Councillor Muhammed Butt and the Brent Multi-Faith Forum have issued statements on the situation in the Middle East.
Councillor Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council, said:
“The current conflict in Gaza and Israel is truly shocking and devastating.
“Many Brent residents have friends or family directly affected and our thoughts and prayers are with all the people killed, or injured, and with their loved ones during this incredibly difficult time.
“We condemn violence in all its forms and hope that a peaceful resolution is found soon to prevent any more loss of life.
“Tragically, we know that violence in the Middle East can lead to a rise in hate crime here in London and we call on everyone to stay calm and look out for your friends and neighbours. Brent is a proudly diverse borough and it is important that we report any incidents of hate crime immediately to the Police. There is no place for hate in Brent.”
Frank Dabba Smith, Mustafa Field and Danny Maher from the Brent Multi-Faith Forum, said:
“We are aware that the trauma of the horrific violence of the last few days will be felt by innocent people in the Middle East region for generations to come. We are aware, too, that there are many people living in the London Borough of Brent who will be mourning the loss of family members, friends, and colleagues. We deplore all forms of violence and find any rejoicing at the suffering of others to be abhorrent.
“We understand that this enduring and terrible conflict is deeply complex and embedded in historical trauma occurring to both sides. However the real suffering and pain must feel in a group’s narrative, cycles of abuse and violence must be ended. If not, committing hateful acts including violence, hostage-taking and a myriad forms of discrimination will only result in perpetuating more of the same.
“We hold that the root of all faith / no faith must consist of the safeguarding of all life through the exercise of kindness, compassion and love. We support those of all faiths / no faith who are engaged in the struggle for peaceful dialogue, cooperation, conciliation and the equitable sharing of precious resources in the Middle East.
“We are deeply committed to the safety and welfare of those of all faiths / no faith in Brent. There is no excuse for antisemitism, Islamophobia or any other hate crime. Exacerbating communal tensions will not be tolerated. We stand with the Metropolitan Police and Brent Council in urging the immediate reporting of any threatening behaviours.
“In these especially dark times, we must hope for hope together.”