Muslims and Christians came together for an interfaith lunch at the Wessex Centre of Winchester Cathedral in the wake of the Finsbury Park van attack as part of an effort to teach people to love their neighbors.
The interfaith lunch, which bore the theme "Loving Your Neighbor" was held after a van attack which targeted Muslims who had rushed to get to a dying man outside the Finsbury Park mosque. The event also paid tribute to the Imam who shielded the attacker from a mob attack, The Hampshire Chronicle detailed.
Around 80 people attended the interfaith lunch, and even the Mayor and Mayoress of Winchester, David and Diane McLean, were there to grace the event as well as Steve Brine MP. Organizer Roly Reim said the event had sparked new friendships and plans to develop relationships between the two communities.
Meanwhile, a peaceful demonstration was held in London to commemorate the victims of the Islamic State from all over the world. Grassroots Muslim groups organized the protest as part of their celebration of the religious festival of Ashura, which focuses on justice, freedom, and no justification for religiously-motivated wrongdoings, the Times and Star reported.
Mike Haines, whose brother David was beheaded by ISIS in 2014, spoke to a Muslim-majority audience and urged them to react positively to the perpetrators of hate and violence. He encouraged people to work together to fight the hatred of these extremists and to propagate this message from individuals up to the higher levels of society.
"It is important that we react in a positive way against these hate-mongers," said Haines.
He added: "The callous murder of my brother, the bombing of a teenage concert in Manchester, the deplorable attack on a place of worship in Finsbury Park, the inexcusable name-calling of people based on their religion or colour - they all have one thing in common which is to incite hatred."
At the end of the demonstration, some attendees proceeded to a mosque to pray. Others went to Trafalgar Square.