Monday 25th March 2019
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15/03/2019 - Luton condemns Christchurch terror attack and opens book of condolence

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Laura Church, Hazel Simmons, Jon Boutcher

Luton’s communities have added their voices to the many millions of others around the world to strongly condemn the mosque attacks in Christchurch overnight.

Luton Council Leader Councillor Hazel Simmons MBE, said:  "We are absolutely heartbroken to hear the tragic news coming out of New Zealand today. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this horrific terrorist attack.

“It beggars belief that innocent people in places of worship were targeted in this way. The news has sent shockwaves around the world including within our own communities. Luton remains united against extremism in all its forms and will make sure it must never prevail."

Rehana Faisal, representing both the Sunni and Luton Council of Mosques, said: “There are many questions to be asked over the coming days and weeks. However, today we choose to stand in mourning at the devastating loss of our brothers and sisters and extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones.

“We pray that Allah, glorious and exalted, opens up the gates of Heaven to our brothers and sisters and that he grants their families, and all of us, the strength and courage to face the challenge of the coming days.”

Zafor Khan, Chair of the Luton Council of Faiths,  said: “This is yet another tragedy for humanity -  and our hearts go out to all those who have lost their loved ones as a result of this horrendous crime, but at times like this, we in Luton will all stand shoulder to shoulder and show our joint solidarity.”

Bedfordshire Police Chief Constable Jon Boutcher said: “What happened in New Zealand was truly unimaginable, particularly in a country which is considered safe from such inhuman behaviour. Hatred and division because of difference leads to unthinkable consequences.

“As always our strength in the face of such evil is togetherness. We will continue to work with all of our communities and partners across Luton and all of Bedfordshire to tackle hatred and ensure our communities are protected. 

Councillor Simmons and Mr Boutcher are visiting mosques in Luton today to give condolences and offer support.

Luton Council has also opened a book of condolence in the Town Hall reception which people are invited to sign.

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