Its been a week since the truly sicking murder of Lee Rigby, I thought long and hard about writing this post much has been said on both the mainstream and social media around the water cooler or in the pub. This was a shocking moment that touched us all I wasn’t sure what I could add no words seemed suitable.
Firstly I want to condemn the murder. I was going between meetings when I caught what was happening on the news, as I sat watching I checked on twitter and was hoping the speculation was wrong surely this could not be happening on the streets of london. It soon became apparent that something truly terrible had happened.
This young man had joined the forces to protect us. As more details emerged my heart sank my thoughts were with his family and I could not even begin to imagine what they must be going though. As I saw his family sitting together my thoughts were of his son growing up without a father, As Lee’s dad read a poem I was moved by the family’s dignity in a moment of such pain.
The family were rightly proud of their son and they seemed to gain strength from each other and that is important. I think that now is a time when we should be gaining strength from each other as communities. The killers in their hate filled rants at passers by spoke of how they wanted to bring a war to the streets of london. We should not give them what they want we can not let their hate drive a wedge between us we need to stand together we can’t let them win.
Now I’m not ignoring or avoiding the fact that the murders were Muslims but it is wrong to blame the 1.65 billion muslims in the world for the actions of a few. The two men who murdered Lee Rigby have been shot and are police custody and the police are gathering evidence and have made further arrests of other people involved. Now I hope that everybody involved in this sicking crime faces justice.
Both the Islamic Society of Britain and the Muslim Council released statements of condemnation after the murder the Islamic Society’s of Britain statement read
“Murdering a British soldier is an attack on our nation. No effort should be spared in purging this hate
our thoughts and sympathies are with the family of the deceased.
Justifying this killing in the name of faith or religion is false and rejected. Rejected by the Islamic Society of Britain. rejected by scripture. Rejected by those who commit to God. Rejected by civil society. And rejected by truth.
We the British will remain together, resolute and strrong.
and we will carry on”
And they are right we are all British together and we must stand together. Everyone of all faiths or no faith where truly shocked by the murder, we need to show our spirit of unity and community I have muslim friends who are stepping up and helping raise money for Help the Heroes. I have a friend who comes from a forces family and is partner to a solder trying to organize fund raising for Lee Rigby’s family. But its not just about raising money its also about fighting hate.
Lee Rigby’s murder was driven by hate and we can not fight hate with hate. Far-right groups like the EDL have used this terrible murder to push their racist agenda looking to exploit emotions that are understandably running high. I was disappointed by some of the hate I saw flowing freely on social media but not as scary as the hate we saw flowing onto the street. The way to honor a fallen solder is not to do Nazi salutes at a war memorial its not to smash up a hotel when the ex sergeant major now working reception won’t give you a room because you are a bunch of racist thugs,
The target for most of the hate from these far-right groups is our muslim community as since wednesday there has been over 200 anti-muslim incidents including a some here in Ipswich, we have also seen across the country 11 mosques attacked including an attempted fire bombing while children were inside.
As I have said Lee Rigby’s killers wanted hate on our street they wanted violence and the EDL are giving them what they wanted. We can’t and shouldn’t let them win we need to stand together side by side and unite in the fight against hate