Published: Wednesday, 31st January 2018

Local community and faith leaders committed to standing together.

As local community and faith leaders we come together to stand as one to reaffirm and confirm our belief in the values of our democratic society that we all hold dear - that of unity, compassion and free speech, and hold firm the utter rejection of terrorism, oppression and victimisation of others.

Last weekend saw the marking of Holocaust Memorial Day, the theme of which was 'the power of words'. As a group of faith and community leaders in Royal Greenwich, we joined together in the spirit of remembrance and forgiveness, and to demonstrate that no matter our religion, we are one human race and should never seek to promote divisions in our fellow man.

Whilst actions can do so much harm and devastation, words can also be just as powerful, inciting hatred and actions which should never rationalise oppression and victimisation.

Five years ago this year, Fusilier Lee Rigby was brutally murdered on our very streets. This was a horrific act that shocked us all, provoking outrage across the country, and the world. And yet, five years on we are still fighting extremism - extremism that has been played out very publicly on social media recently, with words of hatred and acts of oppression against innocent people.

We utterly deplore this negativity and call upon the residents of Royal Greenwich, and beyond, to listen with your own ears, do not just accept another's rhetoric - and do not live with anger and hatred in your hearts.

We continue to stand together, determined to remain united as a community - we owe it to the past, and to the future -to do so as one community of mankind.