Open invitation to St Albans peace vigil for anniversary of Manchester attack

PUBLISHED: 09:36 24 May 2018

Syeda Momotaz Rahim speaking at St Albans clock tower at the 2017 vigil

Syeda Momotaz Rahim speaking at St Albans clock tower at the 2017 vigil

Archant

St Albans will stand strong with the victims of terrorist attacks at a peace vigil in the city centre.

Syeda Momotaz Rahim (right) captured by the BBC watching the Royal Wedding. Picture: BBCSyeda Momotaz Rahim (right) captured by the BBC watching the Royal Wedding. Picture: BBC

To mark the anniversary of the Manchester Arena bombings, Hertfordshire All Women’s Trust and the St Albans Women’s Interfaith Group are hosting a commemorative peace vigil.

At the service, everyone is invited to join Muslims in the community breaking their Ramadan fast with a Big Iftar.

A similar event was held last year at St Albans Clock Tower just after the terrorist attack.

Organiser Syeda Momotaz Rahim said: “There’s so much aggression in society, with the rise of racism and anti-Semitic views, calamities around the world, knife crime in the UK and gun crime in the US.

A Bengali sweet dish Syeda Momotaz Rahim in honour of the Royal Wedding. Picture: Syeda Momotaz RahimA Bengali sweet dish Syeda Momotaz Rahim in honour of the Royal Wedding. Picture: Syeda Momotaz Rahim

“For some reason, people aren’t getting on or accepting people as they are and we are more of an intolerant society.”

She said Muslim women often report greater hostility and discrimination towards them if they wear a headscarf or hijab.

Syeda added: “I feel it’s really important that we have this peace vigil because it reminds us we need to get people from different backgrounds together and break that barrier.

“We are in 2018 and I feel society has regressed.”

Syeda Momotaz Rahim speaking at St Albans clock towerSyeda Momotaz Rahim speaking at St Albans clock tower

However, she is hopeful for a bright future as at the Royal Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle, everyone came together.

“I believe we forgot our differences, we left our religions at home, and our prejudices, and we were in a union of red, white and blue.

“We came together as the royal carriage came face to face with us, we shared that electrifying moment and shouted with joy, at that moment we were so proud to be British and we even hugged with strangers that we had never met before.

“I wish we could have that kind of thing every day of people loving people who are different.”

Syeda is the director and founder of the Hertfordshire All Women’s Trust and a member of the St Albans Women’s Interfaith Group.

The vigil and Iftar will take place at the Marlborough Road Methodist Church on Saturday May 26 from 7.30pm to 10.30pm.

Contact Syeda on 07402 442 88 or via email at smrahim@hotmail.co.uk to confirm attendance.

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