Let’s Face Down Bigotry…Including Our Own

The above “jokes” were sent to a number of people including me by a former (non-Muslim) work colleague. How would you respond to them? The person who sent them appears to see no harm in them and even defended them as being “educational”.

I ask because in the wake of the latest terrorist attacks in Manchester and London Bridge, the Mayor of London’s office has reported a five-fold increase in the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes in the capital on June 6 2017 compared to a daily average for the rest of 2017.

Earlier this week a Liverpool man was arrested and charged after he appeared in an online video with a machete ranting about his desire to dismember Muslims and blow up Mosques.

In Paisley, last Sunday night, a man was caught on CCTV leaving a hoax bomb outside a mosque along with a chilling note that said “You’re next”.

And in Sutton, South London, an Islamic centre had graffiti sprayed on to it, last Sunday morning, with the words “Terrorise your own country”.

The terrorist attacks in Manchester and London Bridge appears to have emboldened some racists into being more open about their bigotry, both in words and deeds.

The police to their immense credit appear to have been exemplary in their response to both the terrorist attacks and the increase in hate crimes. They have urged all people who witness hate crimes to come forward and report them and have stated that they have a “zero tolerance” policy towards all such incidents. They appear to be doing their best to perform their duty with professionalism and even-handedness and have stepped up patrols to reassure worried communities.

We as British Muslims also should be conscientious in discharging our responsibilities to our country. Bigotry in all its forms should be repudiated. Whether directed at us or directed at others by parts of our own community.

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