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Amir Khan speaks out on Manchester bombing

Khan (left) will reunite with Virgil Hunter for Terence Crawford clash. Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Fighters Network
24
May

Former IBF/WBA junior welterweight titleholder Amir Khan has spoken out about the devastating bomb attack which killed 22 people, including children, and seriously injured dozens of others in Manchester, England, on Monday.

Khan, who hails from nearby Bolton, has fought four times at the Manchester Arena which, on Monday, was hosting an Ariana Grande pop concert. The Englishman was driving into the city when a single suicide-bomber triggered an “improvised explosive device” near one of the building’s exits.

“It was so upsetting,” said Khan in an interview with Good Morning Britain in the U.K. on Wednesday. “I was on my way into Manchester that evening and there was just so much traffic and I couldn’t get my head around it.

“As soon as I got to the café, that’s when I saw the report on Twitter, saying there had been an explosion. This never happens in Manchester and one thing about the city is that everyone gets on with each other. You never hear about things like this happening. I was as shocked as anyone.”



Show co-host Susanna Reid then asked Khan, a practicing Muslim, if he is worried about division.

“Obviously, it scares you,” said the former Olympic silver medalist. “I’m Muslim myself and I don’t want someone looking at me on a bus or a train and saying, ‘I don’t want to be on the same train as you.’ It’s never happened to me but I know that it’s happened to a couple of my friends.

“I’ve got my little girl and you can see as time goes on that this is only getting worse and worse. It worries me that, when she goes to school, people will be pointing the finger at her and saying, ‘You’re a Muslim.’ This is against my religion – killing innocent people. In the Quran, it doesn’t say you should kill innocent people. This is something that we’re all against.”

British officials have since identified the bomber and stated that he may have been part of a “network.” Khan encouraged anyone with information on other potential threats to contact the authorities.

“I go to the mosques and I walk the streets in Manchester,” he said. “If people hear about anything then they should go to the local police station and report it. This is giving all Muslims a bad name. I’m scared walking the streets with my little girl because anything could happen.

“If these people are saying that they’re doing this in the name of Islam – then I really believe that’s not true. They’re twisting Islam and they’re making it worse for everybody.”

Khan should be commended for speaking out for his local community at such a terrible time.

The former champion is known for donating time and money to charitable causes and for his work as a philanthropist. In 2014, he visited his ancestral home of Pakistan following a Taliban airstrike, which destroyed a school and killed 148 students and pupils. Khan raised tens of thousands of dollars to help rebuild the school and strengthen security. He also opened a boxing academy in the city of Lahore.

 

 

 

Tom Gray is a U.K. correspondent/ editor for RingTV.com and a member of THE RING ratings panel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Gray_Boxing.

 

 

 

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