9th Dec, 2016

Coventry faith groups condemn Paris terrorist attacks

Steve Carpenter 12th Dec, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

FAITH groups across the city have joined together to reinforce their condemnation of the recent terrorist atrocities in Paris and around the world and have said that the acts of terror have no place in Islam.

The Coventry Interfaith and Communities Forum was set up seven years ago to open dialogue with many different faiths including Christians, Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus.

And the group got together to discuss the need for the public to understand that the acts of terror have no place in Islam and that many people of different backgrounds, including Islam, were victims.

Increased incidents of hate crimes targeting Muslims or their institutions were equally condemned.

In response the group called on Coventry citizens to work towards a harmonious society with each other irrespective of religion, colour, gender or differences.

“Muslims in Coventry absolutely condemn these terrorist acts,” said Dr Shehu, chair of the Coventry Muslim Forum.

“Islam is a peaceful religion and should not need to apologise for the terrible acts committed by individuals who have their own agendas.

“In Coventry I am proud of the unity shown by Muslim communities and the close relationships we have built up for many years with other faith communities in the city.”

The Deputy Leader of Coventry City Council, Coun Abdul Khan, is a chair of the Interfaith and Communities Forum and he believes the different communities in the city must work together to secure safety, but he pinpointed the internet as a big threat.

He said: “Faith Communities in Coventry will continue to work together to build peaceful relationships and support each other in these difficult times. It is what we do as a city.

“The challenge for all communities is to understand how people are being drawn into an ideology which goes against Islam. We are all aware of the need to be vigilant in schools, madrasahs, youth clubs and in other gathering places.

“The challenge is to understand more about the way social media is influencing individuals. We feel that it is important that the news media helps to separate acts of terror from Islam.”

As an international symbol of peace and reconciliation, the Bishop of Coventry, the Right Reverend

Dr Christopher Cocksworth, also pledged to promote peace during a difficult time.

He added: “Coventry will continue to lead the way as a community which loves and cares for all those who live, work and visit the city, regardless of faith or origin.

“We will work with all faith groups to build on the decades of peace and reconciliation leadership which Coventry has come to represent across the world, and to work for peaceful resolution to local, national and international conflicts.”