The attack in Woolwich, London is horrific. If you haven’t heard, read or seen the reports, a solider (confirmed by the area’s local MP) has been killed – apparently beheaded by machete (yet to be confirmed by police) by two men. It’s a horrific, and disgustingly violent incident and my thoughts are with the victim’s family, friends and those living in Woolwich.
However, what is just as disgusting is the amount of worryingly open racism that is now being aired on social media.
The two attackers have been dubbed by the BBC as “looking and talking like muslims”. How can someone look like a certain religion? Anyone can be a muslim, a christian, a buddhist; there is no certain look or type or feature that can distinguish if someone is a part of a certain religion. The BBC were wrong to claim those two men were muslims without having it confirmed. As a news source that is expected to be reliable and unbiased (obviously this is not a perfect world), this is simply not good enough. Rule number one is to not assume anything.
I know racism stems from a lack of education and a whole load of ignorance but it is simply unacceptable for people to promote messages of hate. One person does not represent a whole religious sector. If this is a terrorist attack, which news sources are reporting it is – though it does not seem to have been confirmed by any police or government officials – then promoting hate and acts of violence against a group of people is just as bad as the act of violence itself.
Every religions fundamental message is one of peace, happiness, faith and hope. Extremists twist a religion to make their actions acceptable for them. It is stupid, and cruel to stereotype in this way. Exclaiming on Facebook or Twitter that “all muslims need to go back to their country” or that we “should bomb them all” makes me so angry that I see red.
By this stupid, irrational and ignorant thought process, then every single person on this planet would be dead. Christians would be dead for the actions of Christian governments, Catholics would be dead due to the immoral actions of a few priests, those who practice Islam would be dead due to a few extremists, white people would be dead due to the slavery trade – I could go on.
A crime is committed by a person, not a religion. A crime is committed by an individual, not a group. Blame the human, not the religion and before you decide to promote your ignorant, vile views on a public medium do think twice. Spreading hate is not the way to spread unity. Hate only destroys and spreading racist, hate-filled messages makes you just as bad as those who actually carry them out.