On the 5th of June, Forward Thinking’s director, Oliver McTernan, was invited to attend and speak at the ‘One London, One Community’, press conference held at the East London Mosque, in the wake of the horrific attack on London Bridge.
Please find the full transcript of the Director’s speech below:
Borough Market is our local street market. A few hours before the attackers struck my wife and I sat outside Arthur Hooper’s enjoying an early evening meal. The news of the atrocities brought home to us the random nature of the violence and our common vulnerability.
I think it’s very important that we keep in focus, that no explanation, no excuse, can justify the atrocities in London Bridge, Manchester and previously in Westminster. Whatever their motivation. Whatever their self-proclaimed cause. These are criminal acts and should be dealt with as such. I’m here this evening to first of all express condolences to the victim’s families, sympathy to the injured and solidarity with this community.
The Muslim community here in East London, as elsewhere in Britain, is also a victim of such random acts of senseless violence perpetrated in the name of their faith. It’s very important, at a time like this for us to remind ourselves that the Muslim communities throughout Britain are not the problem. They are part of the solution.
What is called for at present is a willingness to embrace with a new openness each of the communities both as neighbours and fellow citizens. We need to work together, so that we can share our common values in a way that we can make Britain a safer society for peoples of all different backgrounds and different faiths.