I heard about the Manchester terrorist attack in the very early hours of Wednesday morning and my heart simply sank as the enormity of what had happened dawned on me. It sank even further as the casualty toll rose and I was a mixed bag of both anguish and anger at the loss of innocent lives so needlessly lost yet again. 22 dead, many of them children and teenagers and 64 more people injured. Hospitals and social service centres tasked with the grim responsibility of coping with the fallout of the carnage, death and chaos caused by this senselessly callous act. The lives and families of those affected forever haunted by the terror and ordeal of Tuesday night’s atrocity in Manchester. My heart and prayers go out on behalf of all those who have been affected by the tragedy. In this vein I felt compelled to write this article in honour of the precious and innocent lives lost as a result of Tuesday’s tragedy. As I write, my mind is bombarded with more thoughts than I can write down so apologies for any lack of finesse in my writing. At times like these I am only able to write with the naked emotion that’s based purely on the strength of my feelings about my subject matter of interest.
So this brings me to how sorely irritated I get listening to the usual platitudes and reactive defiance offered by our politicians whenever these atrocities are carried out on a now too often basis. They never stray from the same politically correct script. Our politicians tell us that we shall remain defiant in the face of provocation and that our values and way of life will never change. We are reminded of what we already know; that these acts are the acts of callous and wicked human beings who have no regard for human life etc etc. I am tired of ficklerhetoric. I understand the need to issue statements aimed at reassuring the public and to appear resolute in the face of what can only be now described as an onslaught against the normal way of life. While there is nothing wrong with rhetoric, it will never address the fundamental problem of terrorism and their frequently tragic consequences. The magnitude of the dangers posed to Western societies with this ever increasing spate of attacks, means we must back up rhetoric with draconian action as we can no longer continue to approach this problem with idealistic notions wrapped up in meaningless rhetorical sentiments that cannot bring back the dead or offer comfort to their grief-stricken families. I am heartbroken at the countless number of times we’re bound to contend with the horror, shock and grief that follow such incidents right across Europe.
We are a nation and a continent under siege, albeit by stealth and the idealism with which we respond to these outcomes can no longer suffice. We live in a world where sadly it has to be acknowledged that there are those living in our midst who harbour enough hate towards us to commit these kinds of atrocities. As a person of Christian faith living in a supposedly Christian country (at this rate it may soon not remain so for much longer), I am tired of hearing how peaceful Islam is and how these acts do not represent the true doctrine of Islam. Even if this were true I certainly do not want to hear it at this time of pain. It becomes meaningless to me in the face of yet another act of atrocity committed by yet another Islamic radical, as almost always seems to be the case wherever you hear of terrorism. I am tired of being fed pacifist comments about how we will remain defiant and I am tired of the ceremonial outpourings that take place to mark these now too often tragic occurrences. I am tired of the knee jerk policing operations that occur in the aftermath only to pan out after a few weeks and we’re back to being sitting ducks again.