Christian’s post-New Zealand attack gesture for Muslim worshippers in Manchester goes viral

Christian man Andrew Graystone in the UK has won the hearts of people across the globe after his gesture of protecting Muslim worshippers at a Manchester mosque
Updated 17 March 2019

Christian’s post-New Zealand attack gesture for Muslim worshippers in Manchester goes viral

  • Following the tragic events, Graystone said he was determined to show his support for the Muslim community
  • The image shared by Twitter user Zia Salik went viral almost immediately

LONDON: A Christian man in the UK has won the hearts of people across the globe after his gesture of protecting Muslim worshippers at a Manchester mosque went viral in the wake of the New Zealand terror attacks.
Andrew Graystone told Manchester Evening News that he had been “horrified” to read the news of 50 people being killed by a white supremacist terrorist as they attended prayers at a mosque in the city of Christchurch last Friday.
Following the tragic events, Graystone said he was determined to show his support for the Muslim community in his home city of Manchester.
He was pictured outside a mosque in the Levenshulme area of the city, holding a sign which read: “You are my friends. I will keep watch while you pray.”

The image shared by Twitter user Zia Salik went viral almost immediately as details emerged of the attack in New Zealand.
Speaking to MEN, Graystone said: “I woke up on Friday morning and I heard the terrible news about the killings in the mosque in Christchurch.
“I began to think about how I would feel if I was a Muslim in Manchester going to Friday prayers, perhaps feeling afraid or angry, and what small thing I could do to make a difference.
“You can either meet these things with either fear or friendship — that’s the choice we have to make and in the end friendship wins.”
Explaining why he made the sign, he told the newspaper: “Levenshulme is a very multicultural community with churches, mosques and even a Jain temple all very close together.
“The relationships are generally really good but something like the New Zealand incident can test them.
“Something I could offer to people in Manchester was to literally watch their backs or at least stand outside with a smiling face at the doors of the mosque as they arrive.
“You could see people wondering what I was doing at first. Perhaps they thought I was some sort of protester with a placard.
“But as they saw the message they smiled and after prayers they came out to thank me. People said they were glad to be supported.
“I belong to a church and so we have a lot in common,” he added.

 


UK’s Johnson to visit European capitals seeking Brexit breakthrough

Updated 18 August 2019

UK’s Johnson to visit European capitals seeking Brexit breakthrough

  • Johnson will travel for talks with German Chancellor Merkel and French President Macron
  • Johnson is expected to push for the EU to reopen negotiations over the terms of Brexit

LONDON: UK's Boris Johnson will visit European capitals this week on his first overseas trip as prime minister, as his government said Sunday it had ordered the scrapping of the decades-old law enforcing its EU membership.

Johnson will travel to Berlin on Wednesday for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and on to Paris Thursday for discussions with French President Emmanuel Macron, Downing Street confirmed on Sunday, amid growing fears of a no-deal Brexit in two and a half months.

The meetings, ahead of a two-day G7 summit starting Saturday in the southern French resort of Biarritz, are his first diplomatic forays abroad since replacing predecessor Theresa May last month.

Johnson is expected to push for the EU to reopen negotiations over the terms of Brexit or warn that it faces the prospect of Britain's disorderly departure on October 31 -- the date it is due to leave.

European leaders have repeatedly rejected reopening an accord agreed by May last year but then rejected by British lawmakers on three occasions, despite Johnson's threats that the country will leave then without an agreement.

In an apparent show of intent, London announced Sunday that it had ordered the repeal of the European Communities Act, which took Britain into the forerunner to the EU 46 years ago and gives Brussels law supremacy.

The order, signed by Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay on Friday, is set to take effect on October 31.

"This is a landmark moment in taking back control of our laws from Brussels," Barclay said in a statement.

"This is a clear signal to the people of this country that there is no turning back -- we are leaving the EU as promised on October 31, whatever the circumstances -- delivering on the instructions given to us in 2016."

The moves come as Johnson faces increasing pressure to immediately recall MPs from their summer holidays so that parliament can debate Brexit.

More than 100 lawmakers, who are not due to return until September 3, have demanded in a letter that he reconvene the 650-seat House of Commons and let them sit permanently until October 31.

"Our country is on the brink of an economic crisis, as we career towards a no-deal Brexit," said the letter, signed by MPs and opposition party leaders who want to halt a no-deal departure.

"We face a national emergency, and parliament must be recalled now."

Parliament is set to break up again shortly after it returns, with the main parties holding their annual conferences during the September break.

Main opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wants to call a vote of no confidence in Johnson's government after parliament returns.

He hopes to take over as a temporary prime minister, seek an extension to Britain's EU departure date to stop a no-deal Brexit, and then call a general election.

"What we need is a government that is prepared to negotiate with the European Union so we don't have a crash-out on the 31st," Corbyn said Saturday.

"This government clearly doesn't want to do that."

Britain could face food, fuel and medicine shortages and chaos at its ports in a no-deal Brexit, The Sunday Times newspaper reported, citing a leaked government planning document.

There would likely be some form of hard border imposed on the island of Ireland, the document implied.

Rather than worst-case scenarios, the leaked document, compiled this month by the Cabinet Office ministry, spells out the likely ramifications of a no-deal Brexit, the broadsheet claimed.

The document said logjams could affect fuel distribution, while up to 85 percent of trucks using the main ports to continental Europe might not be ready for French customs.

The availability of fresh food would be diminished and prices would go up, the newspaper said.