St Albans religious groups hold peace vigil to remember victims of terror attacks

Syeda Momotaz Rahim speaking at St Albans clock tower

Syeda Momotaz Rahim speaking at St Albans clock tower - Credit: Archant

A member of St Albans Women’s Interfaith Group spoke passionately about the horrors of terrorism at a peace vigil held in the city last weekend.

The group set up the event for St Albans residents to stand strong and united with the rest of the country in the face of terror attacks in London and Manchester.

Syeda Momotaz Rahim addressed a crowd by the Clock Tower on Saturday which had gathered to remember the victims of recent atrocities.

She said: “I cannot express in words the sadness I feel for the innocent lives gone from their families, I did not know them but I say this, they are my brothers and my sisters, they are my sons and my daughters, and I pray for them for they are angels in heaven.

“I pray that we in St Albans remain safe and secure and we stand united against those who terrorise our lives.

“We stand against those that hate democracy, we stand against those that hate civil liberties and those that use religion as a weapon to groom, to manipulate and indoctrinate a twisted version of Islam that destroys our communities.”

The vigil was organised in the wake of the three terrorist attacks on British soil this year, the first on March 22 when an extremist driving a van ploughed down walkers on Westminster Bridge and stabbed a police officer. Then on May 22 a suicide bomber killed 22 people - including children - at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, including children. On June 3 three terrorists also drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and then stabbed victims in London’s Borough Market.

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Syeda also spoke about the Grenfell Tower tragedy and the anniversary of MP Jo Cox’s murder, but the event took place ahead of the attack on the Finsbury Park mosque on Monday night.

She added: “Islam is a religion of peace, like the great religions of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism and other faiths, but there are people who use texts from the Quran to distort and use it for their perverted purposes.

“That is why we British people, the public of faith or no faith, must stand and say no more - we will not let the people of darkness and hatred divide us.

“If terrorists do not like our way of life then they can exit Britain, they are not welcome in St Albans or anywhere in the UK.”