Written by Hashi Mohamed

The last couple of weeks have been eventful for a variety of unpleasant reasons.

The multiple attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait and Grenoble may not have all been coordinated, but the shocking attack in Sousse has now been documented as the worst attack on British citizens since July 2005.

This of course comes just a week before the 10th anniversary of the July 7th bombings.

From a public law and sociological perspective, and particularly the repercussions of State action both at home and abroad, I have been interested in how we as a society react to these traumatic events. What does our institutional reaction to these sorts of events say about us and our society? What does it say about who we are – and in particular when compared to our European neighbours? More precisely, the kind of conversations we start having in relation to legislating to tackle extremism, or the proposed measures surrounding more powers for our intelligence services.

Prior to the recent tragic events in Tunisia, I recorded for the BBC my own take on how we reacted, as a society, to the killing of Fusilier Lee Rigby on the streets of London in May 2013. I argued that the immediate response from armed police, bystanders, communities and the eventual process in the trial and jailing of the killers was utterly exemplary.

The British response, imperfect though it was, had been measured. It spoke so powerfully to the qualities we hold so dear in our society.

This to my mind is worth noting especially now at the most testing of times.

You can listen to Hashi’s Radio 4 lecture here

To read Hashi Mohamed’s Public Law CV click here