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Religious leaders unite to condemn terror attacks

“We, the under-noted religious leaders of Scotland, utterly condemn the recent attack on Glasgow airport and incidents in London, as we do all acts of terrorism and hope that the full force of the law will be brought to bear on those who perpetrate such violence against innocent people.

“At the same time, we wish to voice our concern that the public reaction to such acts is not mis-directed against others by association of race or religious belief, and in particular against the Asian community.

“As religious leaders, we affirm our view that any act of terrorism carried out in the name of religion is a gross perversion of the purpose of faith and is not supported by either the tenets of any of the faiths in Scotland nor by the vast majority of the followers of each faith.

“We hope that all of the people of Scotland will respond to this attack by reaching out and strengthening further the bonds of friendship which tie our communities together into one Scottish community and thus demonstrate the futility of violence.

“We therefore condemn any acts which target or taint members of a faith community and support the security services in protecting the public and enforcing the law.

“We give thanks that there were no injuries or fatalities.”

Rabbi Rubin, Giffnock Synagogue, says: “The perpetrators of these attacks do not represent religion of any kind and here in Scotland through the continual dialogue and friendship that exist between the faith communities we will work hard to ensure that the voices of true faiths, voices of love, understanding and respect, ring louder then the voices of hate.”

Allan Forsyth, Chair of the Baha’i Council for Scotland, says: “We are confident that this terrible attack on Glasgow Airport will not impact, at all, on the close relations between faith communities in Scotland and will only serve to strengthen it.”

The Most Rev Keith Patrick O’Brien, Cardinal and Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, says: “Like almost all Christians, I have the most friendly relationships with members of the other great world faiths, including those of the Muslim faith. Nothing must be allowed to destroy that friendship or the mutual respect we have for each other, even in times of crisis.”

Rt Rev Sheilagh Kesting, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, says: “I am happy to be associated with this statement. It is so important that as leaders of the different faiths we are able to stand together in the face of such atrocities and to condemn utterly any backlash there might be on the Asian community in our country.”

The statement has been endorsed by the following religious leaders of Scotland:

Imam Arif, Central Scotland Islamic Centre, Stirling.

Mr. Allan Forsyth, Baha’i Council for Scotland.

The Most Rev. Dr. Idris Jones, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church and Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway.

Rt Rev Sheilagh Kesting, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Acharyajee Mishra, Hindu Mandir.

The Most Rev. Keith Patrick O’Brien, Cardinal and Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh in the Roman Catholic Church.

Imam Habib ur Rahman, Glasgow Central Mosque.

The Venerable Rewatha, Sri Lankan Buddhist Centre.

Rabbi Moshe Rubin, Giffnock Synagogue.

Imam Mustaqeem Shah, UK Islamic Mission, Glasgow.

Mr. Bakhshish Deerhe Singh, Glasgow Gurdwara Council.

Rev Favian Straughan, Order of Buddhist Contemplatives in Scotland.

• Full story at the Church of Scotland.

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