To describe what happened on the streets of Woolwich on Wednesday as horrific barely does it justice.
Serving British soldier Lee Rigby was viciously hacked to death in a terrible attack, the aftermath of which was played out live on TV news channels and on social media.
And as depressing as it was predictable, within hours the English Defence League had taken to the streets of Woolwich to protest.
Whatever the aim of that demonstration, which ended in brick throwing, all it served to do was drive home the point that in a situation like this, focus and clear-thinking is what’s needed.
Yes the men in Woolwich may have been caught on camera making statements about Islam and the British government, but as local Islamic leaders tell The News today, there’s no place in Islam for the kind of violence meted out in this barbaric attack.
As the statement from local Islamic leaders says, ‘the attackers who claim to have carried out this evil deed in the name of Islam have insulted Islam.
‘There is no place for hate, criminality and extreme behaviour in our society.
‘We call on all our communities, Muslims and non-Muslim, to come together in solidarity to ensure the forces of hatred do not prevail.’
We couldn’t put it any better or more succinctly than that.
So rather than linking this terrible attack with Islam, people should take a moment.
These are two men who have committed a horrific crime.
A crime that will live long in the memory of anyone who watched the footage of the man speaking shortly after the attack. But it should not be an excuse for our communities to be split.
It’s a time for our multi-cultural population to proudly stand shoulder to shoulder.