Christian, Muslim Leaders Release Joint Statement on London Bombings

LONDON – As England stood silent Friday in remembrance of the London bombing victims of one year ago, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) issued a joint statement with the Muslim Council of Britain.

On the one-year anniversary of the suicide bombings that struck London’s transport system, killing 52 people and injuring more than 770, the Christian and Muslim leaders united in their condemnation of the events.

In the statement, they stated how the teachings of Christian and Muslim Scriptures “repudiate the use of violence.”

In expressing sympathy to those affected by the atrocities, the statement read, “We remember those who continue to feel the deep pain of losing family and friends; we remember those who were injured and traumatized by dealing with the events and those whose way of life changed that day.”

The statement was issued by the Rev Bob Fyffe, who recently succeeded Dr David Goodbourn as the General Secretary of the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, which oversees the ecumenical developments between the Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant and Pentecostal Churches.

Joining the Rev Fyffe in releasing the statement was Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, who is the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain.

In a rallying call to look to the future with hope, the statement went on to declare that the two representative bodies “continue to resist all attempts to associate our communities with the hate filled acts of any minority who claim falsely to represent us.”

It called on Christians and Muslims alike to “strengthen existing links and to find ways to cooperate to create a society where all people can live together with justice and mutual respect.”

The statement in full reads:

On the first anniversary of the explosions in London on 7 July 2005 we remember all those caught up in the events of that traumatic day and recall that the scriptures and traditions of both the Muslim and Christian communities repudiate the use of violence.

Our sympathy goes to all whose lives were changed by the explosions on the Underground and on the bus in Tavistock Square. We remember those who continue to feel the deep pain of losing family and friends; we remember those who were injured and traumatized by dealing with the events and those whose way of life changed that day. We give thanks for those who continue to work for health and healing of individuals and communities.

The attacks had ripples of effect far beyond London. The crisis challenged us to affirm our common humanity and strengthened our determination to live together in peace. We commend people of faith in many communities who responded to the crisis and calmed potentially volatile situations.

We continue to resist all attempts to associate our communities with the hate filled acts of any minority who claim falsely to represent us. We look to all community leaders to give an example showing wisdom and a sense of justice.

One year on from the explosions we call on Christians and Muslims to strengthen existing links and to find ways to cooperate to create a society where all people can live together with justice and mutual respect.’