Manchester will overcome this repulsive terrorist atrocity
Even by terrorist standards, the nail bombing of the Ariana Grande pop concert reaches new depths of indiscriminate evil. With over 22 people dead and dozens maimed the terrorists have caused unforgivable human causalities, but have once again united a community, city, country and world against terror. As a beacon of hope, Manchester will endure and overcome this evil.
It was supposed to be an evening of happy memories. As tens of thousands of fans packed into the Manchester Arena for a thrilling night of carefree fun, none could envisage or even contemplate the horror which lay ahead.
In an audience of 21,000 - many of them teenagers and children - this was their first concert experience and a chance to see their idol, Ariana Grande, on stage. We can all imagine the delight, anticipation and innocence of those in attendance. The posters on the bedroom wall, the music downloads, the magazines and the thrill of getting tickets to such an exciting event.
Unfortunately in a world where terrorist operators seem fixated on pushing boundaries of evil beyond human comprehension, the concert became the latest target in a long line of outrages.
What we do know already is that Prime Minister Theresa May has condemned the “sickening cowardice” of the perpetrator. The City’s newly elected Mayor Andy Burnham says spirit of city will prevail.
We also know that the stewards and volunteers helped the injured and the frightened to safety, putting their own lives at risk. We know that hundreds of taxi drivers – from all faith backgrounds, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs – waited and offered free cab rides home to the thousands stranded in the city.
We know that the NHS hospital and emergency service teams are fighting hard to protect lives and treat those in terrible pain. We know that the Police have identified the killer and are already ruthlessly pursing leads to bring his or her associates to justice.
Manchester is a beacon of creativity, diversity and community. The crueller the terrorists become, the closer the city will come together.
The time will come when we know more and are able to explore and debate the what, who, why and how. But let’s agree to declare war not against religious groups, or communities with sweeping generalisations, but on the perpetrators – the terrorists.
Steven George-Hilley is associate editor at The Commentator
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