After Manchester – How Do We Go Forwards?

Nick Lowles - 24 05 17

Britain is still reeling from the dreadful attack in Manchester on Monday night.

The indiscriminate killing of children is inexcusable and has stoked (understandable) anger, fury and fear across all sections of society. People have been moved by this attack in a way I have not seen before.

We have to understand this reaction and not simply dismiss or condemn it.

The public wants answers and reassurance that the authorities are doing everything possible to protect them. They want all those involved in this attack quickly caught, but they also want to feel safe in their homes, streets and town centres.

It is easy to condemn those right-wing voices who seek to blame all Muslims for this terror attack, and fundamentally believe that peace and safety can only be achieved by the expulsion of Muslims from Europe – which would then lead to civil war.

Just condemning the far right is not enough now. If we don’t give people and communities the reassurance and security they rightly demand, then increasing numbers of people will look to the Right for answers.

This is what we must now do

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, our priority is to bring people together around a peaceful, unifying message. We cannot let community tensions boil over into violence and hatred.

At the same time, we must start to work with others to provide solutions to the palpable anger out there.

How do we prevent – or at least limit – further terrorist attacks? Is Prevent fit for purpose? If it needs to change, then how? How can the authorities target Islamist extremists without stigmatising entire Muslim communities? Is there more that Muslim communities could do to challenge extremism in their own communities? What more can civil society do to help them? What more should we all do as individuals? And should we be prepared to give up some freedoms for the sake of greater security?

To help us answer these questions, HOPE not hate is inviting you, the public and our supporters, to contribute to a debate by sending us articles of up to 500 words about how society should defeat Islamist extremism and reassure communities.

We can – and should – promote and defend the concept of a multicultural and multi-ethnic society, but that is insufficient on its own if we don’t offer people reassurance and security. When people lose trust in the authorities and the political system to defend themselves and their children, that is when they turn to the far right for simplistic and radical answers.

For too long the Left, and progressives generally, have shied away from this debate for fear of upsetting one group or another. Sorry, this cannot continue any longer. It is easy to be critical of Prevent – as many on the Left are – but without a realistic and workable alternative, that has the security and safety of the British people at its core, then we are leaving the political field clear for the far right to exploit.

The callous attack on young people in Manchester risks being a major watershed moment in community relations in Britain. Whether it does will partly depend on whether ordinary people can find a way to unite around a positive agenda and find the reassurances and security they need.

This is a challenge in which HOPE not hate intends to play an active part – please help us by joining the debate.

Please send your articles into us via email at [email protected]


Stay informed

Sign up for emails from HOPE not hate to make sure you stay up to date with the latest news, and to receive simple actions you can take to help spread HOPE.


We couldn't do it without our supporters

Fund research, counter hate and support and grow inclusive communities by donating to HOPE not hate today

I am looking for...


Useful links

Close Search X
Donate to HOPE not hate