Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Love Is the Only Way to Conquer Terror' Victim's Mother Says She Forgave Bomber to Stop Death Fuelling Hate

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Love Is the Only Way to Conquer Terror' Victim's Mother Says She Forgave Bomber to Stop Death Fuelling Hate

Article excerpt

Byline: Benedict Moore-Bridger

THE mother of a Manchester Arena bomb victim today insisted "love and kindness" was the answer to defeating terrorism on the first anniversary of the devastating attack.

Figen Murray, whose son Martyn Hett, 29, was among the 22 people killed in the explosion, said the names of the victims would "never be forgotten".

Manchester was hosting a series of events in memory of the victims of the atrocity, in which Salman Abedi, 22, detonated a homemade device at an Ariana Grande concert. Eight hundred people have suffered physical and psychological injuries, police say.

Martyn, a PR worker from Stockport, was a blogger and avid soap fan and friends knew him for his online wit and television appearances on shows including Come Dine With Me.

Mrs Murray said she would not give in to hatred and fear and rebuked Rightwing extremists who have tried to use her son's death to fuel Islamophobia.

She said: "Very early on I publicly forgave him [Abedi]. I felt compelled to say it, and to be honest I was never really angry with the guy, because I saw how young he was. Very misguided and fool-ish [but] he thought he was doing the right thing for his cause. He died, and no one really cares about him. I don't even want his name mentioned. He is a nobody as far as I am concerned."

Mrs Murray, 57, said she and her elder son Dan Hett, 32, had been abused by internet trolls because of their views about Abedi, who was born in Manchester to Libyan parents. "People say, 'With that kind of opinion your son deserved to die.' If I torpedoed into anger it harms me and sets a bad example for my children. I don't want them to go through life hating and angry and bitter. Isn't that what these people [terrorists] want? The best antidote is love and kindness."

She added: "Daniel is constantly being attacked by Right-wing extremists, there have been threats. Daniel is trying to say, 'Don't use my brother's death to instigate Islamophobia. …

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