Monday night’s /www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/manchester-ariana-grande-explosion_us_59235f47e4b034684b0f0573"}}" data-beacon-parsed="true">devastating terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England gave rise to vigils, statements of solidarity and beautiful acts of kindness in days following the blast.
Among those mourning, a Muslim man and an elderly Jewish woman were photographed praying and comforting one another at a memorial in Albert Square dedicated to the 22 victims of the attack.
Sadiq Patel and Renee Rachel Black traveled to Manchester together from Blackburn, roughly an hour north, where the two are members of a local interfaith group.
“We’re in this together, and we’ll get through this together,” Patel told reporters on Wednesday.
Black and Patel are members of the Blackburn Darwen Interfaith Forum, according to its website. “We try to bring people together, no matter about what color or creed or whatever you are. We’re all the same people,” said Black, who is 93 years old.
The display of interfaith solidarity comes at a time when many Muslims in Manchester are feeling targeted in the wake of the attack. Earlier Wednesday, British police named Salman Abedi, a 22-year-old British-born national of Libyan descent, as the attacker. Authorities believe Abedi may have had ties to the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
Muslim leaders in Manchester said they had received reports of Islamophobic incidents in the city in the days after the attack, including verbal and physical harassment.
“We are concerned about reports we are receiving about anti-Muslim acts. These are terrible anti-Muslim acts ranging from verbal abuse to acts of criminal damage to mosques in the area and outside the area,” Fawzi Haffar, trustee of the Manchester Islamic Centre in Didsbury where Abedi is believed to have prayed, told The Guardian.
Haffar encouraged people to report such incidents to the police as hate crimes.