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Hackney religious leaders united in face of religious extremism

PUBLISHED: 16:03 19 January 2015 | UPDATED: 16:03 19 January 2015

Community leaders gather together in solidarity meeting

Community leaders gather together in solidarity meeting

Archant

Community leaders from all faiths came together to show solidarity, following the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris.

Representatives from the Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities, along with councillors, senior police officers, Hackney Speaker Sharon Patrick and Turkish ambassador Abdurrahman Bilgiç, met at the Aziziye Mosque in Stoke Newington Road to show they remain united in the face of religious extremism.

They called on Londoners to remain united as London faces a “severe” terror threat level, and condemned the atrocities carried out by Islamist gunmen in the French capital last week.

Cllr for Stoke Newington ward, Mete Coban, 22, who helped organise the meeting said the aim was to “send a strong message of solidarity with those in Paris and to say our community in Hackney is united”.

He said: “As a young person growing up in Hackney, I know one of the special things about it is that we have a strong community cohesion and togetherness.

“We have got people from all races and religions, all colours and creeds. We differ and disagree but we do it with dignity.

“It is absolutely vital that as a community we preserve this by sending our solidarity to those in Paris, Nigeria and other parts of the world.

“The best message we can give to terrorists is that we will carry on living our daily lives normally, and that we will stand together for Humanity. Hackney is an example to the world, not just London.”

Mr Bilgiç added: “We strongly condemn these terrorist attacks. Islam is a religion of peace. We will always stand up for democracy and freedom. The perpetrators of these terrorist atrocities grossly betray the religion that they claim to come from.”


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