The husband of murdered MP Jo Cox has said the perpetrator of the Westminster attack “is no more representative of British Muslims than the man who killed Jo is representative of people from Yorkshire”.
Mr Cox urged everyone to focus on those who had died and the families “waking up with their hearts torn out”, rather than terrorists.
He said: “Anybody who uses this attack to justify their own vilification of Muslims as a group does the work of the terrorists, turning community against community when what we need is unity.
“The person who perpetrated this attack is no more representative of British Muslims than the man who killed Jo is representative of people from Yorkshire.
“The terrorists’ strategy is to make us all - whether we’re Muslims or Christians, Jewish or Hindu, atheist or agnostic - believe the same thing: that we can’t all live together, that we can never live alongside each other. As British people we know that’s just not true.”
Mr Cox, whose wife was stabbed and shot by a right-wing extremist outside her constituency office in Birstall, West Yorkshire, last June, said earlier on Twitter that the “name I will remember” from the Westminster atrocity is Pc Keith Palmer - not the knifeman who killed him.
He said in his statement issued on Thursday: “First and foremost, we must remember this morning that families are waking up with their hearts torn out. Kids without parents, wives without husbands.
“I believe strongly that we should deny terrorists the notoriety they seek and keep the focus on the people we have lost and their courage, which is the story that really matters.
“Looking forward, we must react to this attack in a way that defeats the terrorists’ objectives. The point of terrorism is not to win militarily but to strike fear into our hearts and to divide our communities. We have to show that neither will work, that we are resolute and we remain united.”
Neo-Nazi Thomas Mair, from Birstall, received a life sentence with a whole life tariff for the assassination of Batley and Spen Labour MP Mrs Cox days before the EU referendum last summer.
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