Remembrance Day with our Muslim friends
This was a Remembrance time like no other. As with most churches, our Sunday Remembrance service was online, so we decided to do actual Acts of Remembrance outside our churches facing the street on Remembrance Day itself. Our friends Hak and Busra, Turkish asylum seekers who first made contact at St Augustines looking for help a while ago, joined us
11 November 2020
Busra and Hak had first come with their little boy, who hid behind his parents from shyness! We put them in touch with the Anchor Project, where Busra has been doing English conversation classes and has made friends with Sandra, who volunteers and is a longtime member of St Clements in the process.
The couple were dismayed by the recent attacks on Christians in France, and had originally wanted to bring flowers to St Clements communion service to show solidarity. But Busra was unwell and didn’t want to risk spreading germs. So, after I saw them cycling by St Augustine’s, we got talking and decided that Remembrance Day was the place to share in this mark of solidarity against violence towards any faith. Here is the beautiful letter which accompanied the red roses Hak and Busra brought with them.
‘Dear Rosy and your wider community,
I am lost for words and how to start. . . as I am Muslim, I live very close to your church and have attended events in the capacity of a volunteer of the Dialogue Society.
I would like to express my shock and grief that I share with you and your wider Christian community following the devastating events unravelling in France. Terror has no religion and no place in our society. . . please do stay safe and know that you have an ally, a neighbour in me. Mirroring the message of Jesus when he says “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” I express the same sincere love with my heart and uphold his message. Islam reflects these values, the acts of terror contradict our faith even when conducted under the guise of “Islam.”
Your dear neighbours,
Busra and Hakki (Hak)