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Editorial: ‘The empty ideology of terror offers nothing’

Saturday November 30, 2019 Written by Published in Editorials

As children, we all knew the song: London Bridge is falling down.

As adults, many of us have lived and worked in Britain and recognise those landmarks behind Miss Cook Islands Tajiya Sahay in her beauty pageant photos.

And this week, all of us feel the familiar pain and horror as London is again hit by a terror attack – and none feel it more keenly than parents like Ruth Sahay whose children are in a city that is too often a target of so much anger and ruthlessness.

In Cook Islands, we may feel further from the brutality of terrorism than anyone. Perhaps we are further than anyone.

But while we can vaccinate against measles, no person or place is immune to the effects of terrorism.

This is a small, interconnected world. We think of Ruth Sahay waiting, worried, to hear from her daughter, who was rehearsing close to the London Bridge terror attack.

And we think today of the family of nurse Louisa Akavi, the brave Cook Islander who was trying to help victims of war – and was instead taken hostage by terror group Islamic State. Her whereabouts remain unknown.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said yesterday: "The empty ideology of terror offers nothing but hatred and today I urge everyone to reject that. Ours is a great city because we embrace each other's differences, we must emerge strong and still from this tragedy."

Those are words not just for London, but for this big, wide, diverse world.

-          Jonathan Milne

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