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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 February 2006, 15:55 GMT
Faith leaders show mutual respect
Christian, Muslim and Sikh leaders have held a vigil at a Leeds mosque to show respect for each other's faiths.

They gathered outside the Stratford Street mosque in Beeston on Sunday as Muslims gather for afternoon prayers.

The Yorkshire and Humber Faiths Forum called the meeting after the protests sparked by the Muhammad cartoons and the BNP race-hate trial in Leeds.

Forum Director Inderjit Bhogal said: "People of all faiths need to stand together at this time."

He said the meeting was not a demonstration or protest, but an act of silent prayer.

'Respect and trust'

Mr Bhogal, who has been awarded an OBE in recognition of his services to inter-faith relations, said: "We need to make racial and religious hatred utterly disrespectful.

"We need to work together to build relationships of respect and trust and not allow those who convey hatred to divide and separate us."

Local methodist minister Neil Bishop, who organised the event, said: "The intention was to express our solidarity and respect for one another's faiths."

In a statement from the West Yorkshire Ecumenical Council, church leaders representing all denominations said: "'As church leaders in Leeds we affirm our care for our Muslim brothers and sisters.

"We deplore insults to any religion, and actions and words which offend deeply held beliefs. As Christians we offer respect to the faith of others. And we call upon everyone of goodwill to work together for peace in our city and country."




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