Kingston faith groups unite in vigil for Westminster terror victims

Members from various faith communities came together outside the Bentall Centre  in Kingston on Wednesday to remember the victims of last week’s Westminster attack.

Kingston Mayor Geoff Austin joined the gathering on the busy shopping street together with leaders from the South London Interfaith Group.

“The tragic incident [at Westminster] was nothing to do with religion at all,” the mayor said. “It was just one stupid individual, in Kingston we stand together, all faiths, condemning incidents like that and we also thank the police and emergency services on what they did on that day and for continuing to protect us,”

The event was part of a vigil across major cities to mark one week since the Westminster terror attack in which four people were killed.

In London, thousands including police and other faith groups took part in a procession across Westminster Bridge to pay their respects to those who lost their lives and also as a show of unity.

Rashid Laher, the secretary of the South London Interfaith Group said: “It is the duty of every human being to repair relationships and repairing starts with your heart. Islam talks about purity of the heart. When you do that you learn to build bridges and win hearts and minds.”

Last Wednesday, Khalid Masood, 52, drove a car into pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge and stabbed a police officer, PC Keith Palmer, aged 48. He was later shot by armed police guarding the palace.

Standing next to the Kingston Mayor, Imam Abdisamad Abdellaoui said: “We are here to tell the world that we won’t be divided because of the stupid act of mindless people. We are united, we are together and what happened is not in God’s religion, absolutely nothing to do with our religion. We have to actually stand together and show that we are united, not separated.”

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