Now or never


Sadly, when a murderer wields a sword in one hand and the Koran in the other, he is not simply an insane monster, but he suddenly represents all Muslims.


By Farrukh Tariq

On 22 May, soldier Lee Rigby was murdered by two savages in broad daylight in the London area of Woolwich.  The accused, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, appeared before the courts last week holding a copy of the Koran.


‘Here we go again’.  These words pretty much sum up the thoughts of the Muslims that I know and I’m sure it sums up the feelings of the majority of the Muslims living in Britain.  We all knew it was coming.


And so it followed.  For as soon as the gruesome murder of a young soldier was reported and followed by the words ‘in the name of Allah’, the racial and religious tension that has been simmering since the July 7 bombings eight years ago had suddenly boiled over.


Muslims across the UK have been keeping their curtains drawn, having heard loud whispers of violence or abuse in nearby communities. Text messages have been flying around between families and friends about the latest anti-Muslim marches in their area.  The English Defence League (EDL), whose sole purpose is to eradicate Islam from Britain, is leading the charge on city streets.


Yet all this worrying and so called abuse is an overreaction, according to some of the British press.  The Daily Mail focuses on the fact that the reported incidents of abuse towards Muslims are nothing more than a few harmless Twitter and Facebook rants.  For added venom scroll down to the comments.

Just this week however, an Islamic boarding school was set on fire, and the official verdict from the Metropolitan Police is that London is now facing ‘challenging times’.  Islamic institutions are now being guarded as the capital once again is at the centre of a racial crisis.


The UK is a country that deals in extremes; extreme acts followed by extreme reactions influenced by extreme attitudes, encouraged by extreme media reporting.  The culture thrives on it.


Unfortunately, if you are a British Muslim you cannot help but feel part of a culture that is subliminally Islamaphobic.  A culture that allows the hatred of a group of people to become acceptable and frankly encouraged.  We all go to sleep with a dynamite vest and we are all waiting for the right time to blow ourselves up.


Sadly, when a murderer wields a sword in one hand and the Koran in the other, he is not simply an insane monster, but he suddenly represents all Muslims.  It’s tiring, and it will no doubt happen again.  The question is how much longer before we hit the wall?  I have never felt at danger in this country and I continue to have faith in the good outweighing the bad. But there will be a breaking point sooner or later unless the Government tackles extremism with greater urgency and stops ignoring the warning signs.  It’s now or never.