Ter­ror at­tack sur­vivor:

As Bri­tain reels from yet an­other ter­ror at­tack, Closer speaks to the only Mus­lim sur­vivor of 7/7 about how we can all help pre­vent fur­ther atroc­i­ties…

Closer (UK) - - News - By Anna Mathe­son

“Mums are key to stop­ping these tragedies”

Last week, the UK L was shaken by its third ter­ror at­tack in less than a month, as a far-right ex­trem­ist ploughed into a crowd of Mus­lim wor­ship­pers out­side a mosque in Fins­bury Park, Lon­don.

The al­leged per­pe­tra­tor, Dar­ren Os­borne – a 47-year-old fa­ther of four from Cardiff – was heard shout­ing “kill all Mus­lims” and “this is for Lon­don Bridge” as he drove a rented van into a crowd at 1am on Mon­day – killing grand­fa­ther Makram Ali, 51, and leav­ing 10 in­jured. Last week, Os­borne was charged with ter­ror­ism-re­lated mur­der and at­tempted mur­der.

Since March, 36 peo­ple have been killed in ter­ror at­tacks on West­min­ster Bridge, Manch­ester Arena, Lon­don Bridge and Bor­ough Mar­ket.

But de­spite the heart­break, Sa­jda Mughal – the only Mus­lim sur­vivor of 7/7, the UK’S most deadly ter­ror at­tack – says we can’t give in to ha­tred, and she now ded­i­cates her life to prevent­ing rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion in schools and com­mu­ni­ties.

SUR­VIV­ING HOR­ROR

The 34-year-old mum of two says: “I feel sick when­ever I hear about yet an­other ter­ror at­tack. To pre­vent more at­tacks, it’s es­sen­tial we don’t let hate di­vide us. If we do, the ter­ror­ists win. It’s vi­tal that mums ed­u­cate their kids to pre­vent them be­com­ing rad­i­calised.”

Sa­jda was 22 when a bomb ex­ploded on the tube dur­ing her com­mute to work on 7 July 2005. It was one of sev­eral ex­plo­sions across Lon­don that left 52 peo­ple dead and more than 700 in­jured.

Sa­jda re­veals: “I’ll never for­get the blood and the screams. I was con­vinced I was go­ing to die and couldn’t breathe. It was the loud­est noise I’d ever heard and I lost my hear­ing for a few days. I was con­scious but froze in shock – those 45 min­utes felt like a life­time. It was only when I heard a po­lice of­fi­cer say: ‘We’re com­ing to get you,’ that I dared be­lieve I’d get out alive.

“I was lucky to sur­vive but it will haunt me for­ever. I of­ten scream in my sleep – es­pe­cially around the an­niver­sary.”

Sa­jda, who lives in Lon­don with her hus­band Ahmed and two chil­dren, says work­ing for The JAN Trust – which helps pre­vent chil­dren from be­ing rad­i­calised – has helped heal the pain. She runs the Web Guardians pro­gram – a unique ed­u­ca­tional course for pre­dom­i­nantly Mus­lim moth­ers on how to no­tice signs of ex­trem­ism in their chil­dren, teach­ing them in­ter­net skills, and how to com­mu­ni­cate with their chil­dren.

COM­ING TO­GETHER

“Mums are key to stop­ping these tragedies by look­ing out for signs of rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion in their chil­dren,” says Sa­jda.

“Ex­trem­ists on both sides want the di­vide to grow – ISIS used the Fins­bury Park in­ci­dent to re­cruit peo­ple, while far-right ex­trem­ist groups cel­e­brated the at­tack. We can tackle ter­ror­ism by unit­ing. At the vigil for the Fins­bury Park at­tack, peo­ple of all na­tion­al­i­ties came to­gether. Whether your faith or gen­der – we can stop them to­gether.”

❛I’ll never for­get the screams – I was con­vinced we were all go­ing to die❜

Sa­jda Mughal says we have to unite against ter­ror

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