In the early hours of 19/06/17 a man drove a van into a group of Muslims as they were leaving their mosque in Finsbury Park. This was at Muslim Welfare House, which contains a mosque, as opposed to the main mosque further down the road. An arrest has already been made and police say there were a number of casualties.
Already the hate and spin are spewing forth.
‘Robinson’ of the EDL later Tweeted:
- The mosque where the attack happened tonight has a long history of creating terrorists & radical jihadists & promoting hate & segregation
- This is sickening to see & can never be the answer.
- I blame tonight’s attack at the mosque on foreign policy
I genuinely hope the innocent people targeted tonight outside the mosque are ok.
Now that’s quite enough ‘oxygen’ for him. For one person, this hate cost them their lives. And ten more are thought to be injured. 😢
But how dare the Mail make this some righteous crusade, before any facts are even known? They, and many other tabloids, foment rage among white far right people towards Muslims and have been for years.
And it does not help that the less rabid outlets make the vehicle the issue and not the attacker, or the victims, unlike when it’s someone not white and/or Muslim that does this. Though this is normal procedure when a ‘story’ breaks, we will see how quickly the language changes (or doesn’t) when more facts are known. In the London Bridge attack screenshot below, the people are made the focus, not the vehicle so there is already a split in the narrative.
The ambulance and fire service, as well as police were quickly on the scene.
After the attacker left the van he was caught and held by members of the public; then the Imam from the nearby Muslim centre prevented an angry crowd from harming the assailant until the police arrived. He has been most favourably represented in the MSM and rightly so.
Now if this act had been a drunken punch up between p*ssheads coming out of a club on a Saturday night, would they have been so restrained? No. There’d have been blood and snot everywhere; and the NHS would have had to clean it all up. This happens every weekend and costs half as much again as much as ‘health tourism’- a frequent accusation towards non British citizens in the papers that is used to stir up resentment. After years of working in a busy town centre at the weekends, whilst DJing when I was a student, I think I can state that with some authority that drunken punch ups are commonplace. And as a course compiler for the NHS entrance exams now I am a post-graduate, I can safely say these facts are very much correct.
Only the most overblown estimates would put ‘health tourism’ at £2 billion, of which up to £500 million is claimed back from the governments of their country of origin. The NHS’ yearly expenditure is almost £100 billion. The NHS spends more on stationery than it does on ‘health tourism’; and £2.7 billion on people due to alcohol related issues; from having to patch people up in A&E to systematic and long term abuse of it. Now this is not a ‘let’s shift the blame to alcohol’ blog. But it does not suit the right leaning MSM outlets to report the facts.
It’s far too early to tell the motivation of the suspect. Some eye witnesses have said he yelled “Kill all Muslims!” as he drove his van at them. But whatever it was he can’t have a free pass. When brown men with beards do something like this, the ‘t’ word is hung around their necks like a noose. When a white man loses it, we get the
- ‘mentally ill’,
- ‘lone wolf’,
- ‘maybe he was drink/on drugs’ narrative.
Well that stops right now.
- It is an insult to people with mental issues who would never harm anyone to use that language.
- It is an Othering technique to ‘blame’ it on the idea of someone living alone and not ‘playing with others’ so try and score social cohesion (or lack of) points
- Maybe he was. But only a few, a very few, mount a pavement and aim a van at innocent bystanders.
The MCB (Muslim Council of Britain) as usual was quick to comment, as often they have ‘had to’, when it was a Muslim attacking others- unlike this time. And whatever the reason for this attack, they do have a point here. There is always a trigger for such actions when they are deliberate.
There have been no calls for the ‘white van man community’ to decry his actions. Or white men in general. Or white people. We did not see condemnation of Christians when a far right Christian lost it in Norway in 2011. Or, when a Trump fan, far-right, nationalist and supporter of the French rightist party led by Marine Le Pen; and self declared misogynist attacked a mosque in Quebec this year. Or when another Trump supporter lost it and set fire to a church run by black people in the US in 2016. Or when the same thing happened in Massachusetts, USA after Obama won the Presidential election in 2012. Those were all acts of terrorism. So why do we expect Muslims to apologise and ‘explain themselves’ when the boot is on the other foot? The killer at Finsbury Park has a name, which has been released, but I’m not about to put it. In my view the MSM don’t help when they name them, it gives them a kind of ‘fame’ that they do not deserve. It could even be a motivation for their actions- for them to be seen as powerful and known by all after a lifetime of being ignored and disregarded- or so they feel- by society.
But the MCB is right to be worried.
It seems the EDL and Britain First supporter killer is a resident of Cardiff Central, a constituency that has Jo Stevens (Labour) as its MP. She said the following, keeping the focus where it rightly belongs: on the victims and potential victims of such crimes and on one of the root causes of them too.
So if he travelled over 160 miles (and that’s a long drive along the M4 that takes over three hours with no traffic) this is pre-meditated. Not to say that fugue states do not last that long, sometimes they can last a lifetime. But part of this was definitely planned.
While we cannot ignore the fact that religion is often a trigger for someone to enter a fugue state that results in the death of others, it is the person that is receiving the message where the circuit breaks. Anyone can be triggered into going postal, by anything- including substances like alcohol and drugs (prescription and ‘iilegal’ ones). And while some of the tenets in some holy books advocate ‘justifiable’ killing (and should be removed) and ‘holy wars’ this is not just a Muslim issue. The Bible too, especially the Old Testament, encourages readers to attack, rape and kill. We had hundreds of years of religious Crusades in the Middle East and Europe, where thousands of Muslims, Christians and Jews died; and we should be beyond this ‘us’ and ‘them’ sentiment. But we are not. Hard-line, rigid thinking of any sort builds up massive cognitive dissonance that often ends in violence.
And the hate that both causes this and the hate that results from it is a cycle that needs to be broken, as these too are just as much triggers as anything read in a ‘holy book’ or found at the bottom of a bottle.
For the MSM, it sells papers or generates clicks.
For far right organisations like the EDL and Britain First, it’s the hook they use to gain followers. And a petition made to try and examine at the least and perhaps even curtail their more extreme actions and beliefs only generated 10,000 signatures, so would not have been on the table to discuss in Parliament (they need 100,000 signatures for that to happen.) Apathy towards more extremist thought on any side is something that has been shelved and even inflamed for long enough.
For the government, it’s a convenient scapegoat to cover years of austerity cuts and deliberate screwing over of infrastructure.
Finsbury Park is in the borough of Islington, which is within Jeremy Corbyn’s Islington North constituency and he had this to say
Corbyn is right. It is an act of terror. May today called it Islamophobia, and defined it as an extremist act, (19/06/17) which is a welcome but long overdue change of narrative.
We can only hope the ten people hospitalised pull through, mentally and physically.
We can only extend our sympathies to the family and friends of the person that died.
We must demand an end to hate rhetoric in the MSM and that prominent people on social media like the EDL, Britain First, Katie Hopkins, Nigel Farage, Piers Morgan and politicians think before they continue to peddle hate for clicks. (And we should not be having to even say this!) This does not mean curtailing freedom of speech or freedom of the press. This means changing the narrative of foam and loathing and going back to reporting the news, straight. This means politicians and paid social media commentators need to remember that ‘the people’ pay their wages and therefore their duty is to us, and not to demonising sections of ‘us’. Then do something about it that does not make those still immersed in hate complain of ‘too much PC’ and build more resentment. Refunding public services would be a start.
Then educate: not separate.
Call out on people when they are spouting hate towards people of another colour, age, religion, gender, class or sexual orientation. Let them know there’s another way to deal with their anger in a society that is the 6th richest in the world, but is entrenched in so much inequality. And while that buck stops and starts ‘at the top’, we the 99% can do something about it. It won’t be easy as our entire society is built on ‘Othering’ people. But to do nothing is worse.
We must demand that government stops using people newer to this country as the ‘reason’ for the ills of this country, step up, and admit it was them that caused it.
And this killer must be properly prosecuted.