Friday, August 05, 2005

Commemoration at al-Khoei foundation

Yesterday evening I went to an inter-faith commemoration ceremony at the Al-Khoei Foundation for those who died in the 7 July London bombs. It was the first time I had been back to see these friends since 2 April last year (see this report).

There were speakers and prayers from senior representatives of the Church of England, the Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches, the Jewish community, Shia and Sunni preachers, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist leaders and others.

A lot to reflect on. I don't have time to do it right now. Two or three things quickly:

  • The grief and in some cases anger of people of such diverse backgrounds who have made their homes in Britain or grown up here in non-indigenous traditions at the attacks on the country and the city they love as well as on the beauty that the find in their lives through faith.
  • Mehri Niknam of the Maimonedes Foundation on the desecration of "her beautiful beloved" (God), reading from Hafez and Rumi in Persian and talking of the glories of wine (unusual in a mosque, I guess)
  • Prof Daoud Noibi of the Nigerian Muslim Association - a powerful man (slightly resembling Morgan Freeman) whose voice was on the edge of tears.

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