Shortly after the Islamic State claimed responsibility for a deadly bombing targeting an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, hosts and commentators on various Fox News shows began using the attack to justify President Donald Trump's executive order banning travelers from six predominantly-Muslim countries from entering the United States. What Fox News has yet to report is that hundreds of Muslims in Manchester have marched against the attack, condemning terrorism, and expressing solidarity with the victims.
Carrying signs and banners that read "We heart Manchester," an estimated 500 Muslims participated in a peace walk Friday evening, the Manchester Evening News reported. Beginning from the North Manchester Jamia Mosque in Manchester's Cheetham Hill, participants walked three miles to Manchester Arena, where they held a vigil and laid flowers at a makeshift memorial for those who had been killed in the attack.
"This peace walk shows our feelings towards the atrocity," Imam Arshad Misbahi told the Manchester Evening News. "It was against the teachings of Islam... We feel as a Mosque we have to unite and show our sympathy for the lives that have been lost."
A suicide bomber killed 22 people May 22 in an attack just outside Manchester Arena shortly after an Ariana Grande concert. Among those killed were an 8-year-old girl, an off-duty police officer, multiple parents, and at least eight teenagers.
Moin Azmi, a spokesman for the mosque, said the aim of Friday's peace walk was to show that "we are a part of [the] society campaigning against the terrorist." According to Azmi, Monday's attack had left many youths in their community particularly disturbed and saddened. "The children were more upset this time because other children had been killed," Azmi told the Manchester Evening News. "They wanted to show solidarity."
Another peace walk, organized by businessman Sajjad Haider, a member of Manchester's Islamic community, has been scheduled to take place Sunday evening. In a Facebook post promoting the event, Haider emphasized all are invited regardless of faith or background. "The main thing is to show solidarity with the families of those who died and to give a strong message against terrorism and a clear message that [the people who committed this act] are evil animals," he told the BBC.
While commentators on Fox News used the attack in Manchester to justify a policy multiple courts have characterized as discriminatory, hundreds of people within Manchester's Muslim community have condemned the bombing. In events that rarely receive much news coverage, many Muslims have firmly rejected such terror attacks, arguing they do not represent the values and teachings of Islam.