IAN HART: Incredible show of support, strength and defiance

Ian Hart
Ian Hart

The shocking events at Westminster last week will have forever etched March 22, 2017, in the history of this nation.

The attack perpetrated by Khalid Masood, which claimed the lives of four innocent people, spawned reactions that were everything that is good and bad about this country.

In the wake of the atrocity, the police and other emergency services, the doctors and nurses at St Thomas’ Hospital and ordinary members of the public rallied with an incredible show of support, strength and defiance.

This includes the Just Giving appeal, which, prior to being closed earlier this week, had raised in excess of £700,000 for the family of the murdered policeman PC Keith Palmer.

I would like to think that in light of the large amount of money raised that Just Giving waive any commission fees and that the families of the other three people murdered by Masood are also looked after.

On the flip side, we have had to endure, principally via social media, a wave of anti-Islamic feeling that would have put people of a certain age in mind of the rise of fascism in the 1930s.

At times like this emotions do run high, but that absolutely does not mean anyone should think every Muslim is a terrorist or would-be attacker. Perhaps Birmingham MP Khalid Mahmood, a Muslim, summed it up best in the House of Commons: “People like him are not of my religion.”

Maybe the authors of some of the anti-Islamic bile should remember that there have terrorist acts in the capital over the last half a century or so that have been perpetrated by supposed Christians.

You only have to look to the candlelight vigil in Trafalgar Square the following night, led by London’s mayor Sadiq Khan, himself a Muslim, to realise that this shocking event has united the good people in this nation regardless of race, colour or creed.

We live in very difficult times but must never forget that we can’t let hate win.

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