Mosque leader urges people to build bridges at Holocaust memorial

THE IMAN of Southport Mosque was greeted with an unusual bout of rousing applause during the recent Sefton Holocaust Memorial service as he spoke on current world events and ‘building bridges.’

Speaking following an order by American president Donald Trump to temporarily ban Muslim refugees from certain countries from entering the US, Resort Iman Soyful Alam took the opportunity to remind people closer to home that we should be building bridges, not creating conflict, and recognising the common bond we share in humanity.

His speech met with rousing applause during what was otherwise a sombre occasion as Sefton paused to remember the victims of the Holocaust.

This year’s service took place on Sunday, January 29, at Christ Church, Lord Street, Southport.

Contributions from pupils at local colleges and schools were followed by the Imam of Southport Mosque Soyful Alam.

“The packed congregation had listened in respectful silence to the young people but into the silence stepped Soyful to take his place behind the lectern. His powerful address confronted the continuing use of genocide in the world today.

“He spoke of his despair and our failure to learn the lessons of the holocaust.

“The world stands aside and fails to act. It is hard to find hope when night after night we see images of genocide and we know how many hundreds of thousands of people have been killed. Soyful warned this failure to act undermines our common humanity and the bonds that should link us all together.

“Such was the impact of Soyful’s address that the congregation broke in spontaneous and prolonged applause and in the tea room after the service it was the main topic of conversation.

The memorial day was marked in a poignant ceremony at Southport Hospital thanks to the trust’s branch of Unison members.

Branch officers for the public service workers union recently returned from a Unison North West educational visit to the former Nazi death camps. When they came back they spoke about their experiences to Trust staff & patients offering tea lights to place in the hospital prayer room.