Some 70 people gathered in Preston’s Flag Market last night to remember those killed in the recent London terrorist attack in a vigil organised by a Muslim group.
Organised by Preston’s The Light Foundation the vigil was held after five people were killed outside the Houses of Parliament, including a police officer and the attacker.
The crowd was joined by a cross section of faith and civic leaders, including Preston Council leader Peter Rankin, Mayor John Collins, vicar of Preston Timothy Lipscomb, the chair of Preston Baha’i Community Malcolm Craig, and many others. Co-founder of The Light Foundation, which aims to support Muslim converts and break down barriers between communities, Nadeem Ashfaq, said: “We wanted to invite everyone of faith and no faith from our city to come together as human beings in solidarity, to remember those who have lost their lives, express our sympathy with their families and loved ones.
“And to show the world that as people we are more committed than ever to the values that we hold dear and share as one race.
“The people of Preston will not allow evil to divide us and we remain united and open. We must stand together in the face of those who seek to harm us.”
Rev Mark Slaney, who spoke at the vigil, said: “For me, when we stand together in peace in response to an act of terror and division, we embody solidarity, and we declare that there is in fact only us, rather than them and us.”
The people of Preston will not allow evil to divide us and we remain united and open. We must stand together in the face of those who seek to harm us.
Mayor of Preston John Collins said: “One of the legacies that we find with this is that people tag all Muslims with this type of image, and we need totally to stand together and be united.”
“Preston has been welcoming people for hundreds and hundreds of years.
“It is vital that we do not allow this to make us in any way anti-Muslim.”