The Dean of Westminster called for inter-faith solidarity during a visit to Tawhid Boys School on Tuesday. Dr John Hall – who is the direct chaplain to Queen Elizabeth II – was speaking to students at the Stamford Hill school in the wake of the Westminster attack last week. The visit, part of a newly formed relationship formed between Tawhid Boys and Westminster Abbey, was the first made by Dr Hall, whose full title is The Very Reverend Dr John Hall, to an Islamic school.
Dr Hall acknowledged the support received from the Muslim community since the attacks and praised the idea of all faiths and communities working together in peace and solidarity.
“Christians and Muslims both condemn violent aggression against humanity,” Dr Hall said. “Schools like Tawhid Boys School are part of the huge contribution which Muslims make within British society.”
As part of the ceremony, one of the Year 10 pupils read out a message which read: “Thank you to the staff at Westminster Abbey for the support and shelter you gave to the hundreds of MPs and other Londoners during the Westminster attacks. We really appreciate and value your courage during such testing times.”
During his assembly Dr Hall discussed Christian beliefs, but also the importance of respecting each other’s religions. He also stressed the importance of faith schools in the education system. Tawhid Boys School prides itself on its relationships with inter-faith organisations, with headteacher Usman Mapara believing communication is key.
“This was an enriching experience for staff, students and the reverend,” he said. “We were truly inspired by his wisdom and his experiences in working together through the positions he has held with diverse communities. We value and appreciate the common ground we all hold of respect for each other and our diverse beliefs as citizens. Everyone at the school cherishes the opportunity to work together with the wider community to enrich the life experiences of our students.”