I am utterly and totally fed up of the casual racist comments I see every day in my Facebook news feed about muslims. What is it with everyone? What has happened to our common sense and our compassion?
What happened in Paris on Friday was awful. And yet what do we do? We turn on muslims. Has anybody stopped to think that, for the average Syrian, every night is Friday night in Paris? Has everybody forgotten the picture of the toddler washed up on that beach in Greece? Aylan Kurdi was a muslim.
The attack on Paris could have been so much, much worse. The suicide bomber outside the Stade de France was stopped from entering by a security guard, even though he had a valid ticket. The guard’s name was Zouheir. Eighty thousand people were in that stadium. The man who saved them was a muslim.
So many seemingly nice people seem to take comfort from sharing these ridiculous memes calling for women to stop wearing the burqa, and branding refugees, ‘sponging migrants’. How will banning the burqa stop terrorism? The men who carried out the atrocities in Paris didn’t wear burqas. The IRA killed 3,700 people during The Troubles. I don’t recall any of them wearing a burqa. In all the 30 years of attacks on the British mainland and in Ireland nobody blamed the Catholic Church. We didn’t think of the members of the IRA as primarily Catholic. We thought of them as terrorists. The killers in Paris are not muslims. They are terrorists.
And how can we, for the love of God, call people who are fleeing Syria sponging migrants? Spongers do not choose to live in plastic shacks on waste ground in Calais, or wade through mud in Croatia for a slice of bread and a bottle of water. Spongers are MPs who have fiddled their expenses. Spongers are big companies like Starbucks which benefit from our trade and avoid paying tax.
We look back on World War Two with pride when we think of how our country took in Jewish refugees and children on the Kinder Transport. What pride do we have now in the way we treat Syrian refugees? They may be muslims, but we are all human. Don’t let the terrorists split us up.
Well said. The divisive tribalism that seems to be most people’s reaction is painful to see and, for those it’s aimed at, painful to endure. Sadly, Facebook and the other social media make spreading that sort of garbage all too easy.
Thanks, Anna. The thing about social media is that it does work both ways. So although there is a lot of nonsense doing the rounds, at least it’s easy to call people out on it. Exhausting though. I need to go and enjoy something trivial…
Couldn’t agree more, Elaine. Unfortunately, you don’t sell newspapers by being in the middle of the pole. Also, as I recall, the IRA bombings of the 1980s might not necessarily have been associated with Catholicism, but from what I heard, it wasn’t a terribly easy time to be an Irish person in London back then. Humanity’s first instinct is to categorise and label, and I don’t know if there’s any cure for that.
No, you’re right, Tara. It’s just very depressing.
Although I wasn’t actually talking about newspapers (though they do write some rubbish) but the fb memes that people just pass on without thinking.
Oh, I know, I was just pointing at the newspapers as the match to the flame. It’s not like anyone’s had an original opinion on Facebook sine 2007.
I agree with you completely, Elaine. And for the United States, at least, matters are complicated by our rancorous division over just about everything–from Starbucks cups to climate change. Seems like we’ve lost our sense of proportion in being pissed off. You have it right here, I think. Peace and thanks, John
How lovely are the words, ‘I agree with you completely’! Thank you. Wished I’d taken more time over it, but I was so cross when I wrote it. Blind, thoughtless, prejudice…gets me going every time.
Your words have power. I have shared them with some of my friends who worry about Sharia Law coming to Texas or Iowa. They need to read your wonderful answer to their distrust. Too bad some of don’t actually read.
Hah. Guess you’ll have to read it to them, then…
They don’t know how to listen either.
Very well said, thanks for putting my thoughts in such an eloquent way. I am very concerned how much the word ‘war’ is being used as well.
Yes, me too. We need to calm things down, not ramp them up
Very well put
Thanks, Bastinck. I was so angry when I wrote this. I’ve calmed down now!
We’ve had our own share of refugees in the past, who were treated very badly too. Terrorism has nothing to do with religion. Thy are just murdering bastards. You are right about the IRA , they were as bad. We are all human and shouldn’t be judged by our God either. Live and let live. Treat others the way you would like to be treated.
Absolutely. I think I’m just so angry that otherwise sane, generous people seem to have this knee-jerk reaction that is so thoughtlessly hurtful and divisive.
Wow. Beautiful post ❤️ I just wish more people thought like this… I’m Muslim, I’m brown, I’m Pakistani, and I hate these despicable people claiming their atrocities are in the name of a religion that is all about peace. Do they not realize that the word ‘Islam’ literally means peace?
Yes. I’ve heard muslim taxi drivers greet each other, as a matter of course, Salaam Aleikum, peace be unto you. Which I thought was lovely. In the end, though, we’re human and none of us is perfect, whatever our religion.
Yes that is true..