Wed, 05 Apr 2017
A MULTI-faith event to condemn last month's Westminster terror attack was held in Newbury town centre today (Wednesday).
The event, under the banner 'Not In My Name,' was organised by Newbury Mosque and Muslim Youth Group (MYG) to show solidarity with the bereaved and to remember those who were killed and injured.
Marchers walked from the mosque in Pound Street to Newbury Town Hall at 2pm.
A minute's silence for the victims of the attack - PC Keith Palmer, Kurt Cochran, Aysha Frade, and Leslie Rhodes - and a laying of flowers followed at 2.40pm.
Prayers led by Imam Mobasshir Mushtaq and the Rev David McLeod from St Mary’s Church in Greenham were followed by speeches from local Muslim leaders, Newbury MP Richard Benyon and the mayor of Newbury, Julian Swift-Hook.
The attack was carried out by Khalid Masood, who drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before crashing into railings outside the Palace of Westminster on March 22.
Masood then ran through the palace gates and stabbed PC Palmer before being shot by police.
A spokesman for Newbury's mosque congregation, Lucky Nizami, spoke from the town hall steps, telling those present: "Our thoughts and prayers are with those who lost loved ones in Westminster - heart and soul, we feel for the families.
"These were not the actions of a Muslim but an act of a terrorist who does not believe in God or humanity. We are British; we are British Muslims. And no one will take that away from us."
He added: "We stand side by side with the wider community; we are one."
Imam Mushtaq said: "We strongly condemn these acts of violence by some individual claiming to be acting in the name of Islam. We love our neighbours, we must love the whole of humanity and live in harmony with our neighbours of all faiths.
"By coming together here we're sending a message to the wider community that we won't be divided by acts of violence."
Newbury mayor Julian Swift-Hook said: "Not in my name and not in our name. This is a gesture of community solidarity in Newbury. There's strength in diversity as today shows. Those who seek to disrupt our way of life won't succeed."
Newbury MP Richard Benyon, who was in the House of Commons when the attack took place, said: "We have a thriving civic society here in Newbury and the fact that different faiths and different communities have come together like this sends a message to those who would seek to divide us."
Wreaths were laid on the town hall steps and those gathered observed a minute's silence for the victims.