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1-min read

Christian Man Who Guarded Mosque after Christchurch Attack Takes on Far-right Leader in Euro Elections

Andrew Graystone said he was ‘overwhelmed with positive messages’ after a photo of him holding a simple yet touching sign outside his local mosque went around the world.

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Updated:May 14, 2019, 2:25 PM IST
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Christian Man Who Guarded Mosque after Christchurch Attack Takes on Far-right Leader in Euro Elections
Andrew Graystone said he was ‘overwhelmed with positive messages’ after a photo of him holding a simple yet touching sign outside his local mosque went around the world.
A Christian man, who became an online sensation after standing outside a mosque with a solidarity message for Muslims following the Christchurch terror attack, has now sought votes against the founder of far-right English Defence League.

Andrew Graystone went viral after standing outside a mosque with a sign reading 'You are my friends. I will keep watch while you pray' in the wake of the Christchurch shooting.’

The 57-year-old recently announced on Twitter that he would take on Tommy Robinson as a candidate of the newly-formed Change UK party to run as an MEP in the north-west region.

Andrew Graystone said he was ‘overwhelmed with positive messages’ after a photo of him holding a simple yet touching sign outside his local mosque went around the world. He told metro.co.uk: ‘And what I heard very clearly was people saying something about the kind of world they wanted to live in. ‘They wanted to live in a world that was characterised by friendship not fear.’ The 57-year-old writer said his experience touching people with his sign inspired him to run as an MEP in the north-west region.

Robinson has been banned across several social media platforms over his anti-Muslim remarks. Graystone said Brexit has turned British families and communities “against each other” and “it’s allowed very divisive people like Tommy Robinson to exploit that division.”

He added: “If we want to create a society that is more united, that has to happen at lots of levels – personal and political, and we have to find our way out of the mess we’re in over Brexit.

“I am worried about people deliberately stoking up hatred and division when what we need is for politicians and community leaders and ordinary people to come together,” he said, according to The Metro.

Graystone urged people to come out and vote.
“I know people might be a bit cynical about the European elections but I would I say just come out and vote for something different,” he said, adding “because if you don’t vote on 23 May, and I feel this particularly for the faith communities – Christians, Jews, Muslims and others – you may end up with letting Tommy Robinson walk into Brussels as a representative of Britain.”
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