Letter of support to Gillingham Mosque

I delivered this letter yesterday. The Mosque was attacked by some EDL dickheads, one of whom has been arrested. Some people have raised issue with the Surah quote, saying it was out of context or I should have used the full version. However, the people who thought it was inappropriate were non-Muslims, and I had three Muslims who though it was fitting. I know almost nothing about Islamic scripture so I still don’t mind if anyone wants to correct me.

“Members of Gillingham Mosque,

It is a relief to hear that nobody was hurt in the attacks on your place of worship, and a relief that you dealt with the material damage fairly quickly. Once again the English Defence League has responded to extremism with its own extremism, lashing out at a community that has nothing to do with the violence in Woolwich and are the first to condemn such actions.

“To kill one man is to kill all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.” – Surah, 5:23

Local anti-fascists have already been checking up on the Mosque and other affected Mosques and Islamic centres around the country, showing their concern for a diverse faith group that is so often demonised. It must be demoralising knowing that the group who is most often seen talking about Islam in mainstream media is also the group that understands it the least. Even more troubling is how easily their racist rhetoric and chanting catches on. But remember that you will always have friends, Muslim and non-Muslim, to rely on every time populist racism flares up. The majority of people oppose the message and tactics of the EDL and don’t want to see a fascist Britain.

Stay safe and continue to educate people on your religion and the cultures surrounding it, for if the members of the EDL were truly informed, they would have nothing to hate.

In solidarity,”

The letter was signed by East Kent Unite Against Fascism and 44 individuals, one of whom left their own message: “I have always been proud to be born and bred in Medway and will defend my home from people who often look down on it, but yesterday I felt shame for the first time. Racists out of Gillinghan, don’t let the Islamophobes divide us.”

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1 comment
  1. Anwar Khan said:

    The Chairman, Board of Trustees and the members of the Kent Muslim Welfare Association Limited at the Gillingham Mosque, 114 Canterbury Street, Gillingham, Kent ME7 5UH, express their condolences and sympathy to the family and friends of Lee Rigby who was brutally murdered in Woolwich. Our heart goes for the young man and his family, particularly his mother, wife and young child. We categorically condemn the action of those men who had the least respect for the human life and none for the religion they profess to have believed in.

    We gratefully acknowledge the receipt of the letter UAF delivered on May 25th 2013. We wish to share with you that we were inundated with messages of support and sympathy from a large number of churches of different denominations, the Synagogue, temples, Gurdwaras and leaders from statutory and voluntary organisations and people from the local neighbourhood assuring their support and promise to stand with the community in this difficult times.

    We would like to express our heart-felt gratitude to everyone who showed his concern and stood out in our support. We also like to inform you that the damage caused to the Mosque by a lone intruder was minor which was repaired by the members of the community almost instantly. We believe it was a spontaneous act of a person who was perhaps prompted by his friends and fascist elements in the local pub. where they might have been having good time.

    We take this opportunity to inform you that we are planning to hold a get together of the sympathisers over “tea and biscuits” described by the Christian Muslim Forum as “Tea Defence League” in very near future. We will be delighted to invite anyone interested. Please contact by email provided or mobile number 07957 150 869

    Anwar Khan
    Coordinator, KMWA

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