Hundreds of Muslim families marched with their children to the Manchester Arena to show their revulsion at the terror attack purportedly carried out in the name of their faith.
Carrying We Love Manchester banners and brightly coloured balloons they walked from the Cheetham Hill area of the city to the site of the devastating bombing, which killed 22 people, including many children, and wounded dozens of others.
Community leaders from North Manchester Jamia Mosque organised the walk to show their disgust at the actions of bomber Salman Abedi and express their support for his victims.
The march was seen as a response to those who have called for Muslim leaders to do more to combat the influence of Islamist extremists within their community.
Moin Azmi, spokesman for the Jamia mosque, said young Muslims had been left deeply disturbed by the attack on a pop concert.
He said: “It was really good to see people driving past supporting us. That’s the image we want to show – that we are a part of society campaigning against the terrorist.
“The children were more upset this time because other children had been killed. Children were killed when they should have been having fun. It’s such an important age for them. We want them to know they are on the right side of what’s been going on.”
At the end of Friday evening’s three-mile walk the marchers, who were joined by non-Muslim friends and neighbours, held a vigil and laid flowers outside the police cordon sealing off the Manchester Arena.
Imam Arshad Misbahi said: “This peace walk shows our feelings towards the atrocity.
“It was against the teachings of Islam. We organised the walk for our students.
“They have been asking questions at school and we feel as a Mosque we have to unite and show our sympathy for the lives that have been lost.”