As VOICES in Britain we are devastated by the recent attack in Manchester against innocent children, teenagers and young adults. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their loved ones and the people of Manchester.
We join the chorus of voices from across the country and world in calling for the perpetrators, their collaborators, and enablers to face the full force of justice. We take this opportunity to pay tribute to the police and emergency services that responded heroically on the day.
As a nationwide network for Hizmet-inspired organisations in Britain, many of our member organisations are already engaged in developing and disseminating a positive counter-narrative to extremism, while many more of our members have long been working on building resilience and solidarity within society to inoculate against reactionary mind-sets. Following this appalling event in Manchester we have called upon all our member organisations, whatever their remit, to revisit their objectives and redouble their efforts to engage in projects that either directly or indirectly undermine the pathways to violent extremism.
Therefore, in addition to their on-going projects aimed at tackling violent extremism, directly or otherwise, our member organisations pledge to do the following within the next 30 days:
Time To Help UK has already launched a fundraising campaign for the families of the victims on JustGiving;
To organise a fundraising campaign for the families of the victims and the Manchester emergency services (Summit Society);
To pledge all donations made to the mosque over the next Friday prayer to the fundraising campaign (Mevlana Rumi Mosque);
To pledge all money raised at the Northampton Big Iftar Dinner to the fundraising campaign (Spring Educational Society);
To organise three “Dialogue in Islam” seminars at mosques and community centres in London and beyond to teach a positive counter narrative (Dialogue Society);
and to organise ten Big Iftar Dinners during the month of Ramadan to reinforce our message of communal solidarity.
We know this is not enough, but hope that by pooling our energy and resources, we can take a step beyond condemnation.