Thursday, 26 September 2013

Islamophobia and British youth

"Borrowed" from 1st Ethical website
28% of 18-24 year olds interviewed in a survey say they do not trust Muslims: I even heard one 20-year old woman say on the radio, “They’re all the same”. I am very disturbed by such prejudice towards followers of a faith that constitutes 23% of the world’s population. As a comparison, Christianity represents 33%.

If I were an 18-24 year old living in Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya and had seen my country invaded by British and American armies, or in Libya’s case heavily bombed, especially if my community had been destroyed with neighbours, friends and relatives killed or injured, I suspect I would feel hostile towards those responsible.

We invaded Iraq and Afghanistan when neither country posed a risk to our security; who can forget Tony Blair’s dodgy dossier about weapons of mass destruction? A count of civilians killed by the fighting and the breakdown of law and order after our invasion of Iraq puts the figure at 114,566 (based on data drawn from cross-checked media reports, hospital, morgue, NGO and official figures), equivalent to 38 September 11 attacks - see Iraq Body Count.

The New York and London bombings and the horrific murder of Drummer Lee Rigby are unforgiveable atrocities, but is it surprising that our actions provoked a response? Unlike the days of empire, if we throw our weight around nowadays, those we attack can retaliate. Most of course do not, but it only needs a tiny number to commit terrorist acts. Condemning one and a half billion people for the actions of the few is ignorant, unjust and inflammatory.

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