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Wednesday 19 June 2013

The Cecil & Iris Chaudhry Foundation Condemns Attack on the Ziarat Residency

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18th June 2013                        

Lahore: The Cecil & Iris Chaudhry Foundation strongly condemns the attack on the Ziarat Residency. This was the place where Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah spent the last days of his life. 
The building is an icon of Baluchistan and was declared a national monument following the Quaid’s death one year after the creation of Pakistan and held a symbolic place in the heart of every Pakistani.

It housed the personal belongings of the father of the nation; furniture, crockery and various priceless artifacts which have now been turned into ashes. This act of violence has saddened every Pakistani. 
The Ziarat Residency was more than just a building; it reminded us of the leader and the man that was Mohammed Ali Jinnah.
This was an attack on the nationalism of Pakistan and on all that Jinnah symbolized and stood for, primarily equality and the oneness of Pakistan. 

The Cecil & Iris Chaudhry Foundation demands that the Residency be rebuilt to its previous glory and that the perpetrators be brought to justice. This is the unanimous demand of every Pakistani.

Michelle Chaudhry President of the foundation stated “As we condemn these horrific acts of violence we also emphasize that the principles of Mr. Jinnah live on in the hearts of every patriotic Pakistani and no matter how many monuments they destroy, what they cannot destroy is our hope and our resolve to continue to fight for a better Pakistan; a vibrant, tolerant Pakistan – Jinnah’s Pakistan”.

More on the attack on the Ziarat residency can be found here:

Monday 17 June 2013

Multi-faith Peace Ceremony held in Woolwich to remember Lee Rigby and restore peace.

Sergeant Martin Freeman with some of the visitors to our Peace Ceremony.

A Multi-faith ceremony was held at Woolwich Central Baptist Church on Sunday 16th June 2013.  The event was organised by the British Pakistani Christian Association in remembrance of murdered Drummer Lee Rigby.

Representatives of all major faiths joined forces to restore peace to a community shocked and stunned by the devastating attack on an off-duty British Soldier, on home soil.

Wilson Chowdhry Chairperson for the British Pakistani Christian Association said;

"This event was a collaboration between people of good conscience who through their actions have shown that love has no colour, creed or religion.  By standing together in solidarity people of all faiths have illustrated that Britain is a resilient and harmonious society." 

Guests arrived from across the country to share their grief at the loss of a national hero and to condemn the attacks by extremists with bent ideologies. 

A local Woolwich choir from RCCG -City of David Church performed hymns of remembrance, their stunning performance was filmed by film crews from BBC and ITV London news.  

Ooberfuse an electropop from Plumstead performed a song they released for Drummer Lee Rigby calling for  calm and a crusade of love.  The words "This only unites us!" from their song provided the title for the event.

Ranbir Singh of the Hindu Human Rights Group said;

"... Sunday 16 June 2013 was an important milestone in the fight against extremism and intolerance.  Despite the challenges, the various faith and ethnic communities that reside and work together in London will not be torn apart by the mindless violence of a minuscule core of extremists, we will stand together in stopping this hatred. This will be achieved by continually working on our respective strengths and values and building bridges with the wider communities in this society in which we all have a stake."

Samina Rehmat a Muslim poet and Journalist for the "Jang" and "UK Times" news said;

"We were together before, we are together now and we will always be together.  This act of extremism does not represent Islam, it is simply an evil attack by people filled with hatred."

Davinder Bedi,  Presenter on Luv Asia Radio and featured artist on BBC Asia Network, said;

"Being part of an event that reached out to people and challenged then to rethink on the perceptions of others was rewarding.  I learnt much about the Muslim and Christian faiths.  I also shared precepts of my Sikh beliefs with others, the experience has changed the stereotypes I previously held."
Davina Hall who is a breast cancer survivor who recently shared her story in the press alongside Angelia Jolie as she is too a Brca 1 carrier and also underwent a double mastectomy last year. Davina has recently been closely involved with Cancer Research in promoting events such as Race For Life, she is currently trying to pursue a career in music and enjoying life to the full after her life changing experience. 

Romford based performer Davina Hall agreed to sing in honour of Lee Rigby, after being horrified that one of the attackers was from her home town.  She is a breast cancer survivor and recently shared her story in the press alongside Angelia Jolie also a Brca 1 carrier who underwent a double mastectomy last year. Davina has recently been closely involved with Cancer Research in promoting events such as Race For Life.She said;

"life is very precious, it should never be taken for granted and after my experience with my health I appreciate life even more so now, than ever. What happened to Lee Rigby was devastating, an innocent life being snatched away from this young soldier, my thoughts are with his family and friends! We should all unite in this tragedy and grab any opportunity or experience with both hands, as Lee and many others don't have the luxury of life anymore, those that have need to value every second"

Danny O'Brien from Anti-knife UK an organisation that raises awareness of knife crime, said;

"I felt the event was an eye-opener and proved that all faiths can work together to make a difference."

Sergeant Martin Freeman received flowers from a delegation of the Peace event.  This was the first occasion that the military base had opened their gates to receive floral tributes to Lee Rigby.  Sergeant Freeman said;

"We are very grateful for the sympathy and love shown by so many people, it has given great confidence to our soldiers."

Ronnie Bindra, from the Baha'i Community of Greenwich, said;

"I think events like this definitely help counter any negative views of religion, and we all came together on Sunday to show how followers of different faiths and none can unite and work together to improve our communities and society."

Muyiwa Olarewaju Station Director Premier Gospel, said:

“Sunday was a moment that Truth spoke loudly to drown out intolerance and injustice. The BPCA again showed great leadership in facilitating an opportunity for the voice on men and women of all faith to be heard, the voice of London was heard, we will not be divided”

ITV London and BBC London filmed interviews before the start of the event.

Members of Woolwich Central Baptist Church engaged with Ronnie Bindra representative of the Greenwich Bahais.

Samina Rehmat joined the discussion a Muslim poet.

The rain could not keep Danny O'Brien from Anti-Knife UK or Davina Hall away.

The Angels choir from Woolwich based RCCG- City of David Church displayed great colour.

The Angels appeared on ITV and BBC London News.

Revd Dr Darrell Hannah travelled form All Saints Church in Ascot.

Revd Hannah spoke of the need for calm and unity.

Ooberfuse sang a song written for Lee Rigby.

Ronnie Bindra spoke for the Greenwich Bahai Community.

Davina Hall belted out an Ella Mcpherson classic

Ooberfuse and RCCG Choir collaborated on stage.



Revd Darrell Hannah prayed for succour to the family of Lee Rigby and for a restoration of peace in Britain at the location of the attack.

Onlookers joined the prayers.

Ronnie Bindra read a short message.


Samina Rehmat spoke words of comfort.

A 1 minutes silence was observed.

Artistic graffiti shows the queen crying.

A wreath was presented to Sargent Martin Freeman.

This only unites us!


The flag pinpoints the location where Lee Rigby was attacked.