Bishop of Chester condemns “abhorrent” and “evil” Orlando attacks

On 13th June 2016 Government Minister Lord Ahmad repeated in the Lords a reply to an urgent question to the Home Secretary following the Orlando terror attack. The Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster, asked a follow up question:  

ChesterThe Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, on behalf of those who speak from these Benches, I express our utter abhorrence at what has happened. Indeed, I endorse the Home Secretary’s unambiguous use of the word “evil” about those acts.

I wonder if the Minister could take a little further what the noble Baroness, Lady Barker, has just said about the importance of engaging with the leaders of faith communities to address how we can live in a way that fundamentally recognises the universal human rights in our society from which we all benefit. This is an attack on our civilisation. At root it is a hatred of our civilisation, and anyone who can get to the bottom of that with a united front against it, alongside all the security measures that need to be taken, will really make some progress.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: I agree with the right reverend Prelate. The noble Baroness raised this issue, and I will take it back and put it into play. One of my areas of responsibility at the Home Office is as Minister for Countering Extremism. That means meeting the challenges of extremism in all its ugly guises and bringing together voices to unite against extremism. The noble Baroness’s suggestion, endorsed by the right reverend Prelate, is something that I will take back. We will look to make progress with faith leaders, and those of no faith. This goes way beyond any faith; it is about how we as a country come together. People of faith and no faith should stand united against all kinds of evil.