West Ham MP Lyn Brown is not going to allow terrorists to degrade our way of life


- Credit: Archant

The horrific terrorist attacks perpetrated by ISIS in Paris, Bamako and Beirut were at the forefront of everyone’s minds in Parliament this week. There is no justification whatsoever for such abhorrent violence.

Each obscene, violent act also creates extraordinary heroism. In Beirut, Adel Termos, a 32-year-old mechanic, saw a man running towards a mosque with the clear intent to attack it. Adel pinned the man down and, whilst he was doing so, the man detonated a bomb killing himself and Adel. We don’t know how many lives Adel saved, but his was true bravery and the ultimate sacrifice. We saw the same spirit of human selflessness in Paris. Sebastien, rather than run to safety, held onto a pregnant woman for five minutes as she desperately dangled out of an upper window of the Bataclan Concert Hall. They both survived.

The attack in Paris shocked the world, as the perpetrators no doubt hoped it would. It’s said that the attack is part of a sophisticated recruitment drive, attempting to drive a wedge between the French Muslim community and the wider population, in the hope and expectation of greater alienation of the Muslim community and more support for the Jihadists’ cause. We must pray they don’t succeed and that all France remains resilient to such a facile ploy.

Our community was deeply affected, even traumatised, by the indiscriminate violence of the London bombings. I remember getting on the tube the day after. I sought out seats next to anyone who looked like they might have been Muslim. I wanted to show solidarity and a confidence in our joint humanity. There wasn’t a seat vacant. Other commuters had the same idea. We were not, and will not be, divided by the sickening actions of a few.

The terrorists win, if we allow their terrorism to destroy our age-old ways: living with, and sharing, each other’s diverse humanity, our freedom to be different, to think and say different things, to practice our faith, all faiths and none. We should not inflate the power of terrorists and allow them to undermine and degrade our way of life. More from Lyn