Brendan Cox, the widow of Jo Cox, has spoken out on the Westminster terror attack, reminding us of what we should focus on now. But some have greeted his comments with abuse.
Jo Cox, MP for Batley and Spen, died in the last terrorist attack on UK soil in June 2016. And with the aftermath of London’s latest act of terror at Westminster on 22 March, Jo’s husband Brendan had an important message.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4 Today, Brendan Cox said:
I think the first thing we need to do is to remember that this is a story about people who did not come home yesterday.
Relaying his own experience, he noted the thousands of acts of kindness that helped him; which gave him “the sense that the person you lost meant not just something to you but to others”.
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Don’t give them notoriety
He went on to say:
I think one of the things we need to be careful about is giving notoriety to the person that did it. I think one of the reasons people do these horrific things is to gain personal notoriety and I would much rather remember, as Frank Gardiner was just talking about, the heroes of this story whether that is Tobias Ellwood or whether that is PC Palmer who lost his life trying to defend our values and talking about them and remembering them is the way that we do justice in this horrific environment as well as of course we need to have a security response to what happened.
Many are honouring PC Keith Palmer, stabbed on Wednesday 22 March by an as yet unnamed attacker. Tobias Ellwood MP tried to resuscitate the officer, but tragically PC Keith Palmer lost his life later that day.
They want Britain to “fall apart”
Brendan Cox has also warned against blaming groups of people, warning that terrorists want Britain to “fall apart”:
— Brendan Cox (@MrBrendanCox) March 22, 2017
His comments come after wide speculation as to the identity of the perpetrator. There have been assumptions but no accurate reports at the time of writing.
These attacks so close to home will invoke reaction and emotions from everyone. Because they affect everyone, no matter their religion, ethnicity or ideology. But personal biases have emerged far too quickly. And even Brendan Cox, someone that has suffered first hand the effects of terrorism, has come under fire:
Brendan Cox thinks he has a monopoly on grief and can therefore lecture us on how we "should" feel and react. Sick of him frankly #lbc
— The Grey Ghost (@thegreyghostofw) March 23, 2017
Brendan Cox makes a pertinent point. There is competition for notoriety among terror groups. Conceding to it plays into their aims. And it no doubt causes rupture and hatred among our society – another key aim of terrorism. To defeat them, we must #standtogether and remember the victims, before we use biases to react to a situation still wanting of facts.
The Canary is following developments here.
Featured image via Flickr
[This article was amended on 24 March 2017 at 13:06 to remove an earlier tweet.]
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