Terrorism has no religion. Today of all days we need to remember that.

Video by Channel 10
manchester victims
Three of the 22 people killed in the Manchester attacks. (Images via Facebook.)

Terrorism has no religion, and today of all days we need to remember that.

On Monday night, in the Manchester Arena, a 22-year-old male killed 22 people and injured up to 50 more.

Mamamia has chosen not to publish the name of this man, because this is not his story. This is the story of his victims, the countless young, innocent people who attended Ariana Grande's concert on Monday night, and whose lives have been irrevocably changed.

This is the story of how the actions of a small group of people - can cause mass fatalities, mass casualties, and make people from all around the world feel a little more fearful and a lot less safe.

 

What happened on Monday night was the result of one person setting out to kill as many innocent people as he could. He made the decision to wreck havoc and cause chaos.

There is no doubt this was an act of terrorism - and one that was aimed at children and young people.

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But, unfortunately, it was nothing new.

Individuals and groups have been carrying out acts of terrorism under the guise of different religious or political movements for years. Terrorism is not new and it's not exclusively used by certain groups.

It's not religion that kills people, it's terrorists.

They may claim they're acting in the name of religion, but terrorism is - and has always been - about power and destruction.

The IRA, the KKK, ISIS, right-wing and left-wing extremist groups have all committed acts of terrorism throughout history.

Twenty one years ago Manchester was targeted in another act of terrorism during the IRA's fight to force the British government to withdraw from Northern Ireland.

On June 15, 1996 the Provisional IRA planted 1500kg of explosives in a truck and parked it in the city centre.

The bomb exploded injuring more than 200 people, including some that were up to half a kilometre away from the bomb site. It was the biggest bomb denoted in the UK since the Second World War. Luckily - and somewhat astoundingly - this terrorist attack did not kill anyone.

These terrorists were white men who called themselves Christians, but this was not a Christian act.

On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh detonated a truck bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. He killed 168 people and injured over 600. He was Catholic, but this was not an act of Catholicism.

On June 17, 2015, 21-year-old Dylann Roof entered the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, and shot and killed nine people. Roof came from a Lutheran family. This was an act of terrorism.

On November 27, 2015, Robert Dear opened fire on the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic - killing two civilians and one police officer. He was a Christian, but this was not an act of Christianity.

These were all acts of terrorism, but they were not acts of religion.

According to the FBI's most recent statistics, 94 per cent of terrorist attacks carried out in the United States from 1980 to 2005 were by non-Muslims, but people are still quick to equate terrorism with Islam and Muslims with terrorism.

When someone commits such a senseless act of violence, it's hard to separate the perpetrator from their reported religious beliefs. But we have to.

It wasn't religion that killed 22 people on Monday - it was extremism.

Terrorism has no religion.

If you'd like to support the victims of the attack and their families, you can donate to the Manchester attack victims fund here.

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