At approximately 11PM on Monday 22nd May 2017, an explosion in the foyer of the #Manchester Arena, where US pop star Ariana Grande had finished performing a concert, was reported. Fast forward to 5PM on Tuesday 23rd May as I write this, and the event, a suicide bombing, and has been confirmed as a terrorist #Attack. According to Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, this attack was "the most horrific incident" that had ever taken place in Greater Manchester. The attack has taken the lives of 22 people and injured 59 people, as of writing this article. Among those who were killed were children, just wanting to go and see a singer they like perform some songs and have a good time.

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Now they are gone. Their lives robbed from them along with the adult deaths and anyone else effected by this tragedy.

This is not about the perpetrator

Apart from what I say now, I don't want to write about the perpetrator in this article, I do not want to make this article about them. I want to talk about the ramifications of the coward's actions - and a coward is what he is. He committed an attack and it is us, the people of all and every kind of background living here in England, now have to pick up the pieces while he is gone.

ISIS have claimed responsibility for the attack. I frankly do not pay attention to what ISIS/ISIL/Daesh claim responsibility to these days. Why? Because they would claim responsibility if a table smashed in my house. They remind me of those guys who when asked if they slept with so-and-so, whose a really hot girl, say yes, when they probably haven't ever said two words to that woman.

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History Repeats Itself

I cannot even imagine what the families of those effected by the tragedy are going through right now, but I would like to take this opportunity to pass on my condolences and prayers to those people. You are and will continue to be in the thoughts of many people here and abroad too. To say that this event has depressed me today would be an understatement. My mother, a Pakistani-born Muslim who has lived in England for longer than some people reading this have been alive, is telling me she had tears in her eyes when she heard the news and can no longer talk about it due to how it makes her feel. She was very visibly upset and I acquiesced to her wishes.

The kindness of Mancunians

Today news and posts on social media have provided a rollercoaster of ups and downs. I have seen posts about people wanting to help in any way they can. Local Mancunians have opened their homes to the people who attended the concert, taxi firms are taking people to places for free, people have been wanting to donate blood and more.

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We have also had some commentary from across the pond, talking about our affairs in a way that makes you wonder if they know what they're talking about - not surprising from a FOX correspondent. At least Twitter clapped back nicely and reminded people that some of those taxi drivers taking people home for free and doctors working through the night to help those injured, are Muslim. Katie Hopkins, known for her anti-Muslim rhetoric called for a "final solution", on Twitter, in response to the attack, before quickly deleting it. For those who do not know, the "Final Solution", refers to the a Nazi program that planned the extermination of all Jews in Europe.

I am not against having an honest debate on Islam

Now this is nothing new for me and many, many others, who have faced worse consequences when a Muslim commits an act of terror. Things changed for me the day after 9/11 and ever since then, dealing with ignorant people whose actual knowledge of Islam could fill a microscopic cell, yet speaking as if they're experts, is something that has happened often enough. And still continues to do so. Let me make something clear, as someone from a Muslim background, I am not against having honest and sincere discussions and debates on Islam. Discussions and debates are healthy and can lead to people from opposing sides, to understand one another better. And where they agree to disagree on matters, they can at least be civil with one another and be accepting of each other's differences and unite on where they agree.

The need to listen

Islam, like other faiths, claims truth-hood, and therefore should be able to stand up to any intellectual challenges, as should other faiths and ideologies. Where I and many others have a problem, is when someone's understandings of Islam, is based on falsehood and are not willing to listen or accept when those myths have been shown to be untrue. The consequences of believing in such falsehoods will at the least, lead to very negative thoughts towards particular people and at its worst, lead to things such as a Muslim woman losing her baby due to a violent attack.

Attack On Us All

I said this earlier, but please allow me to expound...what some people may not understand, is that this attack in Manchester, is in reality an attack on us all. I am not trying to take anything from those directly affected. What I mean is that we all have to deal with the ramifications of it. Whether you're a family member or friend of a victim of this tragic event, to someone attending a football match or taking public transport in the future, wondering if it is safe for them. Or to that Muslim girl, who now fears even more than before, that if she wears a headscarf outdoors, or that Muslim man who has a long beard - will they be opening themselves up to abuse or funny looks?

We all have to deal with this now

Let's not forget those people who aren't Muslim, but "look" like they are, being harmed as well. We all have to deal with this now..and we should do it together. If we divide, if we all go into our corners, if we start hating and blaming one another and shouting instead of talking, have we not given the terrorists what they wanted? We are practically writing their recruitment propaganda for them and contributing to the cycle of hate and evil if we do. Human beings are clearly capable of a lot of evil, but we are also capable of such good too.

I have hope

In the Quran, the Angels question God placing beings (us) on earth that will shed blood. God's response is "I Know what you do not". This gives me hope, my family and friends give me hope. The random acts of goodness I see, hear and read about, give me hope. I am not asking people to be naive. Wherever you go in the world, there are lots of issues that need to be addressed and England is certainly no exception, but I ask myself, and you, to not give into fear. The best way to fight back against those who seek to divide us, is to come together and show them that we will not be cowered and turn on one another. That all their attacks and hate, only make us stronger and make us more determined to ensure that love triumphs over hate. #ArianaGrande