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Hackney Muslim primary school condemns extremism after Nice lorry attack

PUBLISHED: 16:59 19 July 2016 | UPDATED: 09:21 20 July 2016

Olive School Hackney pupils celebrate unity in the community. Picture: Chris Wood

Olive School Hackney pupils celebrate unity in the community. Picture: Chris Wood

19-7-2016. Olive School Hackney. Personal Development Day on the theme of unity in faith and unity in humanity. 66 C

A Muslim primary school invited children and adults from all religions and backgrounds to celebrate unity and condemn extremism in the wake of the Nice lorry attack last Thursday.

Olive School Hackney pupils celebrate unity in the community. Picture: Chris WoodOlive School Hackney pupils celebrate unity in the community. Picture: Chris Wood

Flags from all over the world hung from the ceiling as pupils, many in traditional dress, sung about love and hope at Olive School Hackney in Cazenove Road, Stoke Newington, on Tuesday for the Let’s Get Together! event.

Assistant headteacher, Mohammed Amejee, said he was inspired to organise the gathering after the Nice terror attack.

Mr Amejee said: “We felt it was important to bring the community together.

“What happened in Nice was horrific, it was a massacre used by extremists as an opportunity to divide society.

Olive School Hackney pupils with Mrs Sheerin Ramjan, deputy headteacher. Picture: Chris WoodOlive School Hackney pupils with Mrs Sheerin Ramjan, deputy headteacher. Picture: Chris Wood

“We want to unite people. There are some people out there who seek to divide us and build walls, but we want to build bridges instead.”

Councillors and constables from Stoke Newington Police Station joined local religious leaders from Jewish, Sikh and Muslim faiths to hear pupils speak about diversity, tolerance and peace.

Pupils from secular Northwold Primary School in Upper Clapton were also in the audience.

Every child was invited to dab their finger in red paint and press it against outlines of the world’s five continents for a map on the wall of the Olive School’s hall, which read: “United We Stand Together”.

Parents and staff also brought in dishes from around the world to tuck into after the songs and speeches.

Rabbi Herschel Gluck OBE, founder of Stamford Hill’s Muslim Jewish Forum and co-chair of the Arab-Jewish Forum, said: “We have to show unity as we all share a community and a communal space, caring for each other.

“There has been a surge in hate crime and negative expression towards others and we need to rectify and heal that. So we teach children and the children teach us.”

Eusoof Amerat, trustee of the North London Mosque in Casenove Road, said: “With what’s going on in the world. I think it’s important for youngsters to be taught about the other cultures we are living with.

“This event shows that multi-faith groups can live together and work together as one community.”

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