One aim of those behind this week’s savage and brutal attack in Woolwich on young soldier Lee Rigby was to divide our communities.
Across the country, this cannot be allowed to happen. Here in Croydon, I can say with confidence it will never happen.
Whether it is condemning the extremists who carried out the attack, or the extremists such as the EDL, the English Defence League, who took to the streets of south London on Wednesday night, there is one message that is repeated across Croydon: “You do not speak for us and you do not represent us.”
Croydon’s population is wonderfully diverse and our inter-faith and -community links are strong. In fact, even in the Town Hall where our politics sometimes divide us, I pay tribute to colleagues of both main political parties for always coming together to condemn the politics of those extremists such as the BNP, or those who twist religion to attempt to justify the acts of hate and murder we’re have seen on the streets of south London.
Croydon may have many challenges ahead, but we face those challenges united across different religious and ethnic communities, knowing that the ties that bind us together are far stronger than anything those who seek to divide us could ever even dream about.
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