I writing to you today to say that I am organising a remembrance event on Sunday at Barkers Pool at 2pm for a short vigil for the three students who were murdered because they were Muslim in America.
I think the way in which this has been reported here and elsewhere has been dehumanising, and with utter contempt for the double standard that say Muslims need to come out and denounce any acts of terrorism or extremisms. However if it is a clear hate crime against Muslim for being Muslim is carried out – the message we receive is that if Muslims are killed for being Muslims it doesn’t matter, their lives don’t matter. Why would they if all you ever hear is that they are terrorist or extremist or killers. I wonder if Eric Pickles will be writing to people to let them know to ensure that they don’t go teaching people that Muslim are different and that their lives don’t matter.
I make no apology for the way I feel about this or the stand that I am taking. If I can stand there with others to denounce violence and hatred carried out by Muslims. If I can honour the sanctity of life for those who didn’t think I mattered in the first place (Hebdo magazine) well I can damn well stand there for three students who were aid workers, who had just started their married life, who had just wanted to live and do every day things that most people want to do.
I will email you all detail and the hope is that it will start at 2pm not lots of speeches. The theme of them should be no to Islamaphobia and yes, ‘Muslim lives Matter’ and yes to community solidarity, when they are killed in cold blood. This will not be a political hot potato it honouring those who lives were taken out of hate.
If you wish to say a few words on the day let me know. I am not expecting or demanding anyone should be there who doesn’t wish to be there- I will be there.
Please feel under no obligation to stand with me as I was under no obligation to stand with anyone else when I did.