AFTER a day of shock, horror and disbelief witnessing killing on the streets of our country, comes reflection.
Anger would be an understandable reaction but a far better one would be the reaction of Jo Cox’s family.
“When we are faced with such acute pain and suffering it is difficult not to lose hope, but we must remember that the goodness of humanity will prevail and we must come together and counteract hatred, in whatever form, with love and support for our fellow human beings,” said Kim Leadbeater, the sister of Jo Cox speaking for herself and and her parents.
Brendan Cox too found the perfect words to say at this moment when he said the killer was no more representative of Muslims than the killer of his wife Jo was representative of people in Yorkshire.
Perhaps their words are so much more poignant because they are living with this pain. They know that behind the images on TV, behind the death toll rising, behind the tributes to PC Keith Palmer there are people losing children, siblings, husbands or wives, mums or dads. There will be people consumed by grief, about to learn how many thousands of lives their loved ones touched.
We owe it to them not to let this obscene act of hatred beget more hatred.
Qari Asim, Imam of Leeds Makka Mosque on Brudenell Road, Hyde Park, said this was a time for communities to unite and, as he pointed out taking the lives of innocent people does not form part of the teaching of any religion. “They are misinterpreting faith for their own geo-political aims and they are craving attention,” he said.
Among all the tributes yesterday the emergency services came in for special praise – and rightly so. They were the ones rushing towards that unknown danger whilst ensuring that the ordinary citizens were kept away.
They are surely among the most extraordinary of ordinary citizens. Events like this bring that into focus but it’s a reminder that they work to protect and serve us every day, whether it is the two armed officers outside Leeds station today or the two British Transport Police who were this week commended for pulling a woman to safety as she tried to jump off a Leeds Bridge.
And they will now be at the front line of keeping the peace across all communities.