I work with a girl in her 30’s.
In January of this year she got married and they are currently in the process of buying their first house.
She is the hardest working and the smartest person I know – we often joke that she must keep a sleeping bag under her desk because she never seems to go home.
If I need any help or just a sounding board, she is the first person I turn to and she ALWAYS knows the answer!
She has also just been through a ‘bidding war’ – two international departments within our company want her and are happy to compete with each other to be the one she chooses – either would be really lucky to have her.
The week of the 23rd November, she was due to fly to Italy for business. She would have met up with her team (who are distributed amongst different European Countries) and agree what their objectives would be for next year as well as having an end of year meal and activity. It would have been great.
On the 16th November, she told me that she worried about going. She had spoken to her husband and her family and they all agreed it may not be safe for her.
She is a Muslim woman.
Having read the anti Islamic posts on Social Media and the media’s slant against the Muslim population and in the post Paris Attack world, she felt that flying to a European Capital city alone, with her skin colour and her hi-jab would make her a target.
She did not go.
Worse than that, I kind of agreed with her. The idea of her on her own, at night, landing in a city that she did not know with the public mood of fear and uncertainty, I was glad when she said that she was not going.
She is one of the kindest people I know and I know that we should all try to continue to live our lives in the way we choose – but I really did not want to be the one to encourage her to go and she be left upset or worse hurt by peoples misguided hatred/fear.
But on a larger scale, I cannot help but think about all of the men/women in this country who felt the same level of fear and worry as her who were/are worried to go out alone to the shop or take the kids to school in fear of being looked at or people making comments simply because they are Muslim.
I have read a lot of posts and articles recently implying the same thing – All Muslims are terrorists … but surely by this mentality, All Christians are KKK, All Irish are IRA and All Germans are Nazi’s?
Now I understand to a point, that all members of ISIS claim to be Muslim but people also have to understand that the majority of Muslim’s living in the UK and around the world do not believe these people to be Muslims.
The Quran teaches Muslims Love, Tolerance and Freedom – teachings very similar to the Bible and teachings that are the polar opposite to the bile that ISIS are attempting to poison minds with.
The aim of ISIS is to separate us. The likes of Donald Trump and his STUPID lets ban all Muslims from entering America rubbish, does nothing but help the likes of ISIS by making an US and THEM society. Not unlike Adolf Hitler! Luckily the majority see this for the lunacy that it is!
The Philadelphia Mayor, Michael Nutter accused Mr Trump of taking “a page from the play book of Hitler” saying his comments “engenders a level of fear mongering that we have not seen literally since the 1930’s and 1940’s.”
The only way that we will win the war on Terror is to keep being who we are and remembering our values – being kind to our fellow human being, helping when needed, laughing and smiling together and not allowing the US and THEM world that would inevitably lead to an end to the world as we know it.
If we were to loose our humanity, there really would be nothing left to fight for.