Sunday, 4 June 2017

Solidarity, determination and love

Love beats hate
Last night there was another series of pointless murders on and around London Bridge in the capital city, following hard upon the recent murders in Manchester. These types of cowardly attack can in no way be attributed to mainstream religious belief. The brainwashed simpleton who perpetrated the brainless atrocity at the Ariana Grande show – and the chicken-hearted imbeciles who were shot last night in Borough Market – did not believe in the Islam that the majority of peaceful Muslims do.

Muslims for Manchester

One young Muslim guy stood in Manchester city centre with a sign saying “I’m Muslim and I trust you. Do you trust me enough for a hug?” (Video click here.) And guess what? He got plenty of hugs. Muslims for Manchester quickly raised over £25,000 for the victims, and the total is still growing. North Manchester Jamia Mosque in Cheetham Hill organised a We Love Manchester march, which included over 500 children, to walk from the Woodlands Road mosque to the Manchester arena. The Media finally seem to be waking up to covering the Muslim opposition to terrororism and hopefully this will go some way to counteract the rise in hate crime that inevitably follows a terrorist attack.

Astonishing reminder of love

We were in Manchester last Thursday to see a play and catch a train and we didn’t expect to spend so long in St Ann’s Square reading the tributes and admiring the quiet strength of feeling. Outpourings of personal poetry in poignant testimonials captured honest and raw feelings. The fragrance of thousands of flowers filled the air. Balloons dreamily hovered, fluttering and crackling gently in the breeze.  Everything in unison spoke of love and potential, togetherness and solidarity, memory and homage. Homage to love, not hate. All ages, creeds, colours, professions and types of people were there. As we ate our dinner at a window table overlooking St Ann’s Square, we heard and saw the crowd applaud and welcome the latest procession of Muslims arriving and laying flowers and carrying We Love Mcr signs.
Tributes to Manchester's unity and love in St Ann's Square, including Rob Lewis's statue

22 remembered

And what struck me again and again was how pointless the bomber’s actions had been and how unintelligent he must have been because the outpouring of love for mankind and determination to unite against evil has been the outcome. A few blogs ago I wrote about keeping the fear of terrorism in perspective and, despite the horrors unleashed into the lives of the relatives and all who knew the victims in Manchester, the message in St Ann’s Square is powerful and supports my perspective – these were 22 good humans who will be remembered and loved forever and their deaths have not advanced the cause of the bomber one speck. We should fear many things, but not dwell on the fear of terrorism. Focus on the victims. Focus on the solidarity, determination and love.

John Atkinson, Courtney Boyle, Kelly Brewster, Georgina Callander, Olivia Campbell, Liam Curry, Wendy Fawell, Martyn Hett, Alison Howe, Megan Hurley, Nell Jones, Michelle Kiss, Angelika Klis, Marcin Klis, Sorrell Leczkowski, Lisa Lees, Eilidh MacLeod, Elaine McIver, Saffie Rose Roussos, Chloe Rutherford, Philip Tron, Jayne Tweddle-Taylor