Britain has faced its third terror attack within three months. Thirty-four people have lost their lives and others are still fighting for theirs. In the most terrifying years of my lifetime, one solace that cannot be ignored is how the country has come together in the face of evil.
Defiance against extremism, and unity have been the most significant factors for me in the last few months. People have gone out of their way to help wherever they can – bystanders risking their lives to step in and try to save strangers lives, taxi drivers offering free lifts, people opening their homes to frightened victims fleeing terror scenes, emergency services working tirelessly to restore calm and order, fundraising for victims and their families.
And all of this has been in the face of indiscriminate brutality. The young, the old, people of all colour and creed have been targeted in killing sprees. We truly have witnessed the two extremes of humanity.
The One Love Manchester tribute concert last night was a great way to show how united we are as British people, to prove how we can put our differences aside and come together with love for mankind. Music transcends beyond ethnic/religious/racial/socio-economic barriers.
The current climate is by far the scariest time in my lifetime. I work in the capital so the terror threat is real. I live in the second city where security has been hyped up because of the risk of further attacks. Yet all I can think about is that sadly this is a fear countless people in conflict-struck countries the world over live through every day. What we’re experiencing is nothing new and nowhere near the worst of how inhumane mankind can be.
In the fight for power through warped ideology; the innocent always suffer. People trying to live their life are caught up in evil. And in all of this, the depraved acts of minorities are blamed on religion. From what I’ve read and seen, I’ve never come across a faith that promotes death and suffering. Which religion condones the slaughter of others who have different ways of life, beliefs or outlooks?
Religion was designed to help us live decent, moral lives. Ironically, its been blamed for some of the biggest acts of evil in history – be it World War II, Northern Ireland, storming of the Golden Temple, Kashmir and Islamic extremism.
Religion means different things to different people. For me, it means hope. Hope that there is a superior power. Hope that all will be well in the end and if its not well, then its not the end. Hope that good can and will conquer evil. The selfless acts of so many over these recent terror attacks orchestrated by five people has proved that hope can come in many forms – be it risking your life to help another or holding a terrified person’s hand to comfort them that all will be well.
And it will. We will remain united. We will live our lives as we wish. We will not be deterred by warped ideology.