Our Letter on the Refugees of Europe – Walking for Hope

This is the text of a letter that was sent into the Times today after the shocking pictures of young Aylan Kurdi on a Turkish shore with his small shoes on, as though he was just resting.

Dear Sir,

The pictures of the young Aylan Kurdi washed up on the shores of Bodrum are a shameful indictment of the lack of co-ordinated action by the European Union when the whole purpose of the European Union was to co-ordinate a joint response to issues affecting European states. This country has a proud heritage of providing shelter to refugees, including the Huguenots, Jewish communities, the Ugandan Asians and Kurdish refugees, to name just a few.

The Prime Minister recently talked about British values. It is precisely the value of protecting human life and human rights that the rest of the world attaches to us as a country and by inaction and the closing of borders at a time of need, we are tarnishing the most beautiful of values on the assumption that we cannot cope. Yet, we are one of the wealthiest nations of the world and what use is such wealth when some in the world do not know where their next meal is coming from.

We ask for compassion and care at this time of need instead of rhetoric and inaction.

Yours sincerely,

Fiyaz Mughal, Director – Faith Matters,
Natan Levy, Chair – Jewish Social Action Forum,
Mark Lewis, Partner, Legal Specialist,
Baroness Rabbi Julia Neuberger,
Dr Musharraf Hussain, Chief Imam – Karimia Institute,
Dr Imam Mamadou Bocoum,
Murad Qureshi, Labour London Assembly Member,
Yusuf Hanza, Chair – Noor-Ul-Islam mosque,
Judge Laurence Brass,
Esmond Rosen, Chair – Barnet Multi-faith Forum
Rev Rana Khan – Patron of Faith Matters