Many of us will have been shocked and saddened by the violent acts of terror that have taken place in recent weeks. Whether it is the attacks in France, the bombing of a school in Peshawar in Pakistan, the massacre of villagers in Ethiopia or the attack in Vienna – they all bring deep sadness and pain to our hearts. As well as strongly condemning such acts of violence we stand in solidarity with the victims and their families and our thoughts and prayers are with them.
Often these violent attacks tend to have one thing in common – they are fuelled by ignorance and hatred.
The best to way to respond to ignorance and hatred whether expressed in words or violence is education, dialogue and taking the time to get to know one another.
When those with warped ideas and thinking try to raise their voices through acts of violence to make us hate each other, we should drown out their voices by responding with even louder collective voices of reason, hope and acts of kindness to each other.
Where those with evil intentions try to divide us through their criminal actions and words, we should respond with an even greater show of unity.
It is our unity and shared common values that will give us the strength to help us navigate these challenging times.Let’s pray that Allah helps the victims and their families during these difficult times. Ameen.
Let’s pray that Allah brings the evil people behind such attacks anywhere in the world to justice swiftly. Ameen.
Let’s pray that once again as a nation and continent we have the courage and resolve to stay united and stand together in the face of such abhorrent acts of evil. Ameen.
Rizwan Ahmed – Muslim Chaplain – University of Bristol
Joint statement on behalf of:
Bristol Muslim Cultural Society
Bristol Muslim Strategic Leadership Group
Council of Bristol Mosques
Stand Against Racism and Inequality (SARI)