A British imam has won widespread praise after delivering a moving speech in which he called for “peace and justice so that one day Palestinians and Israelis can co-exist as neighbours, in friendship harmony and with respect for one another” at a rally in central London.
Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra appeared on stage alongside Rabbi Josh Levy at Wednesday’s Humanity Not Hatred vigil close to Downing Street in Westminster, and said: “The Quran tells us that God had made all of us, from Adam and Eve, into different people’s so that we can engage with one another, and get to know one another.
“It also tells us that God has given dignity and honour to all the children of Adam.”
Incredible to see hundreds on Whitehall for a #HumanitynotHate vigil. Members of the public joined MPs and Muslim, Christian & Jewish faith leaders to light lanterns in memory of all those lost in the Israel- Palestine conflict, and as a symbol of hope against hatred. pic.twitter.com/PXMGkWNfNY
— Together (@togethercoalit) November 15, 2023
Speaking to a sizeable crowd at the event, introduced by Brendan Cox, the husband of the MP Jo Cox, who was murdered in 2016, the imam continued:”We gather here today to remember all those who have been killed in Palestine and in Israel. We pray for the familes who are grieving, some of whom are with us today.
“We pray for peace and justice so that Palestinians and Israelis can live together in safety and security and can co-exist as neighbours …in friendship harmony and with respect for one another.”
Footage of his speech on the Jewish News TikTok account got thousands of views along with praise.
The event, organised by the Together Coalition, also saw the Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran speak, alongside the Conservative Flick Drummond, and Labour’s Alex Sobel.
Also speaking were Mira Awad and Magen Inon and the Rev Dr Richard Sudworth.
The group, under the banner of Humanity Not Hatred, had said ahead of the vigil:”We believe in peace in Israel-Palestine, and stand against all forms of hatred against any group.
“We are deeply concerned by the unprecedented rise in antisemitism, Islamophobia and hate in the UK.”
Many of the audience were from the Jewish community, and all attending where asked not to bring flags, placards or political messaging.
Moran revealed she had just learned that she had lost a family member in Gaza, whose health had deteriorated last week, not as the result of a bomb, but “perhaps caused by lack of food, perhaps caused by dehydration.”
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