Faith communities across Brighton & Hove stand together as One Voice
The Brighton & Hove ‘One Voice Partnership’ stands together in solidarity following the terrorist incident in Vienna yesterday. With heavy hearts, but with firm resolve, we stand united and together against all forms of hate and violence.
Together we speak with one voice against all forms of hate, extremist perspectives, and terrorist actions in the city and elsewhere.
We send our deepest sympathies to the families of those who have lost their loved ones, those who have been injured, and all affected communities. Our thoughts and prayers are with victims and their families and communities in Vienna and across the world.
The incident in Vienna has closely followed several incidents in France and Saudi Arabia last week. The number of tragic incidents in a short span of time and the mass shooting of people trying to enjoy an evening out before further lockdown has deeply shocked and saddened us all.
Together we stand firm that these acts of violence and hate must not go any further. We must look out for each other and not let these actions divide us.
Mahir Chowdhury, the Chair of the Racial Harassment Forum had previously summed up our ethos: "We strongly condemn the mass shooting and killing of innocent people. We do not tolerate violence against innocent people, wherever it takes place."
Rabbi Andrea Zanardo of Brighton & Hove Reformed Synagogue said: "Several members of the Jewish community of Brighton & Hove are children or grandchildren of refugees, not a few from Vienna. Terrorism in that city has an impact on all of us and our sense of safety and well-being."
During this global pandemic and prolonged period of uncertainty, we are reminded of our interconnections every day.
We see and share each other’s pain.
We rejoice in the preciousness and resilience of human life, when a 71-year-old and a baby are pulled out of the building rubble following earthquake in Turkey.
The Chair of the Interfaith Contact Group of Brighton & Hove, Rev Anthea Ballam said: "These are dark and fearful times. The loss of innocent life is always a tragic shock, and this incident, near the Seitenstettengasse Synagogue in Vienna, reminds us of the horrific nature of terrorist acts by those with extreme grievances.
"In Brighton & Hove, we are blessed with Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities that are open, receptive and communicate freely with each other. They are aware of the pain of loss for each other’s communities in the face of terrorist attacks. It is crucial that open dialogue remains between people of faith if we are to overcome such acts of aggression."
At such difficult times, the resilience, love and compassion shown by communities confirms our belief that standing together in solidarity and increasing trust between the communities is the way forward.
The One Voice partnership reaffirms its commitment for Brighton & Hove’s ‘city values’ based on pluralism, equality, fairness and respect for all. It’s now even more important for all our communities to demonstrate that we will not let any terrorist action divide us and continue our great tradition of unity and respect for all.
Reporting suspicious activities
The threat level from terrorism to the UK has been increased to ‘Severe’ meaning an attack is highly likely. The increase in threat level from ‘Substantial’ to Severe on Tuesday 3 November 2020 is a precautionary measure and is not based on any specific threat.
The public should continue to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the police
Co-operation between the public and the police is the greatest asset in tackling the challenge the UK faces from terrorism.
Sussex Police and Brighton & Hove City Council ask our residents and communities to remain aware and to report any suspicious behaviour or activity immediately by calling the confidential anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321 or 999 in an emergency.
You can also report to Sussex Police on their website.
For further information and support, go to the preventing terrorism and extremism information on our safe in the city website or visit www.gov.uk/ACT.
Reporting hate incidents and seeking support
One Voice members urge everyone to be aware and encourage residents and communities to report any racist, religiously motivated, and all forms of hate incidents within our communities.
Our community safety team works closely with the police and our communities to prevent anti-social behaviour and hate incidents and support people affected.
If you have been a victim of a hate incident, our community safety team are here to support you and provide advice. You can contact our team by:
- using our online anti-social behaviour and hate incident reporting form
- emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- calling 01273 292 735 - in an emergency, always call the police on 999
You can also report hate incidents to Sussex Police or call them on 101 if it’s not an emergency.
If you are worried or concerned about how the incident has affected you or any of your communities, please contact our Prevent Coordinator on Channel.Prevent@brighton-hove.gov.uk and we will ensure that, together with other statutory partners, we will respond to community concerns.
Faith and other organisations can also use the Counter Terrorism Police’s online training package ‘ACT Awareness eLearning’ for advice on Protective Security and how to respond.