Coventry Interfaith and Communities Forum have reinforced their condemnation of acts of terrorism in Paris and other cities and said that it is important that the public understand that the acts of terror have no place in Islam.
The forum recognise that many people of different faith backgrounds including Islam were killed in recent terror attacks.
The increased incidents of hate crimes targeting Muslims or their institutions were equally condemned at the meeting. These were not representative of any religious groups but ideologue that seek to divide communities.
The group called on all peace loving Coventry citizens to work towards a harmonious relationship with one another irrespective of religion, colour, gender or their differences for a better society.
The forum, which includes a wide range of faith and communities groups in Coventry including Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Zoroastrians and people of no faith, was set up seven years ago to open a dialogue with faith communities who had been providing services to the community for many years.
Dr Shehu, chair of the Coventry Muslim Forum, said: “Muslims in Coventry absolutely condemn these terrorist acts. Islam is a peaceful religion and should not need to apologise for the terrible acts committed by individuals who have their own agendas.
“In Coventry I am proud of the unity shown by Muslim communities and the close relationships we have built up for many years with other faith communities in the city.”
Cllr Abdul Khan, Deputy Leader at Coventry City Council, who also chairs the Interfaith and Communities Forum, said that at a time of heightened tensions on a global scale Coventry communities are committed to working together in the interests of community cohesion and safety.
He said: “Faith Communities in Coventry will continue to work together to build peaceful relationships and support each other in these difficult times. It is what we do as a city.
“The challenge for all communities is to understand how people are being drawn into an ideology which goes against Islam. We are all aware of the need to be vigilant in schools, madrasahs, youth clubs and in other gathering places.
“The challenge is to understand more about the way social media is influencing individuals. We feel that it is important that the news media helps to separate acts of terror from Islam.”
The Right Reverend Dr Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry, said: "Coventry will continue to lead the way as a community which loves and cares for all those who live, work and visit the city, regardless of faith or origin. We will work with all faith groups to build on the decades of peace and reconciliation leadership which Coventry has come to represent across the world, and to work for peaceful resolution to local, national and international conflicts."