Islington Tribune
Publications by New Journal Enterprises
  Home Archive Competition Jobs Tickets Accommodation Dating Contact us
Islington Tribune - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published: 6 February 2009
Keep our streets safe

• WE are writing as individual Muslims and Christians, who worship at churches and mosques but have met regularly in Finsbury Park for the last 18 years to encourage greater understanding between our faiths.
Many people of faith in Finsbury Park are extremely distressed at what has been happening in and around Gaza. The deaths and suffering of innocent people know no religion and we utterly condemn violence in all its forms and manifestations.
Faith communities in Islington, as elsewhere in Britain and indeed in any part of the world, must stand together to keep our streets safe and prevent them becoming staging posts of vengeance against violence in another part of the world.
 The killing of civilians wherever it happens distresses us all. However, we should not allow this to cloud our thinking and our judgment.
We should find strategic and legitimate ways of expressing our faith and not indulge in violence towards our fellow citizens in this country.
The three Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, have much in common. We should draw strength from this.
God is the Light of the heavens and the earth, a light that encompasses us all.
So, where there is strife let us bring peace, where there is discord let us bring harmony, and where there is despair let us bring hope. Peace be with us all.
 Saeed AbdulRahim with Rev Stephen Coles
Co-conveners of Finsbury Park Interfaith Dialogue Group
Fr David Ardagh-Walters
St Mellitus Church
Rev Dr David Curtis
Whittington Hospital
Rev Martin Hawkes
St John The Evangelist
Abdi Rahman Jabril
Somali Human Hope
Fr Clive Lee
St Thomas the More Church
Sister Elizabeth O’Donohoe
Imam Ahmad Saad
North London Central Mosque
Dr Ahmad Mahir Sabik
Muslim Welfare House
Sister Sigrid Werner

I AM a member of Islington Friends of Yibna (IFY) and the daughter of a British sailor decorated for bravery in the Second World War. I am writing to Prime Minister Gordon Brown to dispute his proposed use of British ships to prevent arms smuggling into Gaza.
The only honourable role for the British navy would be instead that of providing protection for the “Free Gaza” boats from Israeli attacks. They have delivered two supplies of nutritional baby powder from IFY to Yibna.
My family are acutely aware of the historical moral debt that successive British governments owe to the Palestinian people, which has yet to be repaid.
We held their land in trust under the Mandate in Palestine, but failed to secure and return it to them.
Now, following the horrific Israeli onslaught on Gaza, with further deliberately “disproportionate” attacks being threatened, we should take the international lead in lifting the siege, starting with an immediate opening up of their coastal waters. I regard this as both a political and a humanitarian imperative. This is our patriotic duty. Appeasement of Israel is not.

ON December 2008, a transcription of Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Livni’s press release was posted on the Israeli embassy website.
It stated: “Israeli citizens have been under the threat of daily attacks from Gaza for years.” False! The Palestinian people, ethnically cleansed from their lands by the paramilitary Jewish gangs during the final year of the British Mandate, have since been under attack by the Israeli state.
It also stated: “Until now we have shown restraint. But today there is no other option than a military operation.” False! The right option is for Israel to accept Palestine’s right to self-determination and to negotiate with Hamas instead of provoking armed responses.
Finally, the press release said: “The responsibility for harm of civilians lies with Hamas.” False! According to the Geneva Convention, the responsibility for the safety and well-being of a besieged population lies with the occupying and attacking power.
Unravelling the onslaught in Gaza, John Pilger reflected that: “....what goes on in Gaza is the defining moment of our time, which either grants war criminals impunity and immunity through our silence, or it gives us the power to speak out.”
Sandstone Place, N19

Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to Deadline for letters is midday Wednesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld . Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

Comment on this article.
(You must supply your full name and email address for your comment to be published)







Theatre Music
Arts & Events Attractions