After Marie Fatayi-Williams' only son, Anthony, was killed on the No 30 bus in Tavistock Square in London on 7 July 2005, her call for an end to violence made headlines across the world. A devout Catholic, she lives both in London and Lagos, Nigeria. Her husband is Muslim and they also have two daughters.
“I only feel deep sorrow for those who did this and for those who actively seek out blank minds on which to imprint negativity and hatred. At first I didn't want to look at the face of Hasib Hussain, but eventually I did look ... and what I saw was just a young man. I wonder sometimes if he meant to blow up the bus, or if at some point he chickened out? If so, it means there is hope. I am confident that if he had been asked what cause he was ready to die for, he would not have been able to clearly justify such extreme action.
“I never believed that I would be a victim of terrorism. Anthony was a peace-loving young man who only ever had love in his heart. He was never in support of war in any form. This is why I have set up a foundation in his name. I can't think of any other way to heal my heart and help others. You need to work hard to achieve peace. It doesn't come on a platter. Together we've got to make, have and give peace.
“If I could stop just one potential bomber committing a catastrophe because he felt sorry for the pain inflicted on Anthony's mum, realising the senselessness of killing innocent victims, I would bless him and Anthony's death would not have been in vain.”
From today’s Observer
I can only hope that if I would have her strength were I to face a similar loss. I would strongly advise those that view the atrocities of 9/11, Madrid, Bali or 7/7 as some form of twisted justice to take her message to heart.
Anthony Fatayi-Williams Foundation for Peace and Conflict Resolution
The Forgiveness Project