Thousands of people from different faiths gathered in London’s Trafalgar Square to participate in a prayer vigil after an attacker killed three people on Wednesday (March 22).
Londoners called for unity and peace in the face of what police designated as a “terror incident.” The attacker drove an SUV into a crowd of people on Westminster Bridge, killing two and injuring around 30 others. He also stabbed and killed a police officer outside Parliament before he was shot and killed himself. The Islamic State took responsibility for the attack.
The roughly 5,000 people who gathered for the prayer vigil used the hashtag “#WeAreNotAfriad to show that they were not going to allow an act of terrorism to destroy their peace or solidarity with each other. They lit candles and observed a moment of silence for the victims.
London’s Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan spoke to the crowd, along with Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Metropolitan Police Acting Commissioner Craig Mackey.
'We have come together to spread a clear message: Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism,' Khan stated.
Muslims attended the vigil alongside Catholics and those of other faiths. Some Muslims held signs saying “Not in my name.”
General Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, stated, “This attack was cowardly and depraved. There is no justification for this act whatsoever. The best response to this outrage is to make sure we come together in solidarity and not allow the terrorists to divide us.”
Pope Francis also said he was “deeply saddened” by the attack and the Archbishop of Canterbury stated, “That speaks of – at this time of year as we look forward to Holy Week and Easter – of a God who stands with the suffering, and brings justice, and whose resurrection has given to believer and unbeliever the sense that where we do what is right; where we behave properly; where that generosity and extraordinary sense of duty that leads people to treat a terrorist is shown; where that bravery of someone like PC Keith Palmer is demonstrated, that there is a victory for what is right and good; over what is evil, despairing and bad.”
Photo: A message is left with flowers near the scene of yesterday's attack, on March 23, 2017 in London, England. Four people including the assailant have been killed and around 40 people injured following yesterday's attack outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster.
Photo courtesy: Carl Court/Getty Images
Publication date: March 24, 2017