Leaders from Peterborough’s communities have expressed their condolences following Friday’s events in Paris.
Mayor of Peterborough, Councillor John Peach, said: “A terrible atrocity took place in Paris on Friday which resulted in 129 people losing their lives and dozens left seriously injured. Our thoughts and prayers go to the French people and those of other nationalities, including several British citizens, caught up in this appalling attack.”
Speaking in Peterborough’s Cathedral Square on Monday 16 November to introduce a minute’s silence, he continued:
“Communities across Europe and other cities around the world are falling silent to show their support for the French nation and in honour of those who tragically lost their lives. I invite you to join me in a minute’s silence as we remember them.”
The Bishop of Peterborough, The Rt Revd Donald Allister, said: “I, along with all people of good will, was horrified at the attacks in Paris on Friday. Terrorists seek to create terror, to divide communities, to sow hatred. They must not succeed.
“As we pray for the victims of this outrage, we will also remember our neighbours in France, and the many Christians, Muslims, and others suffering in Syria. We stand beside all who are terrorised or persecuted. We work and pray for justice and for peace.
“We will also redouble our efforts to work and pray for good community relations in this country and especially here in Peterborough.”
Abdul M Choudhuri, chairman of Faizan e Madinah mosque on Gladstone Street, said: “The barbaric act by a few people in Paris is most shocking and deplorable and our entire community condemns it without any reservations.
“This week our mosque is hosting hundreds of people at a three-day religious seminar. What an irony that on one hand so many people are meeting to discuss religious harmony, peace, tolerance and love for human beings and on the other, half a dozen are killing innocent people.
“We can only pray that the Almighty Allah (God) shows such twisted-minded people a straight path.”
Dr Zahid Parvez, President of The UK Islamic Mission (UKIM), Masjid Khadijah and Islamic Centre on Cromwell Road said: “The UKIM is shocked and saddened at the horrific killings in Paris and strongly condemns these acts of terrorism unleashed on the people of Paris.
“Such acts of barbarity can never be justified, no matter what cause the perpetrators may claim to belong to. Yet again we see terrorists looking to divide our communities.
“These murderous acts are intended to strike fear in our hearts and divide us but we must not allow the killers to succeed in their plans and we must combat this evil together.
“We must remain united and resolute. Our thoughts and condolences go out to all those affected and their families during this very difficult period.”
Jayshree Mehta, President of the Bharat Hindu Samaj in Rock Road, issued the following statement: “I am writing on behalf of the members of Bharat Hindu Samaj, a Hindu Community in Peterborough, to express our most sincere sympathy and condolences to the victims and their families following the terrorist attack in Paris last Friday.
“There is never a just cause for such barbaric, mindless act of attack and killing innocent people anywhere, anytime. This terrorist attack is not just on people of Paris, France but on every decent, peace loving human being worldwide.
“Our hearts go out to the people of Paris and we condemn this act of mindless violence most vehemently.”
The Sikh Community of Peterborough provided the following statement: “The entire Sikh Community of Peterborough comes together to express our most sincere condolences and sympathy to all the victims, their families and France as a whole, following the devastating terrorist attack in Paris last Friday.
“This, in its entirety, is a heinous and most barbaric attack on humanity and human rights. The mindless act of killing innocent people anywhere is an act on us all.
“We can safely say that Sikhs across the entire world would agree with our feelings here in Peterborough. We are a peace loving community and our hearts go out to all the people of Paris and France and we condemn this mindless act of violence wholeheartedly.
“We collectively believe that such acts of barbarity can never be justified, ever. Such murderous acts are perpetrated to tear us apart, create fear in our hearts and divide us worldwide. But we must never allow these murderers to succeed. Together we can, and will combat and overcome this evil.
“We remember all that have suffered and are still suffering after this attack on humanity and freedom in our daily ‘Ardas’ (supplication) and in all our prayers.”