A few months ago I was treated to a tirade of abuse online from an English Defence League supporter who wrongly assumed I was…
- A paedophile
Obviously this intellectual giant needed some help with his use of false stereotypes and dichotomous thinking but even so, his encyclopaedic knowledge of cultures other than his own notwithstanding, he was completely wrong. Actually I’m a white Brit. I can trace my UK ancestry back a very long way and I was brought up Church of England. I am neither brown-skinned, Muslim a paedophile or smelly. I’ve never been to Pakistan either.
It soon became clear that this self-professed expert in all things ‘Muslamic’ simply could not conceive of anyone who was not ‘a Muzzie’ being prepared to defend Muslim citizens. He clearly thought that the whole world thought in ‘us and them’ terms, just like him and his overly simplistic mates. The concept of empathy, of compassion or even of justice was evidently lost on this paragon of disvurtue. And unfortunately he’s not alone.
So – for the hard of understanding, let me spell it out…
I’m not a Muslim. Nor am I a Jew, a Sikh, a Hindu or a Pastafarian devotee of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Not that it should matter if I was. The fact is that I am a human being who knows enough about the mistakes of the past to want to avoid their repetition in the future.
When any part of society is oppressed and demonised the whole of society suffers. When religious and racial intolerance is allowed to fester within our community the whole of society is diminished. When neo-Nazis attack one section of the national body they attack the whole, just as a cancer that grows in one organ damages the whole body and eventually kills the entire person. Unless, of course a surgeon with a scalpel can cut that cancer out and destroy it, regardless of where it begins.
Racism and far right neoNazism is just as much a cancer as any melanoma or other oncological aberration. And the cure is the same – regardless of the starting point. Cancer spreads. Intolerance spreads too. I don’t need to be a Muslim to understand where this is leading. I simply need to look around me and, like the surgeon, I can predict that this cancer, if left unchecked will spread and spread.
That’s why this white Brit from a Christian background stands with my brothers and sisters of all races, creeds and colours against the cancer that is the English Defence League, Britain First, The New British Union of Fascists, UKIP, the British National Party, the English Democrats, the Pie and Mash squad, The Infidels, the Sons of Odin and all the rest of the neoNazi, racist swine who would destroy my society.
I’m not a Muslim. I’m not a Jew. I’m not a particularly good Christian either. But I am a human being. And all human beings who retain even a small scrap of humanity have a duty to stand in opposition to the darkness that lies ahead.
Not in my name!