I started writing this the day after the horrific incidents in Woolwich. Work took over, but as the news headlines every day since are still focussed on the event, I thought I’d finish the post. Undeniably, the violent attack was shocking and my sincere condolences go out to the friends and family of Drummer Lee Rigby.
The saddest part of the whole ordeal, an act of terrorism carried out by two extremists, is the reaction towards the Muslim faith and the racist outcry, obviously a knee-jerk reaction, but it is still shocking to hear such vitriol swamp social media and conversations, more often than not preceded with the line ‘I’m not racist, but…’
Personally, I envy those who have faith and admire people who have found a path on which to give their life meaning. And one thing that I presumed, perhaps ignorantly not having studied religion in great detail, is that the one uniting factor in most religious faiths was the underlying belief in doing right by and respecting others, regardless of their own ethnicity, gender and faith. This is why I find it confusing when hideous acts of murder, war and oppression are justified and underpinned by people’s religious beliefs.
It is unfortunate when certain individuals begin to believe in their own propaganda, which is built upon a foundation of a faith which would not accept such behaviour. What is even more difficult to comprehend is that the actions of two unhinged fundamentalists, so brainwashed by their own agenda, has seen anyone who shares their faith, become victim to a barrage of abuse from right-wing patriots who are determined to put everyone into the same category. We also have to take into consideration that there is a war happening and with that, there will be repercussions.
I’m proud to live in a multi-cultural society. The bringing together of faiths, ethnicities, cultures and beliefs bring depth, colour, excitement and experience to our nation. To start poisoning media feeds and conversations with ‘they should go back to where they came from…’ starts an altogether different argument, resonant with the fascism that we fought against in WW2. Instead of fighting against each other, we should come together and unite in our own agenda, which is to treat everyone with respect and not allow acts of terror to destroy and damage our national and diverse community.