Kobi Emmanuella-King

My Politics, My Truth – The ‘Tragedy’ of the Manchester Tragedy

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I am tired of the fact that every single time a terrorist attack like this occurs, the media become convulsed with the need to bring a Muslim cleric on our screens to solicit their views and opinions on what took place. On Wednesday, I watched a CNN news clip of a Muslim chaplain in Manchester, Mohammed Ullah being interviewed by CNN’s Richard Quest. I continue to seethe even as I write this. The nation is still in grief about the mass loss of life, many of them innocent children and a Muslim cleric is given media air time yet again and straight after condemning the attack for all of one minute goes straight on to voice his concerns about the injustices meted out to the Muslim community and the backlash they will experience as a result. I really marvel at how many Muslims are quick to speak out about how excluded they feel as a community in the UK when Christians in virtually every Muslim country are not accorded the freedom to even have a voice other than to gather for discreet worship or not at all. The UK is one of the most liberal societies in the world and by comparison Muslims cannot complain at the way they are treated within this society. I could complain about the fact that though British, there are times when I do believe my skin colour gets in the way of things and it does! 

Why not at this time of national grief can we (I mean the media) not bring on members of the Christian clergy or spokesperson of faith as a symbol of our collectively unshakeable faith in our Christian heritage or to speak about this tragedy in the context of Christian resilience, stoicism and faith. Instead the media continue to offend the sensibilities of many still gripped with raw grief by bringing on some representative of the Muslim faith who then starts off with a few minutes of expressing shock and horror at the incident only to spend the rest of air time reeling off about concerns over Muslims being targeted and how we need to be more inclusive as a society etc etc. There is a time and a place for such debates and the aftermath of a horrific terror attack that has just claimed innocent lives to me is simply not the time to start whining about the great injustices suffered by ‘Muslims in this country or at least something to that effect. The dust has barely settled on this tragedy with people still in the process of absorbing the shock of horrific losses and we have a Muslim cleric more preoccupied with backlash against the Manchester Muslim community and lecturing the wider community on the need to be more accommodating.

Of course there is no justification for anyone to be singled out for abuse, ill treatment or violence on account of their beliefs, ethnicity or sexual orientation and there has to be absolute zero tolerance towards perpetrators of hateful acts against any individual or group of individuals. That is not to ignore the menace of radical Islamic terrorism that has planted its roots firmly it would seem in our society to the extent that the UK is now identified as one of the hotspots for breeding radical Islamists! What happened over the years that led to this state of affairs? What aspects of indigenous British culture and values ever in the past hid a tendency to sprout into this culture of perpetrated acts of terrorism? How did it become possible for a person to be born British or acquire British citizenship with all its accorded rights yet become the very same person to devote time to causing as much death and destruction within the very societies they claim to be citizens of? We need to start confronting harsh truths instead of planting our heads in the clouds or steeping ourselves in political correctness that skews our ability to evaluate with objectivity the harsh truth that confronts us.

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