Reaction: 'It isn't ideology, it's an attempt at mass murder'

I want to say one thing specifically to the world today. This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty and the powerful. It was not aimed at presidents or prime ministers.

It was aimed at ordinary, working-class Londoners, black and white, Muslim and Christian, Hindu and Jew, young and old.

It was an indiscriminate attempt to slaughter, irrespective of any considerations for age, for class, for religion or whatever.

That isn't an ideology, it isn't even a perverted faith, it is just an indiscriminate attempt at mass murder and we know what the objective is. They seek to divide Londoners.

I said yesterday to the International Olympic Committee that the city of London is the greatest in the world because everybody lives side-by-side in harmony.

Londoners will not be divided by the cowardly attack. They will stand together in solidarity alongside those who have been injured and those who have been bereaved and that is why I'm proud to be the Mayor of that city.

I wish to speak directly to those who came to London today to take life. I know that you personally do not fear giving up your own life in order to take others - that is why you are so dangerous. But I know you fear that you may fail in your long-term objective to destroy our free society.

Whatever you do, however many you kill, you will fail.

MICHAEL HOWARD, THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY LEADER:

We express our deepest sympathy to the families and friends of those who have lost lives and those who have been injured. We express our thanks and admiration for the heroic work of the emergency services and we fully support the Prime Minister in what he has said about our determination to defend and to protect our way of life. The country is completely united in its resolve to defeat and to deal with those who are responsible for these appalling acts.

DAVID DAVIS, THE SHADOW HOME SECRETARY:

This morning's explosions were acts of almost unspeakable depravity and wickedness - planned with the deliberate intention of taking innocent life.

CHARLES KENNEDY, THE LIBERAL DEMOCRAT PARTY LEADER:

Everybody's thoughts must be with those who have died or been injured and their families and friends. I want to pay tribute to the emergency services for their swift response. What has happened is appalling and those who carried out these attacks must be brought to justice.

These bombs have exploded as world leaders meet at Gleneagles. The moral contrast between those who seek to disrupt and destroy and those who are trying to build for the future could not be more stark. The terrorists must not prevail.

JOHN REID, THE DEFENCE SECRETARY:

The sun which set last night on joyous and happy celebrations in London, rose this morning to a day of awful criminal savagery.

THE QUEEN:

The dreadful events in London this morning have deeply shocked us all. I know I speak for the whole nation in expressing my sympathy to all those affected and the relatives of the killed and injured. I have nothing but admiration for the emergency services as they go about their work

ROWAN WILLIAMS, THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY:

All those caught up in this tragedy, including the emergency services whose selfless dedication and commitment are so vital at times like this, are in my prayers and in the prayers of a great many people.

As it happens I have spent this morning with Muslim colleagues and friends here in West Yorkshire and were are as one in our condemnation of this evil and in our shared sense of care and compassion of those affected in whatever way.

GEORGE STACK, THE ROMAN CATHOLIC AUXILIARY BISHOP OF WESTMINSTER:

I'm saddened, shocked, and have really a feeling of great sadness.

I have spoken to several people and there is a tremendous air of surreal calm. It might be artificial, but it's calm. Londoners have great resilience in response to things like this and there is no overt panic. There is a desire to get on.

Life is made up sometimes of emotions which are extreme and you measure the strength of a nation by the way that you cope with extremes like this.

THE RT REV STEPHEN OLIVER, THE BISHOP OF STEPNEY:

Whoever caused this atrocity we are determined that the reaction to it will not be one which divides our communities, but brings us closer together because we share a common life here in the East End of London. Everybody is caught up in this and everybody is suffering from it. Remember the peace we have enjoyed so far, keep calm. Don't panic and don't be afraid.

STATEMENT FROM THE MUSLIM COUNCIL OF BRITAIN:

These evil deeds makes victims of us all. The evil people who planned and carried out these series of explosions in London want to demoralise us as a nation and divide us as a people.

All of us must unite in helping the police to capture these murderers.

LORD CONDON, THE FORMER METROPOLITAN POLICE COMMISSIONER:

Historically, London has shown its resolve in the face of terrorism and attacks on its transport system by getting the system back into full operation as quickly as possibly.

Decision-makers today will be faced with a hard decision of when to go live again with the transport system. I hope they won't delay a minute longer than is necessary because, by getting our system back on the road as quickly as possible, we deny the oxygen of publicity to the terrorists for any second longer than they deserve.

THE RT REV RICHARD CHARTRES, THE BISHOP OF LONDON:

The attack on London is not an attack on presidents and men of power but an attack on ordinary Londoners. The bombs went off without warning and were obviously intended to cause indiscriminate slaughter of Londoners, Christians and Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, all without distinction.

DR MOHAMMED ABDUL BARI, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE EAST LONDON MOSQUE:

We are shocked an horrified by this in this community. We really do not know how to express our anger and disgust for this.

BARONESS UDDIN OF BETHNAL GREEN, MUSLIM LABOUR PEER:

It is at a time like this that the record of London as a united and multicultural society can shine as hope for all those who will defy the outrage besieging London. No act of terror will prevent continuing the good work of this government and I ask that authorities do everything they can to ensure that anti-Muslim backlash is avoided, given the speculations over the perpetrators.

JONATHAN SACKS, THE CHIEF RABBI:

It is not the weapon of the weak against the strong but the rage of the angry against the defenceless and innocent. It is an evil means to an evil end.

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