Newport rally held to denounce violence

Newport cemetery graffiti(1)A rally was held in Newport on Monday night to unite groups from across Gwent against fascism. Around 40 people attended the event, which was held at the Newport Centre. Unite Against Fascism Wales called the rally to bring together different groups, communities, cultures, and faiths to show they are united against racism.

Speakers included organisers Mubarak Ali, secretary for the Islamic Society for Wales, June Ralph, president of Newport trades council, David Phillips, chief executive officer for South East Wales Race Equality Council, Marianne Owens, NEC member and Julian Goss, liaison officer for UAF Wales.

Mr Ali said: “In the wake of the brutal murder of soldier Lee Rigby and the desecration of Muslim graves in Newport, we want to show extremists and racists they will not divide us.” He added organisers created the event as they feel certain people are exploiting the horrific murder of soldier Lee Rigby to whip up racial hatred.

Vandals recently scrawled nazi swastikas and the words white power, BNP and UKIP on four Muslim graves in Newport cemetery.

In his speech, Mr Ali said: “The British Muslim community condemns the murder of Lee Rigby and it is despicable that Muslims should be held to account and suffer in this way. On behalf of Muslim community I would like to offer my deepest condolences to the family of Lee Rigby, and assure them that our thoughts an prayers are always with them. The attackers’ actions have removed them from Islam, because there is no grounds to justify attacks of terrorism in any way shape or form.”

He continued: “Muslims from this community have lived peacefully with their neighbours for many years, and we should not let this act divide us.”

No arrest have been made.

South Wales Argus, 25 July 2013