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Fatima Zaman
Ms Jane Campbell/

Words Have Consequences

Perhaps the biggest shock of this week was learning of the horrific murder of Jo Cox MP. Here at Extremely Together we pay tribute to a woman who was a wonderful human being, woman, mother and Member of Parliament.

Amid the fray of questions are: was this a terrorist attack? Was this motivated by an extremist ideology or was this an isolated act of racist bigotry?  Perhaps the answer is yes to all three questions. But before we begin to unpack the series of events, and the motivations that underlie her brutal murder; let us reaffirm our stand against hate, against those who seek to incite fear and against those who brandish violence in the name of a perverted and flawed ideology.

Many have been afraid to use the T word – yes I mean, Terrorism. Just because Jo’s murderer didn’t say ‘Islam First’ doesn’t mean the perpetrator wasn’t motivated by an extreme ideology. For too long we have focused on Islamist extremism that we failed to see the rise of far-right extremism within our own home communities – an equally dangerous and potent harm that we as a society are constantly faced with.

Without doubt this was an act of terror. There is no denying that Jo’s murder was an assault on British democracy itself. This was clearly an attempt to thwart our unity, sow insecurity and undermine our fundamental values of tolerance and mutual respect.

We at Extremely Together aren’t afraid to use an alternative T word – yes I mean, Together. We come together today in the name of hope, defying hate and in the memory of Jo. Our message to you all is simple: choose your words wisely, for words matter the most.

Fatima Zaman, Extremely Together