GAZA STATEMENT – Kent Muslim Welfare Association

We pray for the innocent victims and the families of those in and around Gaza. We grieve for them and stand with them.

We know that this latest eruption of violence and death is just part of an ongoing struggle whereby a desperate population has lived under extremely oppressive conditions, having seen their loved ones killed, their homes taken, and their livelihoods and futures deprived. They have been described as ‘human animals’ by an oppressive regime which has become more and more extreme, and are living under what can best be described as an apartheid situation.

We understand that the middle east has remained a difficult and complex problem for many decades and opinions are passionate and fashioned by strong religious beliefs and cultural practices.

We believe that Muslims, Christians and Jews should have the right to a peaceful existence. We believe they should have the right to live together with equal and fair rights. We believe that no one group should be oppressed over another, or treated differently. We believe that people have a right to their life, their property, their family and their livelihood.

We stand against indiscriminate bloodshed and extremist measures from any group or organisation or government which supports this.

We would urge all governments to tackle the root causes of the situation rather than pertuating the ongoing cycles of death and violence by blindly and hypocritically turning a blind eye to international law whereby the deprivation of food, water and power is clearly a violation.

We would urge governments to consider that sending weapons and troops to assist an oppressive regime will lead to a humanitarian disaster and will only perpetuate the ongoing violence.

We urge our leaders not to use the police as a tool to control freedom of speech and, along with the media, be truthful and fair with their narratives.

These actions can only lead to an escalation of violence in Gaza and the occupied territories and heightened tensions at home.

We urge the Governments and media to act with responsibility to avoid this rather than accelerate it.

The responsibility of the fates and the lives of innocent people lie partly in the hands of the Governments and Media.

People deserve to live in peace and security without oppression, whoever they are.

We call on the international community to uphold international law and bring this about.

We call for the international media to act responsibly without fuelling hatred and divisions.

We pray for an end to the violence and lasting peace in the Middle East, but we believe this can only be achieved by a fair approach, which takes into account the root causes of the problem.

Meaningful dialogue across the 3 Faiths in Medway must be preserved for community harmony and cohesion.