Muslim leaders hold peace rally in wake of Westminster terror attack

'The figures of far-right extremists do not define the British values that we hold,' speaker tells crowd in Birmingham

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The Independent Online

Muslim faith leaders have led a peace rally in Birmingham following the Westminster terror attack.

More than 200 people turned out in Victoria Square, holding banners that read “Not in our name - Muslims oppose Isis”, in an event organised by Birmingham Central Mosque.

Surrounded by civic and multi-faith religious leaders, Dr Waqar Azmi told the crowd: “For too long, we've had terrorist and extremists in all communities, in Muslim and non-Muslim, who try to define us.

“The figures of far-right extremists do not define the British values that we hold.

“Those people who are Daesh and Isis do not define the values that Muslims would hold.

“We refuse now to allow them to misrepresent us, and refuse now to allow them to define us.

“Because we are defined by a shared value of love thy neighbour.”

Henna Rai, founder of Women Against Radicalisation Network (WARN), said: “Like so many others, I felt compelled to come to this important event in Victoria Square.

“What happened in London was an appalling act, carried out by a pathetic individual. It was an indiscriminate attack on innocent people that sought to turn communities against one another.

“By standing together with people of all faiths and none, to reject hatred in all its forms, will we show terrorists and extremists that they can never divide us, they can never break our communities, and they can never win.”