11 March 2009

These were anti-war protestors, not Muslim extremists

Every morning I like to check the days headlines to see what is going on in the world. I was shocked and repulsed by the reporting of the major tabloids this morning who covered the Luton troop parade protests yesterday.

I personally disagree with the protestors actions - although I begrudgingly accept their right to demonstrate. I thought their actions were vile and misdirected. These troops had fought bravely and sacrificed much for a cause they had no overall say in.

The fanning of anti-Islamic sentiment today is inexcusable. This protest was not the actions of Muslim extremists, but of misguided anti-war protestors. Framing the issue as radical Muslim attacks on 'our boys' is a horrific distortion that serves no one. Shame on them.

1 comment:

Jason Juggapah said...

I agree with you in part, yes people have the right to protest in a democratic country such as this, but I think the wider issue here is why events like this precipitate such a reaction? Headlines by their nature are inflammatory, but ones like this highlight the growing divide we have in our country between sections of society that stem from excessive political correctness and fear of causing offence, and avoidance of open debate about issues that matter to “people on the street”; the responses to the article in The Sun go to show this.
Rather than allowing open debate and frank exchange of views between people, we shy away from the talking about the issues that people have regarding cultural identity, immigration, religion and the like, and in doing so create further divisions of society rather than cohesion.
This means that a small minority of people with their hateful views, have such an impact on the national press, in part because it sells stories, but also because many of the readership of these newspapers ‘ readership feel alienated is their own country (whether this is true or not is beside the point).
Britain is a tolerant society, one where people are free to live how they want and freely express views they hold, therefore those protestors were entitled to say what they felt, but the subsequent reaction to their protests should have been as insignificant as they are. Instead we have the front pages perpetuating the element of underlying fear within society that exits around Islamic-related stories and towards Muslims in recent times. I very much doubt the front pages would have been the same this morning if Greenpeace protestors were protesting against something.
Unless we as a society address the underlying causes, and address fears that people have, through open and honest debate, the ultimate result will be that people like myself, and your other friends who are Asian, regardless of whether they are Muslin or not, will be targeted, verbally or physically, by ignorant people “who are fed up of immigrants/Muslims/homosexuals /women (insert any group you wish)” trying to redress an imbalance that they perceive to exist. When comments like ”civil war is coming to Britain” we as a society, as politicians, as people, should recognise that THERE IS a problem and take action to stop it from developing into something that will make our country a worse place to be. We can’t just sit by and pretend that things aren’t happening anymore, so bring on the debate!