Faith leaders from across Nottingham came together recently in a show of solidarity following the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza.
Members of Islamic, Jewish, Christian, Hindu and Sikh communities were invited by Councillor Sajid Mohammed to meet at the Council House in the city to discuss the escalating conflict and reaffirm the established local relationships in place. They expressed concern at what has happened over the past few weeks in the region and made a strong commitment to ensuring that no division is felt in their city. An interfaith peace prayer was also shared.
Also in attendance were Councillor David Mellen, the Leader of Nottingham City Council, and Lilian Greenwood, MP for Nottingham South.
Councillor Mohammed, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods, Safety and Inclusion at Nottingham City Council, said: “We’ve all seen the devastating scenes on our television screens this week and our hearts go out to everybody who has been affected, both in the region and back home.
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“Through my role at the Council representing Nottingham’s diverse communities, I wanted to bring people together from across the faith groups so we can stand as one and make clear that hate has no place in our city.
“We understand the gravity of the situation but as civic and faith leaders, we want to make absolutely clear that discrimination – in any form – will not be tolerated here. Nottingham has a longstanding reputation as being a place where people of all backgrounds, faiths, religions and beliefs are welcomed and cherished. We know what a positive impact this has on our neighbourhoods and the cultural richness it provides.
“We live, work and socialise together. We celebrate, commiserate and, at times, mourn together. Our families visit the same places, our children form friendships and we must continue to champion and protect those things which we all hold dear.
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“I know we have different political and personal beliefs, but I am strong in my conviction that these things make this city special. We must continue to respect each other’s views and live harmoniously together. As leaders, we have today reiterated that Nottingham stands together. Hate and intolerance, of any kind, has no place in our city and we won’t accept it.”