Nahid Almanea, a young muslim woman is walking home in Colchester on June 17th. As she strolls through, she is being followed; a man. The man attacks her, stabs her, leaving 16 holes bleeding out, holes which eventually kill her. The man who first noticed Nahid dying in a pool of blood the cold concrete slab explains “The first thing I did was
ring the ambulance.” Roberto Sanha continues to explain how people “noticed the body… but would walk passed.” Grotesque image?
Mohammed Salam, a 74 year old man, aided in his steps by a walking stick. Mohammed is walking home from evening prayer, when he is stabbed four times, the blade ferociously penetrating his heart, from his back. A defenceless old man, killed in cold blood. Was this man a treason-plotting terrorist? No, a retired baker from Birmingham actually, lived there for 40 years. Mohammed had children, grandchildren, family, and friends in a tight-knit community. No plausible reasoning for the murder, police believing it was a racially aggravated assault.
In Central Africa, a muslim man unnamed, attempting to flee conflict and genocide by hiding in the back of a truck falls out. Peter Bouckaert, emergency coordinator at Human Rights Watch claims crowds of around 10,000 people were present. As the man falls on to the dirt floor, he is attacked by members of the crowd, beaten, mutilated; his hands chopped off, genitals chopped off and is eventually dead.
In India, Mohsin Sadiq Shaikh is brutally beaten and killed by radical associates of the already radical Hindu Rashtra Sena, an extremist outfit on his way home from evening prayer.
I could go on; I could even diverge across to Burma, where muslims are facing genocide, dying in their thousands or pardon the badgering but in Palestine where there’s apartheid and subtle genocide through gassing, bombing, starvation, false inprisonment impeding habeas corpus amongst many other international laws.
I however won’t stray too far, I’ll bring it back to the UK. When Lee Rigby was awfully and brutally beheaded in broad day light on a busy afternoon in London, I was with a friend, an English atheist friend. I asked his opinion on the incident, fearing his response in which he always responds ‘proof religion is violent, and will only be dogmatically so.’ However, he didn’t say or insinuate anything of the kind. He simply and confidently explained it was visible, or should be so, to any commoner on any platform that this attack was politically motivated. My friend went on, saying that the man explicitly attempts to justify the murder by creating a erroneous correlation between killings in Iraq by foreign invasion, and what he himself has done. Be it may that Lee Rigby’s killers were undeniably deluded and mentally constrained in their judgements, it wasn’t however religiously provoked. Sure, he used the out-of-context quote in the Quran to add to his point, but it wasn’t the source of his reason, motive or rationale for his actions. As Mehdi Hassan explains, the largest survey by Gallop on muslim’s views on extremism showed that 93% of muslims reject extremism, and the 7% who don’t explain that they chose so with political justification, because of foreign policies which they believe to be aggressive.
Lee Rigby’s killers were driven by political motives, however the backlash as my friend explained was going to be a ferocious onslaught. As it was, coverage on the ‘muslim terrorists’ rather than the men themselves. Days, months, years on, muslims are still falsely being attacked for the incident. Modern day nazi parties emerged; Britain First, and the growth of EDL. The Murdoch cronies however didn’t take to the same media coverage on other incidents alike that weren’t committed by muslims, or when the muslims were the ones being butchered such as the prior stated…
I wish newspapers followed public opinion, rather than set it. I wish most newspapers weren’t owned by a concentrated handful. I even grovel to a wish where newspapers only want to sell stories! Yes, I wish newspapers would have headliners that would sell stories, forget moral high ground, just gain capital. I wish capital was their main agenda, but it isn’t. Rupert Morduch, a clear racist; a man who believes multiculturalism is dead and drew Obama, the first black president as a shot-dead chimpanzee; a man who believes muslims find it ‘hard’ to adapt to British society after ages of cohesion through world wars and community integration; a man who believes the missing Malaysian airplane was down to muslim terrorists. A man of many prejudices, owns 70% of newspapers in Australia, owns a vast majority of news media firms in the US, and right here in the UK including The Sun, The Times, ITV and many more. If the newspapers weren’t primarily right wing, maybe we’d have a control over our country, bring multiculturalism into the front, assist the weak and venerable through the power of media, make our own decisions by expression of true intentions from the press, instead of being dictated by elected dictators. The US citizenry, as well as the government saw the strength in the media in the Vietnamese war, why can we not?
Until then, we can only ask questions. Why do we feel the life of one person is more important than another? Why do we fall victim and zombify ourselves in listening to media who seek to divide and create pinnacles for their own agendas? Why do we discard our humanity, for perceived fear? Fear that isn’t ever sustained, or come into life.