Southwark mosques leaders have vowed help “tackle all forms extremism” and spoken together to condemn Saturday’s London Bridge terror attack.
The mayor of Southwark, councillor Charlie Smith, also said he fears the attack could provoke a “blacklash” against the Muslim community.
In the first meeting of its kind ever seen in Southwark, Islamic community leaders met in Tooley Street on Monday with mayor Smith, and deputy mayor Jamille Mohammed, to give a united response.
Their joint statement said: “We, the leaders of Southwark Mosques, stand together here in Southwark as a united community in solidarity with fellow Londoners. We are shocked and saddened by the recent appalling attacks at Borough Market and London Bridge. Our deepest sympathies and prayers go out to all the victims, their families and their loved ones.
“Such barbaric attacks have no place in Islam and we must not let this cause division and hatred among our communities. We stand united, shoulder by shoulder and condemn the attacks in London, Manchester and Westminster in the strongest way possible.
“Here in Southwark, we the mosque leaders pledge to build a stronger bond between our organisations and to work closely with authorities to identify and tackle all forms of extremism. This hatred will not defeat our shared values, our way of life and the civilisation of this country. We pay tribute to the emergency services and fellow Londoners who have worked hard after the horrific incident on Saturday.”
Mayor Smith said: “We fear a backlash to what’s happened. That’s the last thing we want. And we want you [Muslim leaders] to go back to your mosques and tell your congregation to feel safe in Southwark and in London. What we are doing today is a show of strength and solidarity, to show that the majority of Muslims in this country will not tolerate the sort of thing that’s gone on, and we condemn it whole-heartedly.”
In attendance with mayor Smith and deputy mayor Mohammed were:
- Irtan Mohammad (Peckham Islamic Centre)
- Lamine Konate (Peckham Islamic Centre)
- Umar Elahi (Peckham Islamic Centre)
- Yaya Bamba (Peckham Islamic Centre)
- Abdul Gafat (Peckham Islamic Centre)
- Abdurrahman Hendeck (New Peckham Mosque)
- Bilal Duzbayir (New Peckham Mosque)
- Yasar Khan (New Peckham Mosque)
- Mohammed Ziarab
- Abdul R. Barrie, imam of BECA Masjid mosque in Ryle Lane, Peckham
- Hakeem Omotoso, imam of Camberwell Islamic Centre
- Alhaji Tajudeen Salami, chief imam of the Old Kent Road Mosque