Saturday, 26 March 2016

An Agenda?

40 yr old Asad Shad, a much respected and loved Muslim newsagent in Glasgow, is brutally murdered mere hours after posting a happy Easter message on social media.

Less than a week earlier, also on social media, a man posts a comment about approaching a Muslim woman in Croydon and complaining that she had a 'mealy mouthed' response to the Brussels murders.

Both terrible things but the former easily the worst. Assuming you think death is worse than being maligned on the Internet.

So you'd think my left leaning friends would have something to say about both but, perhaps, fixate more on the killing of an innocent man.

Nah, seems not. Is it because Asad Shah was killed by another, clearly more fundamental, Muslim? Or at least someone who identified as such.

I can't help suspecting it was. The other story had little verification whatsoever yet produced spoof memes, outraged diatribes, and a general shit storm.

I think it doesn't fit the agenda of regressive left thinking where that nebulous death star the West is responsible for all evil.

Even though this all happened during the week that the court in The Hague finally locked up Radovan Karadzic for the genocide in Srebenica in which 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered.

Yes, other Europeans were guilty of those crimes. Others still guilty of inaction and allowing evil to prosper.

But that's my point. The West, in reality rather than notion, contains a huge range of opinion from racist thuggery to Islamist terrorist sympathisers with the vast, overwhelming majority residing in the centre and far from either extreme.

As pointless to lump it all in together as it is to say what Islam is. Islam is not a religion of terror. Neither is it a religion of peace. It is an ideology and like all ideologies it is open to interpretation.

The vast, overwhelming, majority of Muslims take a practical and peaceful approach to things. A tiny minority of those who identify as Muslims don't. All beliefs and all ideologies are susceptible to this.

However, at the moment, it would be ostrich like to pretend that Islamic fundamentalism was not a clear and present danger.

I have no idea what can be done about it but I can see the division both the terrorism, and the reaction to it, is wreaking.

If someone with a Belgian grandparent wishes to express their sympathy with that country that doesn't mean they don't also care about Turks, Syrians, and Yemenis also.

To attack them for it is nasty and counterproductive. Everyone is free to express sympathy to anyone else in whatever fashion they feel comfortable with.

I don't argue for one moment that traditional media, tv/printed press, places too high an emphasis on events in Paris, New York, or London and I think the world would be better served if that changed.

But if you think the way of doing that is accusing genuinely caring people of being racist or Islamaphobic you're being silly.

Those things exist and those things are horrible and should be confronted when encountered. In the meantime if you think your friends are showing too much compassion towards Paris and not enough towards Ankara you know what to do.

Change your profile pic to a Turkish flag. Use the power of the Internet not to attack but to find commonality. You may not like the media but with Twitter, blogs etc; you're now more a part of it than ever before.

The line "no-one talks about Turkey" looks a bit silly when, in fact, everyone is talking about Turkey. It looks plain self serving on the night a bomb kills dozens in an Iraqi football stadium and no-one, neither the Pray for Brussels crowd nor the whatabouters, say very much at all.

To try and negate someone's genuine concern for events in Europe by highlighting equally bad, often worse, events elsewhere is like proving your love for your partner by telling your friends their partners are grotesque. It's mean.

Please try to use this new(ish) media for good and not for petty squabbling. If you think this is all a load of sanctimonious shit that's fine. It may well be but it was what I wanted to say. Or to sum it up in four words "look after each other".

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