I have always said that our diversity is our greatest strength here in Haringey.

As the daughter of parents who came to this borough from a conflict-torn country, I have never stopped appreciating the way our communities can come together, whatever our differences, to celebrate the things that unite us. 

This has been exemplified in the past month as our borough marked Black History Month, celebrating the many achievements of our Black residents and communities.

This will continue throughout the year through our Black History Haringey 365 programme, which makes sure that we never stop talking about the monumental contribution that people of colour have made in our borough. 

It was also a special moment to see the election of Cllr Mark Grosskopf as the first councillor from our borough’s Haredi Jewish community in over 50 years.

Having elected representatives who truly reflect our diverse communities is a key part of our ambition to build a place that is fair, inclusive and welcoming for people of all backgrounds. 

However, we can never be complacent in our work towards a borough where all of our residents can feel safe and proud to call their home.

This has been highlighted by the increasing tensions amid the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict, and the unacceptable rise in incidents of antisemitism and Islamophobia which have been reported here in the UK. 

Ham & High: Peray Ahmet says that there is no place for hate or discrimination in HaringeyPeray Ahmet says that there is no place for hate or discrimination in Haringey (Image: Haringey Council)

We have always been clear that there is absolutely no place for hate or discrimination in Haringey. We have a long and proud history of standing together, and we will always take an uncompromising stance in the face of bigotry of any kind. 

I was reminded of this when I attended an event at the London Alevi Cultural Centre organised as part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week – a crucial national initiative that we have been participating in as a council for many years. 

The event was a meeting of our Multi-Faith Forum, which plays a vital role in bringing our communities together. It was fitting that this event was hosted by our Alevi community – a group which has faced horrendous persecution over many decades, but has found a home in Haringey where they are able to live freely and openly. 

It was touching to see representatives of our faith communities, especially our Jewish and Muslim community leaders who have been so deeply and personally affected by the horrific recent events in the Middle East, standing together and reaffirming their commitment to dialogue, solidarity and unity in the face of hatred. 

This spirit of togetherness embodies everything that is great about our borough, and this is exactly the approach we will be taking forward as a council as we continue to support our diverse communities through these challenging times. 

  • Peray Ahmet is leader of Haringey Council.