13:50, May 24 318 0 theguardian.com

2017-05-24 13:50:03
Roots of the hate-filled thinking behind the Manchester bombing

The news of the horrifying terror attack in Manchester sent me reeling down memory lane. In Pakistan, where I was born and raised, such attacks have sadly become commonplace. On my daily commute to work, I would often witness anxious mothers escorting their toddlers through fortified walls into nurseries and schools. And as disturbing as it felt, this was increasingly becoming the new norm in the country.

It was quite inconceivable to imagine that these horrors that have besieged the hearts and minds of young Pakistanis would one day terrify youngsters in the UK. To think that a ghastly suicide attack would take place on British soil targeting young children was preposterous. Today, we have a lot of questions to answer about how we got here.

As we pick up the pieces, it is crucial to remember that we have a common enemy. As a Muslim immigrant to this country, and hailing from a persecuted minority sect in Islam known as the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (AMC), I love and cherish this country no less than any other British citizen. In fact, my faith teaches me that loyalty to my country is part of my faith.

The existence of the monstrous individuals who carry out such heinous acts across the globe was prophesied by Muhammad, who said that they would be the worst of creation on Earth. As the recent spate of terror attacks has shown, they truly are. The message of the AMC has always been one of rejecting extremism in all its forms and uniting behind the spirit of common humanity for the collective good. We must ensure such voices are heard louder than ever during these solemn times.

Ayesha Malik

Hindhead, Surrey

As we attempt to come to terms with what has happened in Manchester, it is very important to draw attention to the fact that the attack was not simply an attack on children and teenagers: it was an attack on girls. The overwhelming majority of those attending the concert were female, and the perpetrator knew that. We will not grasp the irrational, confused and hate-filled thinking behind it unless we see it as an act of gender violence.

Isis and those brainwashed by them think that women are less than persons, and that their lives are to be disposed of as men see fit. The emancipation of women in the west forms a large part of any explanation for why our civilisation is hated by these brutal men.

Dr Rufus Duits

London

Hugh Muir’s measured, wise and timely contribution (Send a message: hate peddlers must obey the rule of law, 24 May) has much to commend it.

Contrary to Tony Blair’s opportunistic assertion (after the London bombings of 7 July 2005), the rules of the game must never change. The rule of law and due process must remain immutable: that is what we are about and terrorism is not.

Thankfully, by and large, parliament stood firm in the face of that earlier pressure to dismantle entitlements for those who would have rejoiced in their having been singled out as special enemies of the state. Our independent and principled judiciary also served us well.

And so it must continue to be. The proposition is a simple one; no one ever said it was going to be easy.

Malcolm Fowler

Birmingham

If only we weren’t the second biggest arms dealer in the world and such good friends with the biggest arms dealer in the world. If only our sophisticated weaponry didn’t exist and wasn’t used by other people all over the world. If only there were no mothers, children, fathers, husbands, wives, brothers and sisters being blown up all over the world, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Syria, by the weapons developed and sold by the United Kingdom, then maybe we wouldn’t be the target of revenge.

If only our leaders and top politicians would create a culture of cooperation, compassion and inclusiveness, and help to create one world where there was no fear, retribution, hate and never-ending lies.

We have the technology for helping each other to live in peace and fulfilment, with adequate shelter, good food, clear water, and fresh air. This must be mankind’s greatest challenge, to live in peace. Please, let’s give it a try.

Karen Laurence

Swansea

Like most people I am appalled at the Manchester bombing. However, I wonder why we see these events in isolation and concentrate on the latest atrocity. So many of today’s problems are based on hate and anger – bombing, knife crime, racism, hate mail, even shouting, hitting, obsessional following, bullying etc. As a prison psychologist (now retired) I saw it all the time. Surely it is time that we had lessons in school that prepared children for life, including coping with anger, forming relationships and bringing up children. Acting out hate is the worst possible way to cope.

Elizabeth Noyes

Badsey, Worcestershire

While fervently hoping that no party will try to make political capital from the deadly carnage of the Manchester Arena bomb attack, what odds that the Tories will make some smearing reference to Jeremy Corbyn’s belief that the best way to ultimately deal with terror and hatred is through dialogue? There is only peace in Ireland today because people decided to talk to groups like the IRA.

Norman Miller

Brighton

I hope that the first thing the leaders of the Labour, SNP and Green parties do when electioneering resumes is to condemn the cuts to the police force that the Tory-Lib Dem coalition made and which are now being continued by the present Tory government. It is because of those cuts that the police no longer have the numbers to protect the public adequately, giving Mrs May’s government reason to try to make good the shortfall with members of the armed forces. The Cameron/Osborne/Clegg austerity policies are having inevitable consequences; they are implicated in the dreadful things we are witnessing and suffering.

Michael Knowles

Congleton, Cheshire

Given that, after similar incidents, some reporters are yet again accused of harassing victims of the Manchester bombing (Mail Online writer’s tweet sparks police review, 24 May), is it time for the Conservatives to reconsider their manifesto commitment to abandon the second phase of the Leveson inquiry into the practices and ethics of the press?

After all, Theresa May stands to benefit most from the suspension in general election campaigning simply by virtue of being prime minister, and so another mid-campaign rethink (similar to the dementia tax) would help redress this unexpected and unwanted advantage.

David Nowell

New Barnet, Hertfordshire

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