There is no lesson to be learned from senseless violence, much as we might want to moralise it.
The acute agony of the voices I listened to on the radio throughout the night focussed on the pain they suffered, the imagined pain suffered by children and parents looking for each other. The bereavement will follow for some, for the rest a dull sense of the futility of it all.
There can be no doubt that what happened last night in Manchester was fashioned out of an abstract hatred – not targeted against someone (as the assassination of Jo Cox). Since the killing was random, we want to contain it by rationalising it. But as the lady who wrote the tweet states, terrorism has no race/religion. It is simply the manifestation of hate.
God is not in this – God is love
I worship at the temple of love for GOD IS LOVE. Whether we call God Allah or Buddah or Jehovah or Jesus, we worship at the temple of love. There is no love in this act.
Nor is there politics in this
This act of violence , principally against young women will be interpreted to shape political behaviour – it should not. If people enter the polling booth with Manchester in mind, they will have been influenced by hate and hate will be in their voting.
There is only one way to counter terrorism, and that is with the true religion of love.
This is not a soft messy liberalism, it is a hard and noble rejection of what inspired the actions of the person or people behind this attack. Revenge is easy but it has no place in this, for we can only defeat hatred with love.
The politicians must reject both the violence and revenge. Society does not need this to be moralised in any way. The act is so immoral it is off the scale. Attempts to moralise give it a false credence.
Nor is there a place for blame
We cannot stop this behaviour happening, we can only reduce its incidence and soften its impact.
We cannot blame any group as perpetrators, nor blame our enforcement agencies nor blame our laws.
Instead we must get on with our lives and strive to make our country more tolerant, more inclusive and a land that makes this kind of hatred a stranger to it.
For if we ever consider what happened last night, part of British culture, we are surely lost.