Mayor and bishop join worshippers at East London Mosque in solidarity with New Zealand terror attack victims
PUBLISHED: 17:49 15 March 2019 | UPDATED: 17:49 15 March 2019
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and bishop of London Sarah Mullally joined prayers at the East London Mosque today (Friday) in solidarity with those killed and injured in the Christchurch terror attacks in New Zealand.
Forty-nine people were killed and at least 20 wounded when attackers opened fire on worshippers at two mosques, in what is the deadliest attack in New Zealand’s history.
The bishop said: “An attack on faith somewhere is an attack on faith everywhere and therefore I stand alongside my Muslim brothers and sisters to condemn acts of religious hostility.
“I stand with them together for religious freedom and we must condemn hate speech which so easily turns into violence. We have more in common than divides us.”
They met with worshippers at the Whitechapel mosque and afterwards, Mr Khan told the East London Advertiser: “I’ve spent time talking to members of the congregation, who are feeling scared, who are feeling vulnerable and angry.
“They have in their thoughts and prayers those who have lost their lives in Christchurch. The ripples of hatred, the ripples of sorrow, the ripples of fear are felt 12,000 miles away.
“One of the great things about our city is our diversity, it’s a strength not a weakness. Many of us were born here, others chose to live here because it’s the greatest city in the world.
“I know many of us are feeling vulnerable and nobody should feel scared because of what happened in Christchurch. There will be additional policing today and over the course of the next few days. The key thing is for us to be vigilant.”
Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs and Bethnal Green and Bow MP Rushanara Ali have also spoken out about the attack.
Mr Biggs said: “I send my deepest sympathies to those who have lost friends and family, and to the people of New Zealand on this very sad day. The people of Tower Hamlets stand in solidarity with them.”
Ms Ali also offered her sympathies and added: “We must stand united against those who seek to divide our communities and we must redouble our efforts to fight all forms of extrmism and terrorism.
“We must do everything we can to protect people and places of worship and I am pleased that the Met Police are stepping up reassurance patrols around mosques in the wake of the attack.”
She urged anyone to report anything suspicious to the police.