Murder of Private Lee Rigby: Seeking a positive response

100daysFollowing the recent tragic murder of Private Lee Rigby, the Westminster Justice and Peace Commission wishes to convey deep sympathy and prayers to his family and friends.

We of course deplore all violent crime on our streets, particularly where innocent young people are targeted. We applaud the courage and faith shown by families who have lost children to street crime, such as the Mizens and the Dinnegans, in working with young people and the public to establish better communication between different communities, as well as protection for young people.

mosqueopendayopendayschoolsWe deplore, moreover, the many anti-Muslim attacks which have been sparked by Lee Rigby’s murder, and see the building of better community links as a positive way forward. At the Justice and Peace Commission we are trying to promote community events with our Muslim neighbours, as a way of reducing tension, and as a way of getting to know people outside our familiar circles. Currently we are building on last year’s ‘Peace Games’ held in Finsbury Park, with a similar follow-up event on June 30th at the same venue, involving churches and other faith communities. We note that local mosques are trying to open their doors to the community, and feel it is our duty to respond to their need for understanding and acceptance. The tiny, violent and radicalised minority will flourish in an atmosphere of hostility and alienation. Building ‘peace’ bridges is a simple exercise many churches can undertake.