Belfast Telegraph

Though its wounds are still raw, Manchester, like Northern Ireland before it, must never be cowed by the terrorists

Editor's Viewpoint

The darkness of the Manchester atrocity continues to cast a shadow, and it is still difficult to come to terms with the horror of this dastardly act when a young man detonated a suicide bomb that killed 21 innocent people, including children and young people, and injured many more.

The sense of great loss is deepened even more as we hear the individual stories of the victims and their grieving families. The heartache, the pain and the pity, the emptiness and the sheer inhumanity of it all are difficult to bear.

There have been debates over how we should respond, but essentially it is with profound sadness and fear, and that is the essence of terror.

It is important not to surrender to terror, but it is also understandable why so many people feel unsafe.

There are huge questions to be faced by the Government and security authorities, and by the Muslim community at large.

The vast majority of Muslims condemn what has happened, but the problem is what to do with the militant minority who loathe our Western way of life and are hell-bent on intimidation and destruction.

One of the priorities is how to prevent the radicalisation of young Muslims, which leads to such evil.

Beneath all this, however, there is a deeply human story.

This day last week all the dead were alive and filled with anticipation.

Today their families mourn their loved ones, and many others face a long road to recovery from harrowing and life-changing injuries.

We in Northern Ireland have experienced decades of such suffering, and we deeply understand what the people of Manchester are going through, and the corrosive effect of living constantly against a backdrop of the threat of terror.

Most of all, we understand clearly why terrorism of any kind must never be allowed to win.

Belfast Telegraph

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