The 16th of June 2016 will be noted as a dark day in Britain's history. The tragic, barbaric and senseless murder of Jo Cox has left a dark mark. After knowing what she stood for it seems like this was an attack on British values as much as on Jo Cox. Everything that Jo stood for, cared for and fought for represent the core British values that I admire and cherish. As a Muslim immigrant to this country that I call home now, the British values of justice, charity and compassion are what makes this country far more beautiful than its green landscape. And since her sad death I have come to known that Jo Cox was an embodiment of that. Her short life of only 41 years, only a couple of years older than me, is an inspiration to many.
What a life she lived!
What a champion she was!
She was a people's champion. Working for great charities like Oxfam, NSPCC and Save the children, fighting for the rights of the people of Gaza, working on reducing maternal mortality in Africa, or working for a safe future for Syrian refugee children, all of this makes her a people's champion.
The daughter of a factory worker who was the first one in her family to go to university, what an inspiration her life is for working class children. You might say why does her family background matter? But it does as people can relate to her. She was from amongst us.
People who knew her are talking about her warmth and friendliness. For us who didn't know her, this is very much evident from her beautiful smile and her eyes full of hope. Everything about Jo and her short life makes it somehow more painful to come to terms with this loss, makes it more tragic. But as a mother myself, those few hours of agony between the news of her being shot and then her death were spent in thoughts for her young children. That image of her family in the flotilla on the Thames the day before this tragedy has been shared thousands of times and won't be erased from my memory. She often spoke about her children as her family was extremely important to her. Those two young children whose mother has been barbarically taken away from them are the biggest victims in this tragedy.
The motives behind Jo's murder are still unclear. However you categorise these crimes, the motive behind all such acts is hate. By playing the game of scaremongering and enhancing the fear of people certain politicians have acted very irresponsibly. What benefit is it to society if people are divided and made to hate each other?
There is no greater need than now to bring together humanity regardless of colour race and religion to unite against the threats we face. The world is facing a difficult time.
This is no time for hate.
This is a time for humanity and love.
This is a time for unity.
What an incredible man Brendan Cox is, despite great personal loss he issued a most beautiful and emotional statement. He said she would want everyone to unite to fight against the hatred that killed her. And that we should do.
My heart goes out to Jo's family and her young children, people who will always feel her loss for the rest of their lives.
As for me I just have one regret, I wish I had known Jo Cox, MP for Batley and Spen.