explained they meet as the Anglican/Muslim Forum to promote peace and understanding between Muslim and Anglican congregations.

And they said: “The terrible murder of the soldier in London requires us all to work even harder in the cause of peace. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the soldier.

“We would urge all people to pray that there will be no escalation of violence and the police and other authorities are given wisdom as they deal with the situation.”

In another statement, Building Bridges Pendle said: “The good citizens of Pendle strongly condemn the mindless act which took place in Woolwich.

“We present our condolences to the family of the soldier killed and pray that they find peace in their hearts during a time of great difficulty.

“The actions of those implicated in this crime are senseless and are aimed at creating division in communities like Pendle. We strongly encourage our citizens to stand in solidarity against any individual or group who are intent on causing division in our community.”

And Mr Afzal Malik of the UK Islamic Mission’s Madina Mosque in Nelson said: “We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the horrific murder that has taken place in Woolwich. It has been reported in the media that the murderers made Islamic slogans during their heinous action and were thus motivated by their Islamic faith. 

“Justifying this killing in the name of faith or religion is false and rejected. Our thoughts are with the victim and his family.”

Mr Nigel Hampson from Colne’s Titanic in Lancashire Museum said: “We at the Titanic In Lancashire Museum have all been thoroughly shocked and moved to tears by the horrible murder of our serviceman Lee Rigby. Our hearts go out to all of his family and friends at this terrible time.” He praised Britain’s Armed Forces and said: “God Bless all of them and especially Lee Rigby.”