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Barcelona and Cambrils - Statement

Statement from the Co-Chairs of the Inter Faith Network for the UK and Moderators of the IFN Faith Communities Forum

NEWS RELEASE

18 August 2017

Our thoughts and prayers are with those killed and injured in Barcelona and Cambrils their families and friends and others affected by the terrorist attacks yesterday and early this morning.  

We condemn in the strongest possible terms the use of terrorist violence. It is a betrayal of the values of our different faith communities and of those of a democratic society.

In the UK, we have stood together in the face of a number of attacks in recent months. We have continued to work for a society where we live together peaceably, seeking to resolve differences through dialogue and within the framework of the law.  

Those who perpetrate acts of terror sometimes justify their actions on the basis of distorted and extreme interpretations of a religious tradition to which they have a link – despite the repeated rejection of their views by members of the community in question.  Because of that every time there is a terrorist attack there is a need to support communities that may be rendered vulnerable by it. There can be no space for prejudice which singles out any community because of criminal actions carried out by a few in the name of its religion.

The last few months have seen a rise in religiously motivated attacks, notably Islamophobia and Antisemitism but also affecting Sikhs, Hindus and others. As IFN has said in its guidance Looking After One Another: The Safety and Security of our Faith Communities, it is vital to report hate incidents and to work to counteract prejudice and hatred.  Also vital is responsible journalism: too often, of late, there have been examples of stories or opinion pieces which have the probable effect of compounding or stirring up prejudice. 

We close as we began, remembering all affected by the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils. Our thoughts go out to them and to all countries around the world currently affected by terrorism. Many will be holding vigils and times of prayer. We join our prayers to theirs.

The Inter Faith Network Co-Chairs and Faith Communities Forum Moderators

Notes for editors

  1. Press queries to Inter Faith Network: tel 020 7730 0410; email ifnet@interfaith.org.uk
  2. The Inter Faith Network for the UK www.interfaith.org.uk was founded in 1987 to advance public knowledge and mutual understanding of the teachings, traditions and practices of the different faith communities in Britain and to promote good relations between people of different faiths in this country. It works with its member bodies and others to carry out these aims.
  3. Member bodies of the Inter Faith Network include: national faith community representative bodies; national, regional and local inter faith bodies; and academic institutions and educational bodies concerned with inter faith issues. A list of member bodies can be found at http://www.interfaith.org.uk/members.
  4. A copy of this statement can be found at http://interfaith.org.uk/resources/statements-and-messages and a copy of IFN’s statement making policy at https://www.interfaith.org.uk/uploads/Policy_on_making_of_statements.pdf
  5. IFN’s recently issued guidance, Looking After One Another: The Safety and Security of our Faith Communities published in partnership with the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Home Office, the Crown Prosecution Service, the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the National Fire Chiefs’ Council can be found at: https://www.interfaith.org.uk/news/press-release-looking-after-one-another-the-safety-and-security-of-our-fai
    That document contains guidance on responding jointly to attacks on places of worship; working for calm at times of tension; and working to build on and strengthen existing good inter faith relations. It contains material about how and where to report hate incidents, cyber-attacks, and actual or suspected terrorist activity; where to find information on strengthening the security of buildings; and where to find information about working to build – and strengthen – good inter faith relations locally.