If anything sums up the resilience and attitude of the city I love it is this:
Last night some dickhead stabbed up 3 people in a tube station, screaming ‘this one’s for Syria’.
The reaction on social media was one of utter contempt, and the hashtag ‘YouAintNoMuslimBruv’ has been trending ever since news of the attack.
Muslims are very special to me. Over the past five years I have worked with hundreds of Muslim young people. I love them very much and find it very hard when ignorant people assume that they are terrorists or ISIS supporters. Yes, a tiny percentage of British Muslims hold extreme views, because a tiny percentage of PEOPLE hold extreme views.
I think I have been very lucky to have met such a wide range of Muslim people and lucky to have met people from the Middle East. This makes it impossible for me to see them as ‘those people’; once we see any group as ‘those people’ we automatically dehumanize them. I think this at the heart of all right wing politics – or even religious fundamentalism. Once we stop valuing people we think it is fine to blow them up – or we feel less bad about it.
Check this out
Yes it’s easy to sneer at the ideals expressed in this song – obviously the world is a complex place – but I think it powerfully expresses a genuine truth. We are basically all the same. Hard as that may be to accept, it is fundamentally true. We all eat, drink, fuck and shit. We all feel pain and eventually we die. Is stabbing (or bombing) really the answer.
I am not some kind of drippy hippy who doesn’t understand violence or anger or the need some people have to have power over others. I genuinely think that the dark side of human nature is as eternal as the good side. Which makes the good side even more worth fighting for – and shouting about.
YouAintNoMuslimBruv offers hope in a dark time. It’s a big fat FUCK YOU to the people who opportunistically use religion or politics to justify their own need to hate.
I love it. Just like I love London. This is our City and we need to celebrate the wonderful people who live in it, not let it wither and die on a developer’s drawing board.