On Wednesday the 22nd of March, 2017, terror chillingly struck at the very heart of British democracy in London, when Khalid Masood, a 52-year-old radicalised convert to Islam, born Adrian Elms, radicalised in prison with prior criminal convictions, killed four innocent victims injuring 50 other people as he mowed down members of the public with a car on Westminster Bridge. Such heinous attacks are assaults on free people everywhere.
Amongst the departed victims on March 22 was the brave PC Keith Palmer. His heroic humanity is a vivid reminder that the most important citizens of our society are neither the rich, nor the famous, but our first responders, emergency staff, police, doctors, nurses, protecting innocent civilians from brain-washed butchering barbarians. Daily, the likes of PC Palmer are risking life and limb, kith and kin, running to confront the enemies of our collective human civilization while others are running away.
Such an act of barbaric savagery tries to suffocate Britain’s tolerant and thriving multi-cultural multi-faith multi-ethnic fabric, yet Londoners defiantly defend their inclusive way of life, as generations have done, and as forthcoming generations will do. London, unlike many cities on an increasingly insular European continent, remains welcoming. This is what makes London so special.
Right after the atrocious Westminster attack, the Muslim community of London raised £3,000 in only one hour for the terror attack victims. Muslims were on the very front-lines in the Trafalgar Square vigil paying tribute to London`s victims. Such is their acceptance and allegiance to Britain’s way of life. Europe’s first Muslim elected mayor of Pakistani origin, Sadiq Khan, will keep blazing a trail by protecting civilians of the most resilient city on earth.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack yet evidence exhibits that Khalid Masood acted as a lone wolf terrorist. Their love of death might be greater than our love of life but if terrorists think they will dent the British way of life, they have another thing coming.
Great Britain is a nation that single-handedly stood up to the ubiquitous Blitz and Luftwaffe, the mightiest evil ever known to humanity. As Martin McGuiness bit the dust, it is noteworthy to remember that Londoners have lived through soul-sapping terrorism by the Irish Republican Army, their killings drenched rivers of blood, from Harrods to the Hilton, from Canary Wharf and beyond, yet Londoners remained undivided. Londoners’ resolve never wavers or cows in the face of lone wolf cowardice. Londoners have been through 7/7 only to come out braver, stronger, more united.
Terrorists thirst to attack London as it is a beacon of integration. Terrorists hate the fact that Londoners do not just ‘tolerate’ each other – whether you’re a Muslim, Christian, Jew, Sikh, Hindu or Buddhist – but respect and celebrate each other’s presence where humanity reigns supreme.
Vocal anti-Muslim hate peddlers such as Katie Hopkins, Nigel Farage, Britain First, Pegida UK and UKIP loathe London since it is living, breathing proof that everything they represent is abundantly false. Those spewing hate, division, racism and religious exclusionism would be wise to remember that murderous psychopaths mowing down non-armed civilians are neither ‘holy’ nor are they ‘warriors’ by any stretch of the vivid imagination.
For every brain washed brain dead radicalised fundamentalist there are a thousand PC Palmer`s. They come from every walk of life, every ethnicity and every faith. They are the people of Britain, and against them terror will never ever prevail.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 27th, 2017.