Councillor for Bethnal Green South & Leader of the Labour Group, Sirajul Islam on why we must support Tower Hamlets’ diversity


- Credit: Archant

The attack on drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich three weeks ago shook London to its core.

It reminded us of the need for vigilance against those who would do us harm. But the attack also reminded us of something valuable: the strength and resilience of our community in standing up to violence and extremism.

To use a warped view of any religion or faith to justify these acts is plainly wrong and should never be tolerated.

Though neither should the views of those who would use this incident to wrongly paint a whole community or faith as responsible. The Prime Minister said these acts were a “betrayal of Islam” and the united response from the Muslim community and beyond has demonstrated that.

The ultimate response to those who would sow hate and distrust is the community resilience and togetherness we have seen since Woolwich.

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In Tower Hamlets we should be deeply proud of our diversity. I know the things we can achieve when working together as a united East End. That is why the English Defence League’s (EDL) recently announced plans to hold a demonstration in the borough over the August bank holiday are so concerning.

The EDL threat is intentionally divisive and that kind of politics should have no place in Tower Hamlets. In light of the EDL’s violent protests held in response to the events in Woolwich, it is more important than ever that we stand united in support of our borough’s diversity and in defence of all sections of our community.

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In the Labour Party we strongly believe that we can achieve more when our community is united and pulls together.

Against these sad reminders of the hate and division which can on the fringes touch all our lives there is only one response; to celebrate our cultural diversity and those common endeavours which unite us. That is why Labour will always be working and campaigning to build a better future as one East End.

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