Like the rest of the UK, we are in shock and devastated by the horrific murder of MP Jo Cox, who was shot and stabbed to death while serving her constituency. Jo stood for the values we hold dear – equality, unity, diversity and cohesion.
In her maiden speech at Parliament, she said, “Our communities have been deeply enhanced by immigration, be it of Irish Catholics across the constituency or of Muslims from Gujarat in India or from Pakistan, principally from Kashmir. While we celebrate our diversity, what surprises me time and time again as I travel around the constituency is that we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.”
Writing for the Guardian, Polly Toynbee says, “This attack on a public official cannot be viewed in isolation. It occurs against a backdrop of an ugly public mood in which we have been told to despise the political class, to distrust those who serve, to dehumanise those with whom we do not readily identify.”
Jo’s husband Brendan Cox said in a moving statement that "Jo believed in a better world and she fought for it every day of her life with an energy, and a zest for life that would exhaust most people. She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now, one that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her. Hate doesn't have a creed, race or religion, it is poisonous.”
Encompass shares each of these sentiments. We will continue to fight against hatred, continue to bring together people to talk about their differences as well as discovering all that they have in common, and work together to make positive change. Our thoughts are with all victims of senseless violence.