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‘Don’t let right-wing racists divide us’

Anti-racist and faith groups lead vigil for terrorist attack victims

FAITH organisations joined forces with civil rights campaigners last night to condemn the recent London terror attack. Organisations of all faiths and campaigners against racism and Islamophobia called a series of unity vigils in response to the attacks in Westminster, which saw the deaths of four people plus the attacker.

As of last night two further “significant” arrests have been made in connection with the Westminster attack bringing the total number of those arrested in the wake of the attack to nine.

Scotland Yard’s top anti-terror officer Mark Rowley said the suspects were held overnight in the West Midlands and Manchester areas as he revealed that the killer’s birth name was Adrian Russell Ajao.

The attacker was apparently using the name Khalid Masood at the time he carried out the atrocity.

Asked about where the 52-year-old Muslim convert had been radicalised, Mr Rowley said: “As I have said, our investigation focuses on understanding his motivation, preparation and associates.

“While there is no evidence of further threats, you will understand our determination to find out if he either acted totally alone and was inspired by terrorist propaganda; or, if others have encouraged, supported or directed him.”

Yesterday’s demonstrations, called by Stand up to Racism, Muslim Engagement and Development — a Muslim-funded NGO dedicated to tackling Islamophobia — and supported by the Muslim Council of Britain and members of the Jewish community, aim to diffuse the potential backlash stemming from the attacks.

Muslim Council of Britain National Council’s Talha Ahmad said: “Terrorism and murder have no religion. The murders of Jo Cox and Mohamed Saleem show hatred is not unique to any one community.”

New North London Synagogue’s Rabbi Lee Wax urged people to “respond to hatred with love and with unity.”

And Stand up to Racism coconvenor Sabby Dhalu said: “We strongly condemn this incident. We must unite against hatred. We cannot allow self serving right-wing racists to divide us — if we do hatred wins. “Terrorism has no religion or nationality.”

A fund established to support the family of PC Keith Palmer, one of those killed, has so far received over £500,000 in donations. The family of Mr Palmer are said to be “overwhelmed” by the amount received.


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