We cannot let the actions of a few be representative of the 22% of the human race that identify as Muslim, but neither can we let them dictate the way in which we live our lives. By hiding the aspects of our faith that we hold most dear, we miss the opportunity to show those of other faiths and cultures the other side of the coin through our daily interactions with people at work and at school.
The hallmark of great people and a strong nation is defined in the face of adversity. For communities across the UK, the attack on Westminster should inspire more community efforts that help build resilience in people and institutions. Part of the process requires communities to understand the important role they play in facilitating efforts to eradicate hatred from society.
As a British Muslim woman I often fear that the backlash of such terrorist incidents will put me in a hugely vulnerable position, as a target for Islamophobic and racist attacks. I have been subject to many in the past, and it makes me feel very uncomfortable knowing that my choice of wearing the hijab makes me a very visible and obvious target.
Being South-Asian and Muslim are not to blame here, I'm merely acknowledging that as a female, South Asian Muslim, my intersecting identities have enabled me to notice gender inequality first-hand and experience the troublesome nature of sexual politics that have affected women for generations and are still affecting many of us today.
I've seen plenty of campaigns and events aimed at the Muslim community dedicated to combatting extremism. Yet when I sit with friends I realise the sheer gap between what defines the lives of ordinary Muslims, desires for a sense of belonging, for equality, for a sense that we matter too and what governments and others think has come to define them.
The ruling by Donald Trump to place a temporary ban on Muslims from selected countries entering the USA has provoked global outrage. While a similar ban on students wanting to study in the UK seems (hopefully) inconceivable, when it comes to obtaining entry visas bona fide students and staff from Muslim countries can face an uphill struggle.
Establishing a working definition will support the process of differentiating the appropriate from the inappropriate, the legitimate from the illegitimate, and the disproportionate from the proportionate which brings me on to the final consideration. However, quite irrespective of which - if indeed any - working definition is established, it is highly unlikely that it will be warmly received by those who seek to criticise, detract from, and ultimately deny Islamophobia's very existence.