FEMALE faith leaders for Oxford held a ‘peace symposium’ this week to reject the hatred stirred by the New Zealand terror attack.

More than 30 religious representatives attended the event aiming to celebrate diversity, unity and solidarity.

City councillor for Cowley Marsh Lubna Arshad, who joined the get-together at Richard Benson Hall, said it had come at a ‘critical time’.

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She went on: “It was great to see that residents from across Oxford of different faiths and non faiths attended and stood in solidarity following the horrific attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand.


“We stand in solidarity against those who seek to divide us and break our communities and destroy our way of life will never succeed.

“We reject their hatred and condemn these Islamophobic, far-right terrorist attacks: all people, no matter their faith or belief, have the right to worship peacefully.”

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She added: “Let us show that hope, unity and love always trump fear, division and hatred, and let our friends in Christchurch feel the ripples of compassion from our city.”

The event was organised by the Lajna Ima’illah (women auxiliary) of The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.


President Samreen Uppal said: “The event promoted a deeper understanding of Islam with the role of women who by example are the nation builders, in whose hands are the future generation.

“It is our duty to teach them by example, compassion, kindness, generosity tolerance for all and to give back to society.”

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The Oxford Council of Faiths also issued a statement in response to the events in New Zealand, writing: “We are horrified by the murder of 50 Muslims in New Zealand while they worshipped. We ask for love instead of hatred; acts of kindness instead of acts of violence, and tolerance in place of bigotry.”