Harrow Labour's response to Brussels attack
Lauren – local member, 26 March, 2016
On Tuesday 22nd March 2016, terror descended on Brussels. Explosions at Zaventem International Airport and Maelbeek Metro Station killed 28 people and left 340 injured. Since Tuesday, these people have become victims, an epithet which can come to dominate how we see them.
Before and since they became victims, however, they were and are parents, children, siblings, friends and partners. We stand in solidarity with their families and their communities, with the people of Brussels, and with all those across the world who are afflicted by acts of terror. Such horrific acts can never be justified and we absolutely condemn those who perpetrate them.
We also wish to reaffirm our deep love for our own community, for all those living and working here in Harrow. We are all too aware that from terror springs chaos; from chaos, disunity; and from disunity, intolerance. Our diverse community in Harrow is a foil to such intolerance.
Harrow welcomes people of all ethnicities, religions, nationalities, sexualities and genders, and will continue to be an inclusive home for all. We are a community strengthened and emboldened by our differences, and our dynamism and diversity should be celebrated.
Such celebration can take many forms. First and foremost, we should continue to engage in conversations about community and cohesion. Intolerance correlates with ignorance; we can counter both by discussing our varied backgrounds and welcoming others into our cultures.
Secondly, we should not fall prey to demagoguery and fearmongering. They have no place in our community and never will. With the so-called Islamic State claiming responsibility for the Brussels attacks, we must strive to remember that acts of terror are committed by terrorists, not religions. Tuesday’s attackers may have claimed to act in the name of Islam, but their true motivators were hate and cruelty. Here we reaffirm our recognition that Islam is a religion of peace and compassion and categorically reject all forms of Islamophobia, both in Harrow and in the wider world.
We are proud of the way all strands of our community have conveyed their shared grief in response to these profoundly tragic events and support our community’s continued unity and solidarity.