A Joint Statement and Press Release by The Catford and Bromley Synagogue, Lewisham Islamic Centre, St Laurence Church, St Margaret’s Church, St Stephen’s church, Holy Cross Catfordand St Mary’s Church Lewisham concerning the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.
The savage murder of civilians in Paris last Friday night is the latest abomination in an unending catalogue of abominable acts by the murderous group that calls itself “Islamic State” or IS. We send our sincerest condolences to the families of these hate-filled attacks. We pray that their families may find the strength and patience to get through this extremely difficult time, and to find some solace in remembering their loved ones with the fondest memories.
It is important especially during interfaith week to reaffirm the value of the shared Abrahamic faith of our three traditions. We have a long cherished collaboration that entitles us to declare categorically that ‘IS’ is everything BUT Islamic as taught by the Qur’an and the noble prophet of Islam, Muhammad.
In addition to the attacks in Paris, we are also mindful that the greater barbarism of IS’ crimes in the Middle East, and which go largely unreported in the Western Media –including summary executions, maiming and rapes –are perpetuated against Muslims, the very same that IS claims to represent.
Their relentless and murderous efforts to engender division, hatred and intolerance towards innocent the Muslim populations of Europe only serves the interests of right wing and extremist groups who seek to polarise otherwise peaceful communities and set neighbour against neighbour.
We appeal to every community to stand united, stay vigilant and look out for one another. Let us all repel every hate-filled narrative from whatever vile quarter it comes. All is notalways as it seems, particularly when the vulnerable and dispossessed are manipulated in order to carry out evil deeds.
Rabbi David Rome, Catford and Bromley Synagogue
Imam Shakeel Begg, Lewisham Islamic Centre
Father Charles Pickstone, St Laurence Church
Father Alan Race, St Margaret’s Church
Father Steve Hall, St Mary’s Church
Father Philip Corbett, St Stephen’s Church
Father Douglas Bull, Holy Cross Catford