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Churches open doors to help find peace in Gaza

PUBLISHED: 00:33 07 January 2009 | UPDATED: 13:56 05 October 2010

CHURCHES in Poplar are staying open this week to give people the space for prayer and reflection about the situation in Gaza. There are also prayers at the East London Mosque in Whitechapel Road on Saturday. Community leaders in Tower Hamlets have stres

CHURCHES in Poplar are staying open this week to give people the space for prayer and reflection about the situation in Gaza.

There are also prayers at the East London Mosque in Whitechapel Road on Saturday.

Community leaders in Tower Hamlets have stressed that the area is 'No Place for Hate' in the face of unrest caused by the situation in Gaza after a small minority of people have broken windows and there have been 12 recorded cases of anti-Semitic graffiti daubed on local buildings and pavements.

The Chairman of Tower Hamlets Interfaith Forum the Reverend Alan Green, said: "Members of the Forum, which includes both Muslim and Jewish colleagues, are united in their belief that the terrible situation in Gaza must not be allowed to undermine the good relations built on mutual respect we have in our borough.

"That unity cannot be preserved by ignoring injustice and violence in other parts of the world, and people must be free to protest and to express different views of what is going on. But all of us, wherever we stand on the conflict in Gaza, should recognise that as we seek peace and justice there, we must preserve the same peace and justice here. Above all, we must demonstrate that people of diverse ethnicities and faiths can live together peacefully in this world."

The Borough Commander of Tower Hamlets police, Paul Rickett stressed: "We recognise that the international situation is going to cause local tensions and people have the right to express how they feel. The Police will facilitate lawful meetings and demonstrations but we won't tolerate unlawful behaviour."

Council, faith and community leaders are also will be attending a commemoration event on Holocaust Memorial Day at the East London Central Synagogue in Nelson Street next Sunday January 25. This year's theme is standing up to hatred.

There will also be an event at Oxford House in Derbyshire Street at 7pm on January 27.


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