Friday 22 September 2017

Kindness can muffle screams of hatred

Tributes in St Ann's Square, Manchester, to remember the victims of the terror attack in the city earlier this week. Picture: PA
Tributes in St Ann's Square, Manchester, to remember the victims of the terror attack in the city earlier this week. Picture: PA

Fergal Keane

The painter said Abedi would go to hell. He would end up in "the deepest, darkest pit, down where the lava is". Then he would get chewed up by a giant snake. "He's going to get whacked, man. No paradise for him. Only hell."

The painter was a second- generation immigrant from Pakistan. We were chatting on a street corner in Glodwick, Oldham. He had approached me. That was the way in mainly Muslim neighbourhoods in and around Manchester last week. People wanted you to understand: Salman Abedi did not speak for them.

There was not one hostile word. I remembered how different it had been in the banlieues of Paris and Toulouse after previous murders. Then we had been cursed, chased out. We were invaders on hostile territory.

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