Tom Goodenough

The Manchester bombing: what the papers say

The Manchester bombing: what the papers say
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The ‘cruel’ attack in Manchester is ‘more proof’ that the ‘liberal West shelters hate-filled enemies set on destroying our way of life’, says the Daily Mail. The bombing, in which 22 people lost their lives, was the worst since 7/7. And while our thoughts are now with the victims and their families, says the paper, ‘we owe them more than defiant declarations that terrorism cannot win’. Although details about the attacker remain sketchy, we know enough already, argues the Mail, to ‘draw vital lessons’ from this attack. ‘How many more returning jihadis and their brainwashed wives must we welcome home to walk our streets freely?,’ asks the Mail. It’s clear, says the paper, that the security services need ‘tougher powers’ to ‘root out’ Muslims ‘who drag their religion’s good name into the mire’. After all, as long as we ‘go on harbouring those who hate us’, the relatives of those killed in the Manchester attack ‘won’t be the last to suffer’.

‘Our hearts go out to the victims of the Manchester atrocity,’ says the Sun. But mourning isn’t enough. The question to ask now is: ‘What do we do, practically, to stop our kids being massacred at pop concerts?’. Locking up all Isis suspects is not the answer, says the paper. Yet there are fears that 'hundreds of Isis-trained terrorists’ remain on Britain’s streets. ‘No expense must be spared,’ in tailing them, argues the Sun, which also calls on the likes of Facebook and Twitter to do more to help in the fight against terror. We should remember, too, that attackers like the Manchester bomber are ‘dupes, wasting their lives and snuffing out others in the absurd belief Allah wants it that way’. And while they might succeed in inflicting death and suffering, says the Sun, ‘they cannot defeat us’.

The FT calls the Manchester attack a ‘wicked act of violence against innocent young people’. Yet for all the questions this latest attack throws up, we must remember that ‘the only fitting response to terrorism is collective resolve’. It would be wrong to forget these atrocities, says the paper, but it would be wrong, too, to ‘let them change our way of life’. Those responsible for Monday night’s appalling bombing ‘hope to sow division and undermine the values of British democracy’. But the reaction from those in Manchester who ‘rallied to help victims and grieving families, is the finest riposte to the agents of terror’.

‘In an instant, the young life that coursed through that happy crowd’ on Monday night, ‘was ‘turned to death,’ says the Guardian. Knowing ‘that we live in an age of terror’ is ‘no solace’ at all. Yet however we do respond to the attack, it is vital to ‘recognise that the aim of such a nauseating attack is to stir fear'; Britain ‘must resist the idea that we should give in to our deepest fears. Terrorists might succeed in bringing death to our streets. ‘But extremists do not pose an existential threat to our nation,’ argues the Guardian. In the wake of the attack we should remember that ‘nations driven by paranoia and fear make poor decisions,’ argues the Guardian. One thing is vital: ‘Those trading in terror cannot change our way of life through their murderous acts’.

Theresa May was right in her assessment that 'we struggle to comprehend such sickening cowardice’, says the Times. The ‘death cults’ who bring murder to our streets have an ‘ideology (that) distorts religion beyond recognition’. In the face of this, ‘victory will never be absolute’ says the Times - ‘but it can be defined — as freedom from fear’. The paper says this success can be won using three key ‘weapons’: 'intelligence'; our ‘stoicism’ and ‘the determination of elected leaders to preserve the values that terrorists abhor’. ‘Only tolerance’, argues the Times, ‘will expose the banality of fundamentalism, and openness that will ensure extremists have nowhere to hide’.