Interfaith solidarity in UK essential in wake of terror attacks

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(Vatican Radio) English Cardinal Vincent Nichols joined religious and political leaders on Monday in condemning an attack on Muslims leaving the Finsbury Park mosque in north London.

An elderly man died after the attacker drove a van into a group of people who had been attending evening prayers following the breaking of the Ramadan fast.

Nine other people were injured, while the attacker has been taken into police custody.

Bishop Paul Hendrix is auxiliary of the south London diocese of Southwark and co-chair of the UK’s Christian-Muslim Forum.

He told Philippa Hitchen why it’s more important than ever for people of all faiths and none to stand together in the face of these terror attacks…

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Bishop Hendrix says he has visited the mosque regularly in recent years, most recently last Wednesday for an Iftar celebration, marking the breaking of the Ramadan fast. He recalls the celebration was also attended by political leaders, other church representatives and members of the police and emergency services.

 His overall impression, he says, was the strong level of support the Muslim community there  receives from the local community in times of tension and the “very good relationship” that exist with the local residents.

While it’s difficult to understand the logic of the terrorists, he says, it seems one of their intentions is to cause divisions between Christians and Muslims

At the recent dinner, Bishop Hendrix says, there was a real determination on the part of Catholics and Muslims that such divisions should not prevail and that “we all stand together – they were very clear about that”.