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News >

Faiths’ strong links valued after Forest Gate raid

<     src=East Enders: Abul Koyair (above, top) and Mohammed Abdul Kahar, 23face reporters and photographers (right) at Emmanuel Church Hall, Forest Gateon TuesdayTHE two brothers arrested in an anti-terrorism police raid in Forest Gateeast London, when one of them was shot by a police officer, spoke publiclabout their ordeal for the first time at a press conference in a church hall oTuesday
The Area Dean of Newham, Canon Ann Easter, said that the Emmanuel ChurcHall, in Forest Gate, was considered an impartial venue, and had been thchoice of the local monitoring group rather than a mosque. Local church leaderbelieved that mistakes may have been made, and lessons must be and will blearnt.
Abul Koyair, aged 20, and his injured brother Mohammed Abdul Kahar werreleased without charg
a week after the 4 a.m. raid, which involved 250 police officers. At thpress conference, Mr Kahar said of the police who raided his home: I thoughthey were going to kill us.
He had been in great pain after being shot, and had been unable to sleesince, he said
Mr Koyair said that he believed that the shooting had been for no reason
After the press conference, Scotland Yard apologised for the hurt caused tthe two brothers. Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman said that the MetropolitaPolice Service had had no choice but to mount an operation, given thintelligence it had received
At the press conference, Canon Easter said: As the Church of England ithis area, we have been thoroughly engaged with this sad incident from the verbeginning, and felt that we have an understanding of the situation from alpossible viewpoints.
She said that the Church felt acutely for the brothers, in the emotionaand physical injuries they had suffered, and the prolonged suspicion they habeen under. But, having spoken to the police, the Church was also aware of threality of their job and their sense of duty, as they do all that they can tprotect the community
On Wednesday, Canon Easter described Forest Gate as a very stroncommunity with good Christian-Muslim relations and an active faith forum
She said that one of the brothers remembered attending a youth project aEmmanuel Church Hall
Last week, the Bishop of Barking, the Rt Revd David Hawkins, visited thscene of the raid, and talked to both police and local residents. He haoffered to act as a neutral figure in any meetings, and, if needed, to worwith other faith leaders to help dispel fears and anxieties about those of different faith and culture to ourselves
The raid is being investigated by the Independent Police ComplaintCommission
Se< href="/80256fa1003e05c1/httppublicpages/8d0c0c469bd6d9cf8025718d005ca97d?opendocumentLeader comment
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