It was absolutely heart breaking to see the despicable attack against the Muslim community last Friday in Christchurch, New Zealand. Our thoughts are with all those who have been affected by this attack – the victims and their grieving families who have justifiability received an outpour of support from the international community, as well as those closer to home who have been affected by this attack. It was a senseless, and devastating act of terrorism against innocent individuals who were attending Friday prayers, and it was a wakeup call about just how much hatred, and bigotry still exists across the world.
As Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand has said, we should not utter the name of the perpetrator, but instead we should remember those who died, and send our support, and love to their families and friends through these troubling times. It was devastating to read that one of the first victims was Haji Daoud Nabi, a refugee from Afghanistan, whose reported last words were ‘hello brother’ as the perpetrator entered the mosque.
Whether it’s the amazing charity work carried out by the Muslim community, the great welcome given to refugee families in Hounslow or the incredible outreach work done across the community, both of us cannot put into words how grateful, and proud we are of the Muslim community across our constituencies in Hounslow, and across London.
We have received assurances from the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, that he has spoken with the Met Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick, and they will do everything they can to support, and protect the Muslim community in London. Sadiq has already announced that extra security will be given to London mosques. It is advised that places of worship complete the ACT Awareness training on counter-terrorism, if you have not already. It is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/act-awareness-elearning
As you may be aware, the Labour Party has adopted and accepted the APPG British Muslims definition of Islamophobia as outlined in their publication Islamophobia Defined – The inquiry into a working definition of Islamophobia. We stand in solidarity with those affected by this tragedy in New Zealand, the Muslim community across the world and all those in Hounslow who have been hurt and distressed by this vile act. We understand that many of you will have further concerns surrounding this event. Please do not hesitate to contact either of us about any concerns you may have.