This Sunday 27 January we marked Holocaust Memorial Day, an opportunity to remember those targeted under Nazi persecution, including six million Jews, and those who affected by genocides which followed the Holocaust in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. This year we also mark the 25th anniversary of the Genocide in Rwanda and the 40th anniversary of the end of the Genocide in Cambodia.

In commemoration it is also important to reflect, to think on the lessons of history and to learn from them.  We live in a world where sometimes we do not always feel safe or secure, and where it can feel like there are many challenges. It is at times like these that we cannot become complacent and we cannot allow the language of prejudice and hatred to win, whether that be anti-Semitism, islamophobia or any other type of discrimination.

We must continue to work together with communities to ensure that man’s inhumanity to man is never allowed to unleash such horrors and tragedy again.

Above all we must remember that what unites us is far greater than what divides us. It is in the spirit of this message that, alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, I am sending an important message of solidarity and vigilance:

A poignant reminder that we all need to play our part in creating a better future, striving for peace, and a call on each of us in this country to offer the hand of friendship to one new person and celebrate our differences.

Imam Qari Asim, Chair, Mosques & Imams National Advisory Board