Muslims leaders in Birmingham organised a peace rally at Victoria Squar on Saturday following Westminster attack, the Independentreported.
According to the British newspaper, the event, organised by the Birmingham Central Mosque, saw some 200 people participate with signs that read: “Not in our name – Muslims oppose IS.”
The Birmingham Mail reported that the event had representatives from all faiths participate, including the Church of England Bishop of Birmingham, David Urquhart.
“For too long, we’ve had militants in all communities, in Muslim and non-Muslim, who try to define us,” the Independent quotes religious leader Dr Waqar Azmi as he addressed the rally.
“The figures of far-right extremists do not define the British values that we hold,” he added.
“Those people who are IS do not define the values that Muslims would hold,” Dr Azmi said. “We refuse now to allow them to misrepresent us, and refuse now to allow them to define us.”
He went on to say, “Because we are defined by a shared value of love thy neighbour.”
According to Birmingham Mail, co-host of the event and former Birmingham city councillor, Salma Yaqoob told the crowd that “Birmingham has been portrayed as the militant capital of Britain so today it’s all about getting it across that it is not the case.”
“What that man did was a vile act which is condemned by Muslims and is most definitely not in our name,” she added.
Yaqoob’s statement was backed by the Bishop of Birmingham, who said: “After all the very negative publicity our city has had it’s very important that all the faiths come together.”
Also present at the rally was Henna Rai, the founder of Women Against Radicalisation Network (WARN), Independent said. “Like so many others, I felt compelled to come to this important event in Victoria Square,” she said.
“What happened in London was an appalling act, carried out by a pathetic individual. It was an indiscriminate attack on innocent people that sought to turn communities against one another,” she added.
“By standing together with people of all faiths and none, to reject hatred in all its forms, will we show terrorists and extremists that they can never divide us, they can never break our communities, and they can never win,” Rai stressed.
Those who rallied behind the religious leaders, took to Twitter to inform the world of the peace rally