Over the past 24-hours I have seen and overheard a great defiance against the terror that is now sadly being forced upon us. Along with Manchester, the whole of the UK is standing up in defiance in solidarity with those victims and family members of the devastating heartless attack that many unfortunately witnessed last night.
Mancunians’ have stood together, offering shelter in the middle of chaos for those in need, community groups today have been endlessly reaching out to help fuel our amazing frontline first responders as they begin to try and piece together just what exactly happened and most importantly, why. Although what I have witnessed today is a great sense of unity across the UK, there remains a black scar across the heart we have all been so quick to raise over social media and physically as we go on with our daily routine. A scar that too often re-emerges when fear strikes us in the very heart of our lives. How much longer do we have to go on in a world where a large number of the population immediately points the finger towards our Muslim friends.
‘Muslims are to blame’. This sentence gets used too many times in the aftermath of tragedy, even begin to utter the words and already you have over used it, there is no need to even think about using this sentence, it quite frankly shouldn’t exist. 5% of the UK population is made up of people who follow or practice Islam, that is around three million of our fellow countrymen and women. If Muslims where to blame why don’t we get faced with terror on a near daily basis? People need to start to understand the difference between someone who practices Islam and someone who is an extremist.
Extremists can practice any religion, have any kind of belief, with any kind of cultural background. Muslims are not to blame, extremists are. So before you even begin to utter that sentence just take a moment to think about the muslim who works endlessly operating on hundreds of people a week to give them a better life, the Muslim who is currently fighting against these extremists ring leaders in a country that does not have the resources to fight them alone, or the Muslim that stands by you in a moment of solidarity against the terror that has once again gripped our nation. Together we are stronger.