MORE than 2,000 Muslims lined the streets of Broadgreen and Gorse Hill yesterday to show their solidarity with the victims of the conflict in Palestine and to call for peace in the region.
After Friday prayers, the congregations of mosques all across Swindon converged in a silent protest to urge the government to intervene and put an end to the atrocities in Gaza.
Around 2,500 people of all ages and other faiths presented a petition to South Swindon MP Robert Buckland to use his influence in Parliament to intervene in the conflict.
Ishak Mogul, chairman of the Broad Street mosque, organised the event.
“We are not getting politically involved, but people are dying and the situation is grim,” he said. “There needs to be peace.
“The British government needs to intervene. They created Israel in 1947 and they need to go back and finish the job.
“We need to forget religion, this is about humanity and how one person can take the life of another.”
Mohammed Ali, 36, said: “We are here to show our support for the Palestinian community, to show them that we are aware of what is happening to them. What we can do from this country is participate in demonstrations.
“We should be trying to free the Palestinian people and allowing them their basic human rights.”
Mustaque Ahmed, 43, said: “Innocent children are being killed, and we are simply protesting against these atrocities, not in an aggressive way.
“This is a silent protest, and the main aim we have to look at is stopping those who are killing innocent children. We are just showing our support for those who are losing their lives and their families in this conflict.”
The lines of protesters held placards and peace symbols aloft on 2.30pm to join with similar protests that have taken place around the country.
South Swindon MP Robert Buckland said he took their concerns very seriously and would do all he could in Parliament to make their voices heard.
“This shows the huge concern about the ongoing tragedy in Gaza,” he said. “Any conflict where children are being killed is extremely disturbing.
“I believe in a two state solution for Israel and Palestine to have recognised borders.
“This is not a matter that is exclusive to one faith, this is about humanity and finding a solution to the grief and tragedy in the area.”
“This is not an easy problem, it has been ongoing for 70 years. I will be taking these concerns and bringing them to the Foreign Office as I already have done in the past, and I wil continue to do all that I can in my capacity as a representative of this constituency.”
PC Luke Atkinson, community beat manager for Broadgreen, said: “It is a calm and peaceful demonstration.”