Original Date 26th May 2017
One thing I used to do when I was the Member of Parliament for Yardley was to call together meetings of all of the religious organisations in Yardley as a Yardley multi-faith group. In many ways it is the creation of informal links between people that makes communication easier even if there is no formal decision making power.
Obviously this is something I would intend to do again if the people of Yardley ask me to take on the responsibility of representing them in parliament.
It highlights the sort of thing that politicians can do which arises from a leadership role within communities rather than any constitutional position.
I have already written in an earlier blog post about the principles of resolving conflict. It can be summarised as "murdering innocents is wrong".
A number of local mosques have issued statements following the atrocity in Manchester and I think it is worth quoting from parts of them.
One said that the mosque "Unequivocally condemns the heinous act that was carried out on Greater Manchester.
We are shocked and saddened by the acts of mindless violence that took place at Manchester and our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost loved ones and with those that were injured during this incident.
This act of violence is utterly deplorable and one that will find no room in any community."
Another said: "We condemn this criminal action and we hope that the perpetrators are brought to justice where ever they may be."
"We urge everyone to stand shoulder to shoulder, united to eliminate all kinds of terrorism, extremism and barbarism from our society."
The nub of this, however, is that we all need to work together to eliminate terrorism. That means working with the police and authorities as necessary. It is not so much an issue for a government department, but a grassroots uprising against terrorism.
This was originally written after the Manchester Atrocity. It is clear following the attack in London that this is part of the way forward. We all need to support the authorities in dealing firmly with people who support the random murdering of innocent people.