Monday was an ordinary week day, I have been catching up after being awayhor ten days. Uzbekistan has left me exhausted, the flight was bumpy too, so i was glad to be home and was slowly getting back to my usual routine.
One of my daily habits is watching programmes like the BBC’s Newsnight. During the election of 2015 , I was part of a group who were in the studio where the programme is broadcast from, we were listening to the politicians giving their pitch and asking them questions. It was good fun.
So am a Newsnight junkie! But on Monday night, I couldn’t keep my eyes open, so went to bed around 10.45, leaving Evan Davis to keep interrogating the politicians.
I woke with a start at around 7.10, my phone had several messages. All from concerned friends. My daughter lives in Manchester, and my friends were concerned if all was well .
That is when I learnt of of the atrocity. In my sleepy state I couldn’t make any sense of the news and turned on the radio. A chill went through me, how really awful, what kind of miserable loser will do something like this?
As a woman who has a Muslim name ,I somehow feel sullied when these atrocities occur. Though I shouldn’t. I have never considered myself an outsider, I came to England because I wanted to, because I loved. This is my home and I have never looked back, as a matter of fact I have had the best of life and the happiest of times in this country. I cant bear if anyone will question as to how I feel about these atrocities. Am appalled, disgusted and angry like any British man/woman. Why do I have to justify and reiterate this?
But there is a need to do it. For some reason in the last ten years or so , a division has occurred between us , the Brits who were born here and the likes of me who have lovingly adopted this country. Hateful creatures, pretending to be preachers, have preached hate. Though I have never listened to them, but they have managed to convince some that britain is a hostile place This has provoked a reaction. Some on both sides, have taken this to heart and have started eyeing each other with suspicion and hostility.
I have found great friendship, camaraderie and support in this country, I have never looked over my shoulder , this is my country and so proud to be a citizen.
Perhaps mine is a simplistic attitude. But I have passed on this love and sense of belonging to my children too, and they have thrived and have never felt any different . I gave them the freedom to choose if they want to belong to a a religion or none, emphasising that it is not necessary to follow a doctrine to be a decent human being. They have chosen their own path. My Son is an atheist and my daughter has married a Catholic and taken on his faith. I am that much richer to have people of other faiths as my family. I couldn’t have wished for a better son and daughter in law.
So it pains and saddens me when these atrocities happen and I find myself indirectly feel that I should somehow justify myself.
The ones who do such things are scum and losers, a loss of life is the same in any religion ,and as a human being I grieve for that loss.
It is not right to brush the fact aside that there are factions who have never made the effort to learn the language , integrate or get to know the indigenous British people. They fear the unknown, and pass on this fear to their children, and it is the fault of the governments of all colours that they have never pressed the issue of integration and learning the language hard enough, we are left with isolated communities and ghettos. Perhaps that should be a priority, the government should stop providing interpreters and leaflets in various language. Perhaps it should be compulsory to learn the language and be part of the big picture.
But would the politicians have the courage to insist?
No, is the answer, they lack moral courage.