London: To ensure peace and harmony among interfaith groups, members of Islamic, Jewish, Christian, Hindu and Sikh communities came together in a city in the UK to discuss the raging conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The UN has said that the Middle East “is on the verge of the abyss” with the ongoing spell of violence entering the 10th day on Monday, leaving nearly 4,000 dead and scores of others injured.
Interfaith leaders from Nottingham, along with City Councillor Sajid Mohammed, gathered at the Council House last week to discuss the escalating conflict and reaffirm the established local relationships in place.
“They expressed sadness at what has happened over the past few weeks in the region and made a strong commitment to ensuring that no division is felt in their city,” a Nottingham City Council release said.
Councillor Mohammed, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods, Safety and Inclusion at Nottingham City Council, said that hate will not be tolerated in the city. “I know we have different political and personal beliefs, but I am strong in my conviction that these things make this city special. We must continue to respect each other’s views and live harmoniously together,” he said.
“We understand the gravity of the situation but as civic and faith leaders, we want to make absolutely clear that discrimination – in any form – will not be tolerated here.”
The meeting of interfaith community leaders in the UK comes as an elderly landlord in the US city of Chicago stabbed his six-year-old Palestinian-American tenant 26 times because the child and his mother were Muslims.
Joseph M Czuba, 71, who had been agitated due to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, stabbed mother Hanaan Shahin (32) and her son Wadea Al-Fayoume (six) on Saturday with a 12-inch serrated military style knife that had a seven-inch blade.
Francesca Albanese, UN Special Rapporteur, has warned that Palestinians are in grave danger of mass ethnic cleansing and called on the international community to urgently mediate a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel.