Religious leaders unite in call to vote sensibly

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Religious leaders in South Yorkshire are coming together to appeal to members of the public to use their vote wisely in the forthcoming council and European elections.

Representatives of Christian, Muslim, Jewish and other faiths say they are concerned about a number of the British National Party’s extremist policies.

In a joint statement, the religious leaders say they wish to emphasise the values of unity, tolerance and mutual respect – ideas which have always helped South Yorkshire’s diverse groups live together harmoniously.

The Bishop of Sheffield, the Right Reverend Dr Steven Croft, and some of the chief signatories, were due to signing their joint statement on the steps of Sheffield Town Hall today at 8am.

The statement reads: “We are deeply concerned at the activity of racist and fascist groups such as the British National Party, which try to exploit people’s fears and the economic crisis to stir up race hate and division.

“We urge the overwhelming majority to turn out and vote, and give a clear signal that messages of race hatred and division are not welcome here. Use your vote!”

Abdool Gooljar, Islamic Society of Britain Sheffield branch president, said: “Once racism is eradicated, it will be the day that I can say we can celebrate multiculturalism.

“Together as a community we can make this an achievable goal, one worthy of being scored.”