Terrorist attacks have continued around the world into 2017.
A recent attack occurred on 22 March in Central London near the Houses of Parliament. Four people died including one policeman, who was stabbed to death, while 40 others were badly injured. As investigations continue, police say that the attacker was under the influence of radical Islamic ideology.
Every time a radical Islamic terrorist attack occurs in Europe, it invigorates far right political parties and movements towards the expulsion of Islamic immigrants. But in the aftermath of this attack, movement towards Muslim expulsion was replaced by encouragement for solidarity.
Cooperation With Islam
The day after the attack, London police opened a forum inviting leading representatives from various religions including Islam and Hindu. It was a gathering to fight against terrorism through cooperation regardless of religious differences. On the same day, Harun Khan from the U.K.’s biggest Muslim umbrella, the Muslim Council of Britain, likewise announced, “The best response to this outrage is to make sure we come together in solidarity and not allow the terrorists to divide us. My condolences, thoughts and prayers go to the families of the victims.” He clarified the difference between terrorism and Islam.
On the 26th, around 100 women formed a human chain along Westminster Bridge, the scene of the crime, and offered 5 minutes of silence to remember the victims. Many of them were Muslim. Akeela Ahmed who helped organise this gathering said “It’s important that we say terror will not defeat and divide us and pay respects to those that died.”
Husband of Murdered Jo Cox MP
In June 2016, MP Jo Cox was murdered in a terrorist attack in West Yorkshire. Her husband Brendan Cox commented on the recent attack saying, “Westminster attacker represents British Muslims no more than Jo Cox’s killer represents Yorkshire”.
“We are not here to plead for retribution”, Brendan said after his wife’s killer was sentenced to life imprisonment. “We feel nothing but pity for him, that his life was so devoid of love that his only way of finding meaning was to attack a defenseless woman”
After this recent attack, he commented, “What helped me in the weeks after . . . was that sense of public support, those thousands of acts of kindness, the sense that the person you lost meant something not just to you but to others… ” and that “we should remember the heroes of this story” and not the terrorist.
Brendan’s words move so many people because he chose love over hatred, even in the difficult time after losing a loved one.
Overcome Hatred, Love Each Other, and Become One
In his book “The Laws of Courage” Master Ryuho Okawa, founder of Happy Science, provided insight into how to remove conflict and hatred from this world.
“I teach that each one of you is a living being that branches off from a single cosmic tree. So love each other. You all come from the same root. Looking around now, we see hatred and wars arising from differences in races and religions, but this is due to the lack of understanding.
If people realise that we all stem from the same trunk, hatred and wars will disappear from this world. At Happy Science we are doing religious activities to teach this to the world. In this sense, we are trying to bring the world to become one.”
We can combat terrorism from its roots by spreading this religious truth to the world. In a world where countries are experiencing crises of division, this teaching is needed more than ever.