Newham worshippers join more than 1,000 Ahmadi Muslims at vigil for terror victims
PUBLISHED: 15:52 04 April 2017 | UPDATED: 15:52 04 April 2017
More than 1,000 Ahmadi Muslims met on Westminster Bridge a week after the terrorist attack to remember its victims.
Members of the persecuted Ahmadiyya Muslim Association (AMA), which Pakistan deems non-Islamic, held a vigil at the bridge on Wednesday after 52-year-old Khalid Massood killed four people and injured about 50 in the attack on March 22.
About 200 worshippers from Baitul Ahad Mosque in Tudor Road, Upton Park, joined in prayer in what Mubashar Siddiqi, who chairs the Newham AMA branch, said was an effort to show respect to those affected by the attack.
“We lost innocent life, which is very tragic and a number of people were injured,” the 54-year-old said. “We came together with the community to say we are a peaceful people and there’s no room for any extremism whatsoever.”
Mubashar said Khalid’s Muslim identity made the AMA want to show London their peaceful interpretation of the religion by sharing their motto “love for all, hatred for none”.
“It’s very tragic and unfortunately there was a Muslim involved,” he said. “But it’s nothing to do with Islam, we have a peaceful message and wanted to show we are united against extremism.
“There’s no room for extremism at all, no matter the colour or religion.
“It’s absolutely wrong and our message is clear – our community wants to protect harmony in our country.”
Mubashar said he and fellow Muslims – including 55 from from Barking – wanted to counter Massood’s extremism by using their religion to honour the terrorist’s victims, which they did by holding a silent prayer.
“We had ‘love for all, hatred for nonw’ on banners and we brough flowers to show our respect,” he said. “We had a silent prayer, which is our Muslim tradition, to show our respect.
“We asked Allah almighty to make sure the injured receive the care they need and we prayed for all the people who lost their lives and their families.”