An open letter to all December 2019 General Election candidates for Luton North and Luton South.
We write as a group of some 25 Muslim and Christian faith leaders who have gathered together this evening to eat, grow in relationship and discover how we can work more together. We have shared together deeply over concerns and issues within our communities, and the opportunities we have to work together and the challenges we face in that. We share concern for many areas, and are resolved to continue to work more together
We did not discuss politics or the election in any great measure. If we had you would find we had different political views. We are sure you will hear from various of us during the campaign. An ongoing concern for us all, and which has been at the forefront of our minds this evening, is the peace of our town, and together challenging the hatred that divides communities by our relationship together.
We therefore write with two requests. Our society has seldom been more divided. Yet in Luton we have together worked very hard over the past decade to ensure that the narrative of enmity between our faiths and cultures has not been allowed to embed itself in our towns life. We still have much to do, and our town is an active workshop for peace. We would sincerely ask for your commitment that during the campaign you will not employ language and narratives that are divisive within the Luton community.
Second, having chosen to stand in your respective constituencies, two of you will serve as our members of parliament. It is important to state that Luton is a town where faith, in many forms, is of great importance. We ask that you recognise, and are mindful of this. We ask for your commitment to actively engage with the work our communities are doing to build our common life, and that you would take the lessons you learn into the national political forum. In particular we are committed to our faiths being assets for our common good. We seek your partnership with us in our work, bringing the influence of your office for the good of the town and its many peoples, faiths and cultures.
We will be publishing this letter on our website. We welcome your commitments and responses which we would hope to carry there.
We will be praying for you as you engage with the life of our town.
(The four of us hold various responsibilities in our churches, mosques and the Luton community. We have worked particularly closely together giving leadership to our joint project on Child Sexual Exploitation, FACES. The dinner was a part of our ongoing work to promote active collaboration, understanding and friendship between our faith communities.)