Faith communities across Brighton & Hove stand together as One Voice
The Brighton & Hove ‘One Voice Partnership’ stands together in solidarity following the tragic incidents at the Notre Dame church in Nice yesterday and other incidents in France and Saudi Arabia recently.
The number of tragic incidents in a short span of time has deeply shocked and saddened us all. 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.
Mahir Chowdhury, chair of the Racial Harassment Forum said: “We strongly condemn the killing of innocent people and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.
“We do not tolerate violence against innocent people, wherever it takes place.
“Together we speak with one voice against all forms of hate, extremist perspectives, and terrorist actions in the city and elsewhere.
“Together we stand firm that these acts of violence and hate must not go any further.”
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.
Rev Anthea Ballam, chair of the city’s Interfaith Contact Group said: “On Thursday 29 October, the Interfaith Contact Group of Brighton & Hove held its monthly interfaith prayer meeting via Zoom, attended by people of diverse faiths.
“We shared in prayer for both the victims and the perpetrators of the knife attack in the Notre Dame basilica in Nice.
“There followed an emotional and deeply felt moment of respect, in total silence, for 15 to 20 minutes in which we prayed for those of all faiths involved.
“The Interfaith Contact Group serves all religious groups in our city, and is committed to bringing together people of faith, and none, so that we may live together in peace, love and harmony."
Metropolitan Jerome of Selsey and chair of the city’s Faith Council and Brighton & Hove Faith in Action Board of Trustees said: “Ongoing dialogue between faith groups in local communities building trust and paths of communication with each other is essential to prevent the further polarisation of our societies.”
“The current global pandemic serves as a reminder that we are all interconnected, we share each other’s pain.”
Sabri Ben-Ameur of the Brighton & Hove Muslim Forum, said: “Terrorism has many faces, we must honestly and justly take steps to challenge them all, bring our communities together and not allow such tragedies to divide our communities.
“The Brighton & Hove Muslim Forum, like many other Muslim organisations, stand in solidarity with the French nation and everyone who seeks to challenge this heinous crime.”
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.
Reporting suspicious activities
The threat level from terrorism to the UK remains at ‘Substantial’, meaning an attack is likely. The police and other agencies continue to work to keep the public safe.
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 email@example.com
- 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.