Travelling through the city centre I was startled to see messages of sympathy and support for the victims of the Manchester attack. I pass the same way regularly but for some reason I had not seen it before. Just as that tragic news became our new reality, the London Bridge attack happened. Following on from that- this week the the Grenfell Tower burst into flame and quickly spread through the building. Today's media roundup comes in the light of all these tragic events and loss of life. The title for today's blog and picture come from a Muslim community rally against terrorism that was held in Sheffield less than a week ago.
There has been further condemnation of the London attack by various Muslim communities in the UK. Three thousand roses were handed out on London Bridge by Muslims as a show of unity with those who were injured and killed in the attack.
Grimsby Islamic Community have also invited wider members of the community, including the North East Lincolnshire's Mayor, councillors, members of the police and public to en event in the mosque. The aim was to show that the London Bridge attack was "not in my name." Elsewhere in Glasgow a Muslim anti-terror rally has been held.
The generosity of a Muslim in Surrey has been seen online. The article describes how a Muslim lady shared a meal with her non-Muslim neighbour as well as sharing some information about Ramadan. A picture of a Muslim who helped an elderly lady who had collapsed on a bus has also been shared tens of thousands of times on social media this week.
Since the London Bridge attack there has also been a rise in hate crime, a 500% increase in Islamophobic crime and a 40% rise in racist incidents has been reported. for example: recently a Muslim mother was punched in the face in Birmingham,a bag of vomit was recently thrown at a car carrying two Muslim women in Blackburn, Lancashire.
Perhaps this spike in incidents will be turned around by the reporting in the Telegraph, Independent, Sun, and Daily Mail and elsewhere. Many Muslims have been hailed as heroes for saving lives in the tragic Grenfell Tower fire in London. The blaze tore through the 24 storey building causing many to be hospitalised and 17 at this time are known to have been killed. Muslims in the area were awake and so were able to help evacuate the building and prevent further loss of life. The fact that Muslims were awake because of Ramadan and so were able to help was also widely reported on TV news including Channel 4 and BBC news. The charity Muslim Hands have launched an appeal, as have Muslim Aid who are also working in conjunction with churches to aid those who have been left homeless.
There are many opportunities to interact with our Muslim neighbours, colleagues and friends. Let's not be part of the problem. Let's choose love not hate. Many Muslims say that they got to know Jesus though supernatural dreams, reading the and having a longterm friendship with a follower of Jesus. Let's be that friend this week. The message of Jesus comes wrapped in a person- that means you and me!