BIRMINGHAM – Supported by civic multi-faith religious leaders, hundreds of British Muslims turned out in Victoria Square in a peace rally to reject the Westminster attack as anti-Islamic, stressing that far-right extremists do not define the British values they hold.
“For too long, we’ve had terrorist and extremists in all communities, in Muslim and non-Muslim, who try to define us,” Dr Waqar Azmi told the crowd, The Independent reported.
“The figures of far-right extremists do not define the British values that we hold.
“Those people who are Daesh and Isis do not define the values that Muslims would hold.
“We refuse now to allow them to misrepresent us, and refuse now to allow them to define us.
“Because we are defined by a shared value of love thy neighbor.”
At the event, organized by Birmingham Central Mosque, more than 200 people turned out holding banners that read “Not in our name – Muslims oppose Isis”.
At around 2.40 pm on the 22 March, Adrian Russell Ajao drove his car into people who were on Westminster Bridge and then stabbed a police officer outside the Houses of Parliament, BBC news reported.
At least five people have been killed, including officer Keith Palmer, and about 40 were wounded.
Rejecting all attacks targeting innocent people in London, Brussel, Iraq or Yemen, the British Muslims’ reaction has been solemn.
“Like so many others, I felt compelled to come to this important event in Victoria Square,” Henna Rai, founder of Women Against Radicalization Network (WARN), said.
“What happened in London was an appalling act, carried out by a pathetic individual. It was an indiscriminate attack on innocent people that sought to turn communities against one another.
“By standing together with people of all faiths and none, to reject hatred in all its forms, will we show terrorists and extremists that they can never divide us, they can never break our communities, and they can never win.”