By Michael Ireland, Chief Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net)
MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM (ANS – May 29, 2017) – A Muslim cleric and an elderly Jewish woman melted the heart of a grieving nation with their poignant embrace at the scene of the Manchester terror attack.
According to Daniel J. Solomon, Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at Forward (www.forward.com), Rachel Black, 93, and Sadiq Patel, an imam, came together in grief and worship on Wednesday at a memorial for the 22 people killed and scores wounded in the suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert.
“We’re all the same people. We bleed just like everybody else,” Black told Britain’s Channel 5 News.
“One thing we do definitely know is we’re in this together, we’ll get through this together,” Patel added.
Forward says the pair traveled to Manchester together from the gritty industrial town of Blackburn to pay their respects for the victims of the bombing, which has gripped Britain with grief and defiance.
In pictures from the scene, Black pushed herself up from a folding chair to lean on her walker and pray. Overcome with emotion, she was taken in hand by Patel. He helped her walk from the site and carried her chair.
“Renee’s 93. Jewish lady. I’m a Muslim man,” Patel said. “But at this moment in time faith doesn’t mean anything. We don’t know what to say, no words can actually express what we’re going through.
Forward says the two are members of Blackburn Darwen Interfaith Forum, a town group focused on mutual understanding.
Black is one of the few Jews in the town, which now has a large population of Muslims, mostly from south Asia.
The Manchester vigil they attended brought together representatives of Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Sikh communities in a show of defiance and unity.
Even at 93, Black said she was determined to make her voice heard against hatred, terror, and violence. “We came to pay our respect to the people who passed away and to hope that they never have anything like this again,” she said. “We try to bring people together and not matter about the color or creed or whatever you are.
Photo captions: 1) Patel helps Black out of her chair. (Forward). 2) Black and Patel share a moment of grief at the memorial in Manchester. (Forward) 3) Michael Ireland
About the Writer: Michael Ireland is a volunteer internet journalist serving as Chief Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, as well as an Ordained Minister who has served with ASSIST Ministries and written for ANS since its beginning in 1989. He has reported for ANS from Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Jordan, China, and Russia. Please consider helping Michael cover his expenses in bringing news of the Persecuted Church, by logging-on to: https://actintl.givingfuel.com/ireland-michael
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