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The hypocrisy of people and politics
By Shazia Hobbs, author of the Gori's Daughter https://www.amazon.co.uk/Goris-Daughter-Shazia-Hobbs/dp/1901514129
The last few weeks have been more or less the same as any other few weeks, just this time a gay nightclub in Orlando was targeted by a run-of-the-mill ISIS -loving freak of nature who killed 49 people and injured dozens more, and here in the UK an MP was shot and stabbed, and died as a result of her injuries. Any murder is horrific, regardless of who the murderer is, but it has been interesting to watch how people have reacted differently to both events.
Here in the UK our politicians were busy with the EU Referendum, with Leave and Remain campaigners battling it out for the public vote. Jo Cox, the MP killed on the streets of Britain, was a Remain campaigner and it has been suggested this was the reason she was killed. Some have said the killing was the responsibility of the fascist far right, and that the organisation Britain First and their ideology are to blame. Most people I know have never heard of Britain First. If it turns out that the killer is part of Britain First then of course they should be criminally proscribed like any other terrorist outfit, and if someone within their ranks is found to be responsible for radicalising the killer of Jo Cox, then they should be jailed alongside the killer.
People have been tweeting that we need to ‘wake up’ to the clear threat from fascist right wing supporters, yet when the Orlando shooting happened these same people were silent. There were no urgent calls for people to ‘wake up’. On the contrary, as is so often the case after an Islamically-flavoured act of terror, the expectation was that we should all quieten down and not do anything ‘racist’ or ‘divisive’, like asking questions about Islam or stating facts about Islam.
Those who kill in the name of Islam are not deemed frightening or scary or fascist enough. For too many people, the fascist only exists and must only be challenged and dissected if part of Britain First, BNP, EDL and, not that it belongs anywhere near those groups, UKIP. All those who voted to leave the EU are also now classed as racist; holding the view that a democratic country should set its own laws and control its own borders – two essential components of statehood – is enough to make you the moral equivalent of Jo Cox’s killer. A white man killed a white woman and it has become about race and racism.
Crazy isn’t it? When Assad Shah was murdered in Shawlands, Glasgow, at Easter time, the community of Glasgow was shocked. Those that knew him, and knew what a kind man he was, were shocked and saddened that the life of someone who showed only kindness and love to everyone he met, had been taken so brutally. As a testimony to his good nature and how well he was thought of, Mr Shah began to trend on Twitter and people the world over were tweeting words of condolences with the hashtag #ripassadshah. He became known the world over for all the wrong reasons.
In no time it was established that another Muslim had killed Mr Shah for no other reason than the fact that Mr Shah was the “wrong” kind of Muslim, the kind that gets you killed not only in Pakistan but sadly now in the UK in 2016 too: an Ahmaddi Muslim. Where was the probing and dissecting of this killer on social media? Where were all the prolific tweeters on current events when it was discovered that a Muslim man had driven from Bradford to Glasgow with the sole intention of brutally murdering his fellow Muslim? Why were they not asking what kind of things the killer of Mr Shah got up to? Why were they not dissecting his entire digital footprint? What were this killer’s political leanings? We never did hear much about Mr Shah’s killer, because the fear of offending Islam is so strong amongst those in power and the public, who rarely take the blinkers off and will generally only get excited about white non-Muslim fascists. The killer released a statement through his lawyer, admitting he killed Mr Shah and setting out his reasons, which was considered a strange move even for a murderous religious madman.
The hypocrisy in the reporting and the reaction of these senseless murders in the UK is appalling. People are not scared to tweet and make their voices heard about the threat from the ‘far right’ bogeyman; a term Trevor Philips has admitted is made up. But hey, what does the former Race Relations Commissioner know. People have not got a clue. Even if there is a credible and significant extremist threat from Britain First or other organisations and we need to wake up to it, where is the proportionally greater warning about the gigantic threat posed by fascist Islam, which proudly notches up its death count in the thousands and tens of thousands rather than single digits?
The Gori s Daughter is the fictional life story of a young mixed race woman, daughter of a Kashmiri father and a Glasgow mother moved into the household as mistress ...