THE BLOG

Woolwich; Stronger Together

28/05/2013 14:13 BST | Updated 27/07/2013 10:12 BST

When terrible things happen, in the same moment we often see society at its best and also at its worst. Nothing can be done to take away the pain, nothing can be done to stop the hurt and nothing can be done to change that which has already happened.

A terrible thing happened in Woolwich on Wednesday, nobody can turn back time to stop it from happening. A family has lost a loved one, and a community of brothers and sisters in the UK Armed Forces have also lost one of their own.

Similarities might bring people together, but that which is different is what makes people stronger. Diversity in a number of different areas allows an eclectic band of brothers and sisters to each bring their own skills to the table.

In some ways we are all the same, as in others we have our differences. It matters not what we are, what colour our skin is, nor does it matter what our religion happens to be. What matters is who we are and how we treat others.

Two people chose to carry out a callous and horrendous attack, not Islam, but two individuals. A family have suffered loss and will be grieving for a long-time. The Queen has lost one of her soldiers, the country has lost one of its servants.

The Armed Forces community pride themselves not only on the things they have in common with each other, but also celebrate their differences.

From the lowest to the highest ranks, Muslims are represented within the British Armed forces. It was only earlier this month that Lance Corporal Taju-Deen Mohammed was highly commended for his efforts in an international Quran recital competition.

After events such as that which took place yesterday, as a country we are and shall continue to remain stronger together than we would be apart.

Following the incident on Wednesday, we have already seen evidence of a backlash of sorts against parts of the Muslim community in the UK. Equally, we have also observed positive signs within society when Muslim leaders in York invited the EDL for tea and biscuits.

As individuals and as a society, we are tested by such shocking events; what we do afterwards as a society may yet relate to how we are judged by future generations.