There is very little that can compensate for the loss suffered by some of the parents and the trauma of others. Our hearts, minds and souls are with those who have suffered this mindless criminality. They will need all the support that is available and that can be given to them. We need to do this for them. The shock of such events is greater than words can express.

It is nigh impossible to comprehend the mindset of persons who can carry out such attacks, targeting innocent people, and in this case very young children. How can any sane human justify in their mind such atrocious acts? Some people have attributed this propensity to social outcasts or people who feel marginalised by society, adopting an ideology that tends to give them a path to a better afterlife which they could not find here. Are they going to be disappointed.

Although great efforts have been made to root out these gangs who corrupt young minds, more work needs to be done. We are all responsible, as parents, as mentors, as role models. We are all in this together. We have to put this evil genie back in the bottle. Too many lives, young and old, are being lost. This must not continue. Together we can beat it.
Zahid Hafeez

• My heart sank as I awoke on Tuesday to the horrific news of terrorism perpetrated on innocent children in Manchester. Heavy-hearted, I thought of the grieving parents and their young daughters.

But social media has given shining examples of solidarity from all walks of life. While 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. Homeowners, taxi drivers, restaurant owners, doctors, nurses, paramedics and more all joined forces to be the wall of solidarity against such cowardly provocation. After the attack one saw that all ages, all faiths and all ethnicities are united in condemnation of this barbarity.

Whatever the intention of this extremist, the reality was unambiguously put by the head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad: “Let it be clear that they (the terrorists) are not practising 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.
Dr Maleeha Mansur

• Islamic radicalism will not bring the UK to its knees. The nation is united not only in its inconsolable grief, but also in its determination to dispel this vile ideology espoused by those responsible for this terrorist attack in Manchester. This cowardly attack, which opportunistically yet callously targeted such a soft spot, will achieve nothing but bring the best in us all (whether Jews, Christians, Muslims or others) as already has. And although terrorism is blinded by bigotry, barbarism and indiscrimination, the UK, with its institutions upholding the rule of law, shall always remain a towering beacon of egalitarianism and incontestable resolve.

One takes no solace that this heinous attack came on the heel of the anniversary of Lee Rigby’s brutal murder. This inevitably calls for deeper soul searching as a nation to take stock of how much we have achieved thus far in eradicating Islamic radicalism in the UK. It equally highlights the absolute need for UK Muslims to be evermore vigilant against Islamic radicalism and assertive in their allegiance to our secular values which make Britain the multicultural society it is today.

Let this tragic event and the raw anniversary of Lee Rigby’s cowardly murder make us all state as one united nation that neither radical Islamism nor its perverted sympathisers will ever bring the UK to its knees nor change our way of life.
Dr Lu’ayy Minwer Al-Rimawi
Visiting fellow, Harvard Law School, Islamic Legal Studies Programme (2013/2014), Peterborough

• People of United Kingdom and citizens of the city of Manchester, you have our condolences. We are very sorry for victims of this terrorist act and their relatives. We hope that the wounded people will get well soon.
Sergei Kochemirov and Anton Kochemirov
Orsk, Orenburg Oblast, Russia

• Please become the Manchester Guardian again for a special edition to honour my fellow Lancastrians in their sorrow.
Hilda Hayden
Newland, Worcestershire

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