A candid tale of 20-something humanness and extended note to self.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

When ignorance isn't bliss

For as long as human beings inhabit this planet, the existence of terrorism will remain undeniable. There will always be radicalised people who are willing to undermine the human race and go to hideously incongruous lengths in the belief that violence is a means of justice to support a far-fetched, unjustifiable ideology. There will always be people who believe that things can be revolutionised with a backpack of homemade explosives or, according to the sheer atrocity that we experienced in Woolwich yesterday, by the barbaric murder of a soldier in broad daylight, coupled with a willingness and apparent ease to stand before the press with bloodied hands and attempt to rationalise complete and utter irrationality.

What happened in Woolwich yesterday was an incomprehensible display of viciousness and inhumanity; one which has dispersed a great sense of anxiety and contempt across the nation; one which under the most horrific circumstances has destroyed a life and the lives of everybody who knew and loved Lee Rigby, the man who fell victim to terrorism in its most sporadic form.

Understandably, alongside this nation-wide shock, anxiety and contempt, comes the nation-wide discussion about what happened here. Who is to blame? Where should we place our disgust and anger? What can we do to confront the motives behind such evil behaviour?

In the aftermath of the news breaking, I took to social media in an attempt to gain an overview of the widespread conversation that this attack has ignited. Of course, many people have expressed their absolute disbelief at the notion of this attack. Many people have spoken of the devastation that they feel and have offered their heart-felt sympathy to Lee Rigby and his family. Many people, and rightly so, believe that the blame should be placed exclusively with the mind-fucked individuals who carried out this murder. However, not everybody shares this opinion.

According to some of the more explicit, sickening commentary that I continue to come across, there is a worrying divide amidst opinion. Many people feel that our anger or blame should be directed towards Islam or towards immigration policies. Many people are confident that all of the Muslims we pass in the street; the Muslims that many of us will have befriended, are not peace advocates, neither are they worthy of our respect. 'They are socialised to kill' and 'should never be trusted.' We should tell them all to 'fuck off' back to their own Country and should actively despise the fact that Britain is a place of diverse multi-culture. Really? Can people really be so ignorant and socially inept that such views are perceived as viable? Could anyone sincerely believe that Britain would be a better, more peaceful place if we abolished it of all Muslims and stopped immigration?

Whilst a natural side effect of an act such as this is always going to be the heightening of political/religious tension, the backlash that the Islamic community are facing is potentially just as horrendous as the act itself. Why is it so difficult for people to realise that the violent ideology that lead to yesterday's horror was not representative of Islamic faith as a whole, but of the two twisted individuals who incited it. What precedence do we have to tarnish an entire religious group, the majority of whom are as upset and outraged as the rest of us, based on an extremist minority?

In this absurd spiral of hate, good people are being branded as monsters, and I find that particularly unsettling. Those ignorant and hypocritical enough to adopt such prejudice towards Islam are only giving credence to an immoral movement dedicated to the unnecessary hatred of an entire sect of people. And as far as I'm concerned, there's already enough immorality and hatred in this world.

In terms of putting this hypocrisy into some kind of basic, conceivable perspective, over 20,000 people have 'liked' an incredibly offensive, anti-Muslim slander that was posted by the 'English Defence League' last night. How many Muslims actually 'liked' what happened in Woolwich yesterday?






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4 comments

  1. Well said. Completely agree and find it astonishing that there are people who wouldn't. I couldn't believe some of the racist remarks flying about on social media (by nobody I follow thank goodness but the woolwich hashtag was full of it). What happened yesterday is obviously shocking. I am a Londoner and felt afraid as I heard the news which is such a shame as it is a city which prides itself on diversity and celebrates inclusion. However, attacks like this are not about religion as atrocities like this have been committed throughout history by members of other religions too - they are about fanaticism.
    In addition to the racist attitudes triggered by yesterday's events, I am also stunned by media coverage of the attack. The way reporters jumped to emphasise that the attackers were Muslims is quite frankly absurd as this is somewhat besides the point as I iterate above. Had it been the other way round (and indeed there was a case a couple of weeks ago where a Pakistani man was killed in a similar manner by a Caucasian man in Birmingham http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/may/02/birmingham-murder-racially-motivated-police with barely any coverage of this might I add) then it is hardly likely that the description of the attacker would include that he was a Christian. Other horrendous crimes which are committed, such as child abuse/murders, are often reported as involving an individual of unsound mind/with mental health problems. I find it sad that anytime a crime is committed by a Muslim, the religious aspect is highlighted over and above the fact that it was a heinous act committed by human beings.

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  2. Yes!! I have been in so many arguments over this since it happened. It has scared me how many people believe it is Islam. Not just the angry, young boys, but those who are scared of anything alien to them. It is truly shocking the hate overflowing from this, when really all these people are just looking for an excuse to fight a perceived threat. If it wasn't religion and politics, there would be something else because that is just what angry people do - go looking for a cause that isn't there. Thank you for writing this. I knew I could count on you to put into words how I feel better than I can.

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  3. Yes!! I have been in so many arguments over this since it happened. It has scared me how many people believe it is Islam. Not just the angry, young boys, but those who are scared of anything alien to them. It is truly shocking the hate overflowing from this, when really all these people are just looking for an excuse to fight a perceived threat. If it wasn't religion and politics, there would be something else because that is just what angry people do - go looking for a cause that isn't there. Thank you for writing this. I knew I could count on you to put into words how I feel better than I can.

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  4. A Welsh man recently lured two women police constables to his home, shot them and threw a hand grenade at their bodies, I am awaiting a similar backlash against the Welsh or Christians, I doubt it will come.
    All it takes for bad thinsg to happen is for good people to do nothing.
    E x

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