Gill Hicks, survivor of the 7/7 London bombings, was joined by faith leaders from the Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths today (6 July) to walk from Kings Cross to Tavistock Square in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on 7 July 2005.
The group carried a floral tribute spelling ‘Together’ as part of the #WalkTogether initiative, which calls on people in London and all over Britain to get off the bus, train or tube one stop early on 7 July 2015 and walk the last stop, in a quiet moment of remembrance and unity. It is inspired by the scenes on London’s streets on 7 July 2005, when public transport closed down and thousands calmly walked home.
The public is also being asked to show their support by sharing a picture or message with the #WalkTogether hashtag. People can find out more at www.bit.ly/walktogether.
Hicks, who lost both legs in the bombings and was the last living person to be rescued from the underground network on 7/7, was joined by Imam Qari Asim, Imam of Makkah Masjid, Leeds’ largest mosque; Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi, Movement for Reform Judaism; and Revd Bertrand Olivier, Vicar of All-Hallows-by-the-Tower, London.
Gill Hicks said:
“My life and those around me changed forever on July 7, 2005. I believe in the power and brilliance of humanity – my life was saved by strangers, people who never gave up, people who risked their own lives to save mine. To them, I was a precious human life – my rescue wasn’t dependent on my faith, my colour, my gender or wealth.
“Walking Together allows us the time and space to talk, to share and to know the ‘other’. Our unity can offer the strength to not only deter anyone from following the path of violent extremism, but to also build a sustainable peace.”
The Revd Bertrand Olivier said:
“The 2005 bombings were a tragedy for all of London and on this 10th anniversary it is clearer than ever that we must keep working together as neighbours with hope, tolerance and care to ensure that extremists who seek to drive a wedge between us do not succeed.”
Imam Qari Asim said:
“This is an important moment for us all in Britain – a time to mourn and remember, but also to think about the society we are and that we want to be.
“It’s been a difficult decade and we still face many problems. For me as a Muslim, it’s important to challenge these vile people who claim to be acting in the name of my faith when they kill innocent men and women. For us all, it’s important to stand together in the face of those who want to divide us.
“The terrorists didn’t defeat us on 7/7. Despite the challenges we face, we have stayed together and by doing that, we continue to show we are stronger than they are. WalkTogether is a symbolic act but a hugely significant one – I hope people will join us on 7 July.”
Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner said:
“The attacks on London were an attack on all of us – black and white, rich and poor, different faiths and none. That’s why we’ve decided to join hands today and call on people all over Britain to walk side by side in a moment of remembrance and of unity on 7/7. I’m proud to walk together with my friends here today and I hope thousands of people across Britain will do the same on Tuesday. That would be a very powerful statement about who we are as a country.”
The #WalkTogether initiative is supported by Faiths Forum for London, Hope Not Hate, Islamic Society of Britain, Faith Matters, Trust for London, The Big Iftar, British Humanist Association, St John Ambulance, New Horizons in British Islam, City Sikhs, Inspire, Amnesty International UK, JW3 Jewish Community Centre London,Hindu Council UK, Armed Forces Muslim Forum and thinktank British Future.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson, and mayoral candidates Duwayne Brooks, Zac Goldsmith, Tessa Jowell, Syed Kamall, Sadiq Khan, David Lammy and Caroline Pidgeon are all backing #WalkTogether.