Any murder is terrible and one as brutal as yesterday’s in Woolwich particularly so. But yesterday’s murder is unique in that it was played out in almost real-time through social media, indeed it very much looks as though this was the intention of the two murderers from the outset. Their actions were designed to trigger a response, only we can choose what that response will be.
It is clear that members of Muslim communities are just as horrified and outraged as everyone else by these events, the messages from Muslim cultural and religious leaders have been measured and sincere. This is in stark contrast to the mindless and aggressive actions by the EDL, chanting and throwing missiles at the police.
Our reaction to this brutal murder will be the measure of us. If we turn on ourselves, seek scapegoats, go into hiding or lash out it will only amplify what is already a sad and terrible thing. But if we refuse to cast blame on an entire religion, make a point of standing shoulder to shoulder with our neighbours and continue to wear our military uniforms with pride, we shall have denied these thugs what they crave.