Silence held for children

Two-minutes' silence in Queens Square SUS-141222-092139001
Two-minutes' silence in Queens Square SUS-141222-092139001

Heads bowed and candles were lit as the community paid its respects to the 132 children and nine staff who were murdered at school in Pakistan.

The Queens Square vigil was organised by members of the Muslim communities outraged and devastated by the deaths at the Army Public School in Peshawar on Tuesday (December 16).

As the sun went down, rows of candles were lit in front of the bandstand on Friday (December 19) while community leaders spoke of the peaceful teachings of Islam.

Abdul Raja said: “We are here today just to show solidarity. We are with them. We are with the victims.”

Mr Raja read words of peace from the Koran and told those gathered the gunmen responsible for the slaughter were “not human”.

Crawley MP Henry Smith added his voice and said: “There is no excuse in the world for the violence against innocents.”

The town’s mayor Cllr Brenda Smith called the gathering of residents “moving” and said: “The great sadness is that we should have to come at all.”

She added: “But it is a wonderful thing to see so many of our people in Crawley coming together to offer our thoughts, our hopes and our prayers to the people of Peshawar for the tragedy that has occurred.”

When the two-minute silence was called, every head bowed and the only sound heard around the bandstand was the tears and laughter of children.

Nothing could have been more fitting.