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Working Together for Peace and Unity in Luton

Working Together for Peace and Unity in Luton

Categories: Latest News

Wednesday May 27 2009

  On Tuesday, the Daily Mail reported about a ‘March for England’ which took place in Luton on Sunday and which descended into rioting and the arrest of nine people. The march was supported by a local group called the ‘United People of Luton’.

The Mail cites a spokesman for United People of Luton, saying that many people in the town were concerned that the Muslim community had not taken steps to deal with the Muslim protestors and their ‘hate-filled preachings’.

The paper also reports that an Asian man was assaulted, three windscreens smashed and the window of a takeaway restaurant broken during the skirmishes.

Wayne King said: ‘We decided enough was enough after the soldiers got heckled as they marched through the town centre by the Muslim extremists. A mosque in the town got set on fire a few weeks ago and it made national news but churches in Luton are regularly being set fire to.’

Well, this local initiative between the Luton Council of Mosques (LCM) and Churches Together in Luton (CTL) will come as some surprise then to the ‘United People of Luton’.

Some 60 Muslims and Christians, supported by people of other faiths and no faith, created a platform to work for peace and unity. A statement issued by the group, Peace in Luton reads:

In recent weeks Luton has again been seen in the media as a place of Islamic extremism and rising nationalist extremism. Yet the reality is that these are small extremist groups, and do not represent the majority of the community.

‘As Muslims and Christians in Luton we are committed to grow in understanding of each other and to work together for good.  In doing so we are inspired and challenged by words that lie at the heart of each of our Holy Scriptures, where we are commanded to love God and love our neighbour.

As neighbours in this town, we need to discover the things that unite us, and celebrate those. Where we are different we are committed to seek understanding and trust, rather than resorting to hatred and strife.  Let us respect each other, be fair, just and kind to one another and live in sincere peace, harmony and mutual goodwill.

In this time of tension we are calling for people of all communities and every area of life in Luton, and especially those elected to local and national governments, and all candidates in the upcoming European elections to join us and support us in this task.

‘Since Wednesday [20 May], we have written to the candidates in the coming European elections, urging them to express their commitment to the peace and welfare of the community in Luton and all its people of every faith and none, and to oppose all forms of prejudice, hatred, racism and religious intolerance. We also are asking all outlets (Luton Borough Council, University, Colleges and Schools, for example) to support this initiative of promoting harmony and peace in the town.

We want to champion what is positive and constructive to the people of Luton, irrespective of their faith, colour or ethnicity. This initiative is about us all being kind, caring and friendly to our neighbours – especially a neighbour of another faith or background. We want to encourage you to have your say, that you are committed to this, and to making it clear that Luton is a town where Muslims and Christians and people of all faiths and none are friends.

‘We invite you to express your support by visiting our website, www.PeaceInLuton.org.uk and by following the link to the commitment / petition, and also to join us on our Facebook page:  Working Together for Peace and Unity in Luton.’

Contrast the efforts of the Luton Council of Mosques and Churches Together in Luton with that of those who not only participated in Sunday’s demo but have spoken out in defence of the violence that ensued.

Lionheart over on his blog argues:

‘Islam has taken over Luton, and the police and council have done nothing but sit back and allow it to happen.The people of Luton have now arisen to reclaim their community!!!

‘How do you expect them to do it?

‘No one thinks that removing the militant wing of Islam from our land is going to be easy, and if the government will not do it then the people will, and they will quite obviously be wearing balaclavas to do that, because the government will come down on them for defending their community. So decide where you stand and who you stand with.’

We’d rather be standing on the side of Peace in Luton.


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