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Terror will not polarise our communities, say faith leaders

Faith leaders at a vigil outside Westminster Abbey last Thursday (Getty)

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, has signed an open letter stating that religious groups “will not be shaken in their pursuit of peace, friendship and collaboration” after last week’s terrorist attack at Westminster.

The letter, published in The Times on Wednesday, was also signed by a number of prominent religious leaders including: Ephraim Mirvis, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth; The Most Rev Justin Welby; Moulana Shahid Raza; Sheikh Khalifa Ezzat; Sheikh Qari Asim and Sheikh Mohammad Al Hilli.

“Terror seeks to intimidate and divide us,” the letter reads, “In fact, it has the opposite effect. A week on from Wednesday’s appalling attack, we remain united in our resolve that this cowardice will not polarise our communities.”

Three pedestrians were killed when Khalid Masood drove a car at high speed into crowds on Westminster Bridge last week.

After crashing the car outside the Palace of Westminster, Mr Masood fatally stabbed PC Keith Palmer before being shot by armed police.

In their open letter, the religious leaders condemned the attack before adding: “To those who believe they struck a blow against freedom and democracy with this cold-blooded murder we say this: There is no act so evil that it can drive apart those who love peace.”

Earlier today, people of all faiths gathered on Westminster Bridge to mark the one week anniversary of the attack.