15 August 2006

Joint Statement from Faith Community Leaders in High Wycombe following recent arrests under anti-terrorism legislation

"As representatives of the Christian and Muslim communities of High Wycombe, we are united in our sense of shock, disbelief and pain at the unfolding events of last week.

"We are from different faith traditions, but are one community. High Wycombe has a long history of multiculturalism and good race relations, and we are proud to live together as neighbours and friends.

"At this time of uncertainty, we find reassurance in the core values that unite us. In particular, we reaffirm our commitment to the enduring principles of peace, justice and truth. All human life is of infinite value and we abhor the loss or threat of loss of life, wherever that occurs.

"We urge politicians and the media to be judicious in their use of language at a time of heightened sensitivities - to consider carefully what will contribute to and what will undermine healing in our community and the restoration of mutual trust and respect.

"We have a common vision for our town - of a place of tolerance, harmony and reconciliation. Over the coming weeks, we are committed to working together to ensure that that vision is a reality, and invite everyone to join us in this endeavour."

Signed by:
Rev David Picken, Vicar, All Saints Parish Church
Imam Sultan Mahmood, Totteridge Mosque
Rev Michael Hughes, Superintendent minister, High Wycombe Methodist Circuit
Cllr Rafiq Raja, Chairman of Muslim Parents Association
Father Willie Strain, Saint Augustine's RC Church
Hon Burgess A.D.K. Raja
Rebecca Hickman, Wycombe Sharing of Faiths
Amjad Iqbal, Trustee, Wycombe Islamic Society
Chaudry Shafique, Head of Equal Opportunities & Community Development, BCUC, and Vice Chair of Wycombe Racial Incidents Group

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