As the tears stream down my face, I feel my stomach tie in knots. In the aftermath of the Manchester attacks, I thought that the terrorists had backed down and left us alone but I was wrong and this one was a little closer to home. Three months ago terrorist Khalid Masood killed 5 people in Westminister, 13 days ago Salman Abedi killed 22 people in Manchester and last night at least 7 people were killed in London Bridge. What on earth is this world coming to, where we feel the need to kill the innocents to feed our own selfish agenda? What kind of world do we live in that would let young children, mothers, parents, the elderly and more perish in the fire of terrorism? It begs me to question, what happened to being safe in our towns and cities, hadn’t we moved beyond killing our own? I guess I was wrong, I knew that it was only a matter of time before London would be targeted but I had no idea that the day would be this close.
Last night I was at work when I was hit with the news and I thought it was a practical joke at first. It couldn’t be happening, not again. But this was no practical joke and as a customer waved his phone in front of me with the ‘evidence’ I almost hurled. How were we meant to go on with our lives and pretend everything was okay when monsters were going around killing our people. The sad thing was when I said ‘it couldn’t be another terrorist attack’ the man turned around and said to me it ‘was a white Muslim’ as though proof of his ‘religious beliefs’ had something to do with the heinous crimes that he had committed. Listen up, the bombers, the killers, the ‘stabbers’ are in no way affiliated with religion, they are cold hearted monsters and that is that.
I felt shaken walking from work, almost scared to take the tube home but the defiance that I saw in my fellow Londoners eyes spurred me on. Because that is what I love about London, despite recent events, we stay strong and united in the wake of tragedy. Homeless people tend to our children and the police risk their lives to capture killers. Despite the awful truth that our world is no longer that safe place we claimed as our own, we cannot live our lives in fear. Don’t stop taking tubes because you are scared of what might happen, don’t put off your dinner plans or stop going shopping because you are worried about another bomb threat. Truth is, our lives are mapped out by our destinies and what will be, will be. If we stop living our lives, we are given those monsters the satisfaction that they do not deserve and that is not okay.
Terrorism has nothing to do with religion and we need to stop pointing fingers, because in the face of ‘terror’ we must stay united. Londoners, don’t blame Islam for the actions of one barbaric monster, be kind and gentle because they are hurting too. Imagine how you would feel if someone walked up to you in the middle of the street and started calling you names because of your religion? It is not okay and as Londoners we should embrace multiculturalism, especially in the wave of terrorism. If we stay divided then the monsters win and we can never let them win!
Already the hate posts against ‘Muslims’ on Twitter and Facebook has been rife and is increasing in numbers. In fact one idiot Tweeted -and I quote-‘People call me extreme for the stance I take on Islam but I just don’t want my family blown up, run over or stabbed to death.
#LondonAttacks‘. A. not all terrorists are Muslims and B. the terrorists that do call themselves Muslims are not ‘true Muslims’. After all I might be an atheist but even I know that the basic premise of a ‘religion’ is to ‘find peace, love and solidarity’ values which none of these masochists share.
It should come as no surprise to say that Donald Trump is only using our ‘attacks’ to reinforce his desire to impose a ‘travel ban’ on Muslims, yet he says he will be ‘there for London’? Please, if he was really there for London, he would stop pointing the finger at innocent people, stop spreading intolerance and above all teach the world that ‘violence’ is never the answer. After all you shouldn’t play fire with fire right? But I digress, London if you are listening I want you to stop blaming innocents because the only people that are to blame are the terrorists and no one more. To say that one whole religion is to blame for a few peoples crimes against humanity is ridiculous. So stop spreading hate, stop using religion as an excuse to be hurtful to others and above all love your fellow Londoners because they too stand beside you.
Don’t look at the colour of someones skin and automatically assume that they have ‘criminal intentions’ and don’t look at someone as a symbol of their religion and think it’s okay to call them names. If you are physically or verbally abusive towards others because you blame them for ‘the rise of terrorism’ you are committing a crime yourself. London, stand with me and join the fight against prejudice because I know it is going to be a rocky road ahead. Who knows how much time we have before another nutter strikes again, who knows what might happen if we are caught in the wrong place at the wrong time but if we start thinking like that we will never live our lives and our lives are far too short to be wasted on ‘what ifs’. I can’t promise you peace but I want you to turn to the person next to you and smile. Give them hope and love, like you would like to be loved in return. Even if it is a random stranger, offer them your warmth because life is too short to stay divided. Above all, don’t be hateful, be kind, loving and look for the good in others.
Out of tragedy we will rise like a phoenix from the ashes and stand glorious once again. Despite what Britain is going through, don’t pity us because we are stronger than those terrorists have made us out to be. We will never let their actions define who we are as people because we are not victims but warriors. I want to take this moment to extend a moment of silence for all the victims in the past few months, who lost their lives in the battle against terrorism. Let us not remember them as they were in death but in life, laughing, living, breathing because #wearenotafraid .
Let Us Stand United And Fight Against Intolerance…