The Dangers of Fear

Fear is a as much a tool to be exploited as it is a weapon to be used against others. Very few people who read the news have missed the recent murder of a British soldier in London. Anyone walking the city streets here would be able to tell you that tensions and fear are running high; that, actually, isn’t what is new. For a long while now, tensions between self-named Muslim-extremists (do not let them fool you: not a single extremist I have ever met from any religious denomination has ever been an accurate portrayal of the greater population of their sects; they are the minority) and the rest of the UK has been pulled tight like a violin string.

I applaud the work of religious leaders, both Muslim and non-Muslim, for stepping up to the plate and speaking to their people, encouraging them and others to remain peaceful and calm. The police are handling as much as they can, when they can – there are increased patrols in London specifically, while other regions remain on alert.

It’s truly sad that certain individuals, on both sides of the whole mess, believe that retaliation is an appropriate response. Whatever happened to “turning the other cheek”? Reportedly, the soldier was killed as part of a protest against certain Muslims (I do not know at this point if they are also zealots, so to err on the side of benevolence, I will assume that they are of a more moderate stance) who have been arrested and/or detained by the UK authorities. And what have certain people within the UK who are not Muslim decided to do? It wasn’t verbally condemn the actions, that’s for sure; they’ve gone and done basically the same thing as the man arrested did. Translation: Hate related crimes – from name calling to assault/battery – are on the rise; in the past 48 hours – according to non-profit watchdogs – there have been 162 incidents reported.

To give that some perspective: in two days there were 162 incidents (81 per day) – compared to what was FOUR TO SIX incidents reported prior to the recent turn of events. That’s just what’s reported, we can’t even begin to guess the percentage of those who are being victimised for no other reason than for simply looking differently in general. There have been cases with Sikh in the United States who have been on the receiving end of supposed anti-Muslim hate crimes; if it can happen there, why not here, too? Let’s also consider that some hate crimes just never get reported at all.

But this isn’t really the point; my point is simple really: everyone needs to just CHILL OUT. We are the product of 4-billion years of evolutionary success – we need to act like it and stop these behaviours which only breed (surprise, surprise) more fear, hate and animosity amongst everyone. Using retaliation to end violence is like eating pork to be be halal, like filling your boat with water to keep it from sinking (see: YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG).

Why does this bother me? Aside from the obvious (I am a decent human being; even animals would be distressed by in-fighting, after all): I’m a foreigner, I live here, I don’t blend in, and I look Muslim when I wear a head-scarf – but then again, so do a lot of people; that isn’t the point.

The point is, the last thing I want is for someone I know (be it myself or, literally, someone I know) to be hurt in the crossfire simply because a bunch of yahoos (yes, yahoos) have taken it upon themselves to inflict their perverted form of so-called “justice” on their unsuspecting neighbours.

On behalf of the sane part of the rest-of-the-world: Stop it, you’re making us look bad, and you’re not improving how you look, either.

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