Questions need to be asked about UK foreign policy after the Manchester attack

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The Independent Online

The slaughter in Manchester, while ruthless and merciless could indicate retaliation to Britain's military involvement overseas and in particular its involvement in NATO? Many of the terrorist attacks have targeted NATO countries in Europe, notwithstanding outstanding potential threats from campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Baltics.

No one knows for sure why these attacks are taking place, which may be the result of delayed Isis reprisals attacks from Britain’s cooperation in the Iraq war with the US? This is quite likely, as there was a declaration of “jihad” or holy war after the Iraqi invasion. When air strikes against these countries take place and children get killed it is labelled “collateral damage”. To us in the West it is called terrorism and mass murder. Those carrying out the Manchester atrocity probably justified indiscriminate killing, by the killing of their own by NATO operations? But we are still not sure, no one seems to be asking the vital questions – such as why is this happening? What is the motive?

What is the message they want to get through? Vital questions which must be asked. As a rule NATO or Western governments do not deal or negotiate with terrorists when their citizens are attacked, however it may time to change that policy and find out exactly what is going on in the minds of those who carry out such extreme attacks. Obviously there is a military mind involved in such attacks. The terrorists wait until things cool down and then use the element of surprise to its fullest, giving law enforcement no warning. There appears to be a strategy behind what is going on. These are not just wildcat extremists living out their extremism or fanaticism, there appears to be coordination, financing, planning, and execution involved.

There are Islamic-militant groups operating in Europe and especially against NATO countries, who are highly capable and will stop at nothing to revenge or avenge attacks on their countries and peoples. Should the reason for the attack be residual grievances from Britain's involvement in the Iraq war catching up with it, then we need look no further as to the reason why, what happened in Manchester, happened. Iraq and Britain's involvement in it and other NATO countries was controversial to say the least.

Britain cannot have a convenient attack of morality every time, for what probably are, reprisal attacks coming from wars and military operations Britain or any other country have got involved in. No country can indefinitely expect to be involved in ongoing military operations which kill many civilians young and old, to the extent Britain and other countries have, without some danger however slight, or counter-offensives? It seems Britain's enemies have gotten stronger, capable, and deadly and appear to be bringing wars home to Britain?

This is the 21st century and it seems the days are long gone when Western countries can go off to war and call it a chapter in history and have the convenience of forgetting about it.  

Maurice Fitzgerald County Cork

We must remain united during this difficult time

In the worst of times we see more clearly the best of what it means to be British. It does not matter where we are in England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland – there is something essential that binds us together and it becomes all the more obvious in the face of attempts to break us apart. 

It is not that we are all the same, far from it, for across these isles we have the greatest of diversity, with wide ranging cultures and proud histories. Yet we know we are so much more because of that core Britishness imprinted within and between us, meaning  we will not be cowered by those who would use fear and division to try to intimidate us. As a result, we feel all the more sure of who we really are.

Keith Howell West Linton

I feel deeply saddened after the terror attack on Manchester. My heart goes out to the victims and their families. The attack on such a beautiful diverse city is an attack on all of us. Isis, which claimed responsibility for the attack, represents only itself and its wicked ideology which is incompatible with Islam. Only last week Isis attacked a Palestinian family in Libya killing the mother, the father, the son and abducted the two daughters not to mention their daily atrocities in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.

Only by standing together we could defeat terror and its causes. 

Mohammed Samaana Belfast

The Ahmadiyya community condemn this senseless act of horror – this is not Islam

The news of the horrifying terror attack in Manchester sent me reeling down memory lane. In Pakistan, the country where I was born and raised, such attacks have sadly become commonplace. On my daily commute to work, I would often witness anxious mothers escorting their toddlers through fortified walls into nurseries and schools. And disturbing as it felt, this was increasingly becoming the new norm in the country.

It was quite inconceivable to imagine that these horrors that have besieged the hearts and minds of young Pakistanis would one day terrify youngsters in mainland UK. To think that a ghastly suicide attack would take place on British soil targeting young children was preposterous. Today, we have a lot to answer about how we got here.

As we pick up the pieces, it is crucial to remember that we have a common enemy. As a Muslim immigrant to this country, and hailing from a persecuted minority sect in Islam known as the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (AMC), I love and cherish this country no less than any other British citizen. In fact, my faith teaches me that loyalty to my country is part of my faith. 

The existence of the monstrous individuals who carry out such heinous acts across the globe was prophesied by the Holy Prophet (pbuh) who said that they would be the worst of creation on Earth. As the recent spate of terror attacks have shown, they truly are. The message of the AMC has always been one of rejecting extremism in all its forms and uniting behind the spirit of common humanity for the collective good. We must ensure such voices are heard louder than ever during these solemn times. 

Ayesha Malik Surrey

As I heard of the news of the barbaric and inhumane terrorist attack in Manchester a feeling of deep sadness, numbness and pain came over me. That gut-wrenching feeling that questions how can someone think to hurt another person let alone target and violently murder children at a concert? Listening to the news as more information comes to light only made the feeling of horror and shock more apparent – lives that have barely begun barbarically cut short.

As a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community again and again we are reminded by our leader, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the words of the Holy Prophet of Islam: that love of one's country is a part of faith. Therefore as a community we are truly grieved and pained by this attack and our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by it.

The Holy Qu’ran states that to kill one person is akin to killing all of mankind. Terrorists will never win – as communities in Manchester and across the UK come together to help each other and show solidarity it underlines the truly Great British spirit within us all that will always resist against the terrorist agenda.  

Zakia Bajwa London

My heart sank as I awoke today to the incredibly horrific news of terrorism perpetrated on innocent children in Manchester. Heavy hearted I thought of the grieving parents who untied their apron strings to fulfil the wishes of their young daughters. 

As one turns to social media one's heart is filled with admiration as we encounter a shining example of solidarity from all walks of life. Whilst our hearts weep for the victims, the resounding voice of support and resilience in the face of horror is certainly the means of instilling peace in this time of sadness and fear. Home owners, taxi drivers, restaurant owners, doctors, nurses, paramedics and more, all joined forces to be the wall of solidarity that flitters not from such cowardly provocation. One witnesses today that all ages, all faiths and all ethnicities are united in condemnation of this barbarity.

Whatever the intention of this extremist, as unambiguously put by the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad: “Let it be clear that they (the terrorists) are not practicing Islam, rather it seems as though they have invented their own hate-filled and poisonous religion.”

The name of Islam literally means peace and so even the name itself rejects all forms of terrorism, extremism and compulsion. Rather, Islam is that religion that champions peace, freedom, love and security for all mankind.”

My hope is that as the details of this atrocity and its cowardly perpetrator surface we continue to show our true Greatness. We may be divided by our red and blue politics, by our north and south divide or by Europe but when we come together as Great Britain we are a force to be reckoned with like no other. 

Maleeha Mansur

Condolences from across the pond – we remain united with the UK

My heart bleeds for the innocent victims of this horrible and senseless tragedy and I proffer my sympathies to them and to their anguished families. The situation for Isis must be getting pretty desperate when they must resort to murdering young girls to terrorise Westerners. 

On the contrary, this savage act of sheer barbarism will have the opposite effect as people witness and better understand the astonishing evil exposed here which must, for the sake of all civilised humanity, be resolutely defeated.  

Dr Michael Pravica Nevada

As the world mourns and condemns the dastardly attacks in Manchester, what make this despicably inhuman and incomprehensible is that many innocent victims were defenceless children chaperoned by parents. Young teenagers congregating in thousands at a place they were supposed to be as children, to enjoy music at the concert of their favourite pop star Arianna Grande. 

While it remains too early to speculate the motive of the attacker and the mastermind behind this attack, whatever and whoever that be may be, it undoubtedly reflects a premeditated and heinous act of terrorism perpetrated meticulously to inflict maximum bodily damage and loss of innocent lives.

Ironically, today in an increasingly divided world, the forces of terrorism are getting more and more united and savvy in achieving their ultimate and singular objective of unleashing mayhem and reign of terror to destabilise the world.

The glaring truth remains that the menace of global terrorism has reached a level that no place or city in the world remains immune to it, and unfortunately the soft targets are civilians. I think this burgeoning hydra of terrorism needs to be taken head on by the fragmented international community jointly and annihilated by setting aside political differences. This can be achieved by shunning indifferent silence and not staying politically neutral – that is bound to boomerang back seamlessly, overpowering any known religious, political, ideological or geographical borders.  

Atul M Karnik New York