The vicious attack in London this weekend was an attack on us all. The thugs who carried it out intended to cause maximum injury and death and spread terror into the heart of our country.
It came one week into the Holy Month of Ramadan – a time when British Muslims are engaging in peaceful reflection, considering those less fortunate and fasting to be at our most spiritual.
An attack like this at any time is savage and mindless. The fact that it was timed to coincide with Ramadan makes it even more reprehensible. No true Muslim would carry out such attacks on humanity during the Holy Month. It only goes to prove how far from Islam these people are.
The UK and rest of the world is being targeted by the same hate and twisted ideology which is seeking to divide us all. We must come together to reject all of those who commit violence and those who exploit it.
As Muslims, we utterly reject violence in the name of our religion. The perpetrators do not represent any form of Islam. They are brutal killers who are hellbent on harming Londoners irrespective of faith, religion or ethnicity.
This is the third terror attack in Britain in as many months. We have seen how communities have come together following the Westminster attack in March and the Manchester bombing in May. Britons of all faiths and none united in grief and with a resolve to support one another.
Far from dividing us, these attacks have brought us together. They have brought Londoners, Mancunians and the rest of the UK together, standing shoulder to shoulder against hate.
Muslims and people of all faiths and none are united against hate.
Let’s stand together in solidarity and work to overcome these hard times and build a stronger society. A safer society.
We send a message to all British Muslims to stay strong. These attacks are not a representation of your faith. They are carried out by people indoctrinated by a warped version of Islam that is unrecognisable to Muslims everywhere.
These attacks are frightening, but we cannot live in fear. We must continue to go about our daily business, going to work, to school, looking after our families. This is how we show extremists that they cannot win.
To all the mothers out there – it’s important to speak with your children about the terror attacks, in a sensitive and supportive way. The BBC recently published a guide offering advice about how to approach these difficult subjects.
Odara is here if you need support or advice, so please feel free to get in touch.
Our thoughts are with all of those affected by the attacks this weekend. #WeStandTogether