Last night, a suicide bomber carried out an attack at an Ariana Grande concert inside Britain’s Manchester Arena. The concert was sold-out with a maximum of 21,000 people in attendance, including many children and teenagers. A bomb that was potentially homemade was set off near the merchandise as concertgoers were exiting, killing 22 people and injuring 59 others. Police said at least a dozen victims under the age of 16 were hospitalized, and among the dead was 8-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos.
This horrible act of violence caused both hysteria at the arena and an immense outpouring of compassion and support in the local community. People in Manchester rallied to help people caught up in the attack. Many living near the arena used the hashtag #RoomForManchester to offer up their homes for survivors to stay overnight.
Anybody stuck in Manchester tonight I have a spare room and I just made some really nice soup. #roomformanchester please rt xxx
— ???? (@robynrobynrobyn) May 23, 2017
It seemed like everyone tried to help anyway they could. This included reports that taxi drivers were waiving their fares, a Sikh temple opened up their doors for shelter, and a nearby Holiday Inn took in around 60 children separated from their parents. In response to all this support, Chloe Murray, a local resident said:
“Taxis giving free lifts and people opening their homes to the stranded gives me a little more faith in humanity.”
ISIS has recently taken responsibility for this terrible act of violence. While this terror attack remains a huge injustice, it’s important to recognize it as part of the extreme jihadist movement and not representative of the greater Muslim community.
As we mourn the #ManchesterBombing we can honor the victims, work to end terrorism, and also not let either of those slip into Islamophobia.
— Dylan Marron (@dylanmarron) May 23, 2017