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Aftermath of Arena attack demonstrated city's 'diversity and unity'

St Anne's Square Photo: ITV Granada

Nearly one year on from the Manchester Arena attack faith leaders and groups have been paying tribute to victims and praising the bravery of people across the city.

The Ramadhan Foundation, who two days after the attack in St Anne's Square brought faith leaders from Greater Manchester together, have said that although the attack showed the worse in humanity it also showed the best - with the hundreds who stepped in to help.

In a statement Mr Mohammed Shafiq, Chief Executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, said that the aftermath of the attack also demonstrated how Manchester is a place of 'diversity and unity'.

Mr Shafiq, Chief Executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, said:

I cannot believe that a year has passed since that traumatic night in which our city of Manchester lost 22 beloved people, hundreds were injured and thousands of lives were changed forever. The Ramadhan Foundation would like to offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims, I send our love to the survivors, their families and friends. May 22nd will forever be in the minds and hearts of our City but on this day we think of you all. This day will be difficult for you all, but know this – you are not alone, Manchester stands with you.

On that night we saw the worse of humanity but we also saw the best of humanity in the response from our great city. From the bravery of the emergency services to the taxi drivers who helped concert goers get home safely, we saw that in adversity we as Mancunians come together and never give in to violence. I am proud of the response of our city and we showed the world the visual impression of our diversity and unity, I lost count of the kind words international guests had for our City’s response.

The Ramadhan Foundation was proud to bring faith leaders from across Greater Manchester together two days after the attack in St Anne’s Square to show the world that whatever our background, faith, ethnicity as a city we were one and united. As I said at the time of the attack, this was a despicable and evil crime which should be condemned by everyone. The terrorists have no regard for human life, they did not act in the name of Islam; they are enemies of Islam and Muslims.

These barbaric animals distort Islamic teachings to justify their violence and terrorism, the leading scholars of Islam are clear that terrorism in Islam is forbidden and there can be no excuse for such actions; so when you hear anyone justifying these actions you can know what Muslims truly believe and practice is that “protection of human life”.

As we reflect on this first anniversary I would ask the British Muslim community to continue to support the Police and Intelligence Agencies as they protect us from terrorism. British Muslims should know that it is their Islamic duty to protect our country from these barbaric terrorists and we stand firmly with the Authorities. We have at times become complacent to the evil of terrorism in some parts of our community; this is not good enough we should confront this evil and not hesitate to call out the actions of these evil people, their supporters and financial backers.

To those from the Far Right we reject your racism and Islamaphobia, you are not welcome in our City. Ours is a City of diversity and unity, as seen in the way the City has come together over these past twelve months. Your division and hatred has been rejected by all decent people.

Finally, we will stand together on the day of the anniversary, remember the victims and reaffirm our commitment to them and their families.”

– Mr Mohammed Shafiq, Chief Executive of the Ramadhan Foundation

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