On March 29, Faith Network for Manchester (FN4M) arranged a parallel event in Manchester to the one at Westminster to mark one week after the Westminster terror attack. We invited people of faith and interfaith organisations and other community groups to join us on the bridge in Salford Quays between the Lowry Theatre and the Imperial War Museum North.
With only 24 hours notice, around 150 people came together in the rain and linked arms across the whole length of the bridge, holding banners saying ‘Standing Up for One Anther’, ‘Spread Hummus Not Hate’ ‘ We Refuse to be Enemies’ and ‘Love for All, Hatred to None’. All of the major faiths in Manchester were represented and there was a real atmosphere of commitment to peace, harmony and togetherness.
The Faith Network members, including their co-Chairs Qaisra Shahraz and Revd Charles Kwaku-Odoi, vice-chair Grange Williams and Huin Mo, Sukhbir Singh, Amer Salam, faith leaders, members of the Council of Christians and Jews, the Muslim-Jewish Forum, Sikhs, Bahais, Hindus, Jains, other Christians, Muslims and Jews, community leaders, Council representatives and especially members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community en masse as well as the media TV crews for the BBC and ITV etc were all there.
At 2.40 p.m., the time of the attack last week, we stood for a minute in silence, which was started and ended by the blowing of a Shofar by Rabbi Warren Elf, FN4M community Development Officer who at very short notice worked hard to organise this event.
This was a real testament of the feeling and commitment of all faiths to work together to ensure we can all live in a safe and peaceful society together. It was a real privilege to be able to bring everyone together to express this solidarity at such short notice.
By Qaisra Shahraz