Religious leaders across Essex speak out against ‘vicious and evil’ London terror attack

PUBLISHED: 21:37 04 June 2017 | UPDATED: 00:03 05 June 2017

Police officers with riot shields on Borough High Street, amid reports that a vehicle collided with pedestrians on London Bridge and reports of stabbings in Borough Market. Picture: DOMINIC LIPINSKI / PA WIRE.

Police officers with riot shields on Borough High Street, amid reports that a vehicle collided with pedestrians on London Bridge and reports of stabbings in Borough Market. Picture: DOMINIC LIPINSKI / PA WIRE.

Religious leaders of all faiths in Essex have condemned the terror attacks in London saying we must not allow ourselves to be “cowed by fear or consumed with hate”.

Bishop of Colchester Rt Revd Roger Morris. Picture: CHELMSFORD DIOCESE Bishop of Colchester Rt Revd Roger Morris. Picture: CHELMSFORD DIOCESE

Abdul Gafoor, chairman of the Al Falah Braintree Islamic Centre, said the scenes witnessed at London Bridge and Borough Market do not belong in Britain.

“It is a horrendous thing that has happened in London,” he said.

“It is mind blowing that someone could go around killing innocent people.

“There is a problem in every society at the moment and unfortunately there are bigots who profess to be Muslims.

Bishop of Brentwood Alan Williams. Picture: BRENTWOOD DIOCESE Bishop of Brentwood Alan Williams. Picture: BRENTWOOD DIOCESE

“These people are not Muslims.

“We ask the country to stay united. We come from different religions and different backgrounds but we should all be united in condemning these actions.

“This doesn’t belong in Britain.

“We should all stick together in peace and harmony.”

The Bishop of Colchester, the Rt Rev Roger Morris, said his prayers were with the family and friends of the victims, describing the attack as ‘vicious and evil’.

He said: “The speedy, brave and professional response from our emergency services continues to deserve our fullest admiration.

“We will not defeat these evil extremists by force.

“We may not always outsmart them with our intelligence.

“But we must ensure that we do not allow ourselves to be cowed by fear or consumed with hate.

“Ultimately we will defeat them by our love for one another.

“I understand that the killers shouted ‘this is for Allah’ as they attacked innocent people.

“For Muslims, the month of Ramadan is a time for fasting, praying and for focusing on acts of charity and generosity.

“The fact that these evil murderers chose to attack innocent people during Ramadan is clear evidence that they have no respect for life or for faith.”

The Rt Rev Alan Williams, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brentwood, said: “I heard with horror about the awful attack in London last night, which sadly comes so soon after the bombing in Manchester.

“At times such as these it is important to stand together and always to seek love before hatred.

“The response of the families of the people of Manchester was a great witness for us all – and the people of London are responding in the same way.”

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