7/7 bombings: Peace Journey to see young people retrace 200-mile route taken by bombers

Sarah Cassidy Independent

It was a route taken by three young men before one of the worst terrorist attacks Britain had seen for decades.

Next weekend 15 young people from different faiths will trace the steps taken by three of the four 7/7 bombers. They will travel 200 miles from Leeds to London to mark the 10th anniversary of the bombings, hoping to inspire unity among different faiths.

Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs and atheists aged 18 to 25 will lay flowers at King’s Cross and visit the Hyde Park memorial to the 52 victims of the attacks.

The Leeds Peace Ambassadors are part of a new initiative to bring together young people from different backgrounds in the city that was home to three of the four bombers.

Through sharing food, hearing stories and developing a plan for social action, community leaders hope the Ambassadors will develop confidence, leadership and understanding of different cultures.

On 5 July they will meet other young people in London who are also part of initiatives to unite people of different faiths. They will also visit the Finchley Reform Synagogue in north London – which opened its doors to Muslims after the local Somali community centre was burned down – and learn how the two communities have worked together since.

The group will relate their experiences to an audience of 500 at Elland Road Stadium on the anniversary of the bombings, 7 July.

The Peace Journey is being co-ordinated by Tom Chigbo from Leeds Citizens, who said: “The bombings demonstrate a situation where people felt so divided from the people around them that they could commit such violent acts. Our hope is that this generation will be inspired to get involved in public life and build relationships with people who are different to them.”

Qari Asim, imam of the Makkah Masjid mosque in Leeds, who will also take part, said: “This was about getting young people from different backgrounds together in a safe environment where they could really open up and see things from other people’s perspective.”

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