Thursday 25 May 2017


People keep asking me if I’m okay over here in England (in light of recent events in Manchester). And my answer is always the same. Yes, of course, why wouldn’t I be? My answer perhaps seems too matter of fact for some, but I refuse to give into fear.... Fear of spiders perhaps… fear of guns and Monsanto and the destruction of our planet… but fear of terrorism, no, never. I wouldn’t give the extremists a moment of my emotion. 

Obviously these are tricky, complicated times for a variety of reasons - most of which have very little to do with terrorism; And the world feels like a different place (Then again, is it?? Cause merely explaining to the King the other day why Henry VIII was holding this wife's head in an illustration, well, it dawned on me that the world has always been a savage place on many levels, especially to women!) But I have a numbers brain (although I suck at math, go figure), and as long as the statistics fall on my side I will still go out and live my life.

The thing is, events like this are designed to inspire fear, division, and hatred. And not just by the perpetrators. The media, our governments, ahem, our President... even one’s neighbors all take part in fueling this fear machine and I simply will not add fuel to the absurd fire. Now more than ever it’s time to stay together and choose our words and actions wisely. Because it’s far too easy to let the hysteria grow; this morning on (right wing) talk radio alone, you can hear the battle cries for internment camps, and military on the streets and you quickly watch the hysteria build (and our rights as citizens go out the window). Not to mention, the very people crying that our world is under attack, are the same people naïve and close-minded enough to judge a person by their skin colour (trust me, my husband is brown and mistaken for being every ethnic group out there and you quickly see how judgmental people can be).

As I’ve said many many times, I live between a mosque and a Hasidic Jewish neighborhood and I have never felt safer, never felt discord and never felt like I should fear for my safety. As I pointed out to my husband the other day, I am vigilant, I always have been. I live in a city. I’m a woman. I’m vigilant not to get mugged, I’m vigilant not to walk down a dark street alone, and I’m vigilant to not lock my bike outside with a flimsy lock! Am I scared about an extremist blowing up my local pub? No, because basic, glaring statistics are on my (and your) side and you simply won’t convince me otherwise.

The other diatribe you hear constantly is that the Muslim community as a whole should do more. They should denounce these attacks (They do, I assure you, it’s just not publicized cause that’s not a good news story. WE need a villain after all). They should kick and scream and drive the extremists out. And yes, to a certain respect, like any of us, if any one of us hears about extremism, then by all means, report it. But does (and should) the blame fall on them as a community as a whole? Of course not. Are all men responsible for those of their gender that rape? (Cause I can tell you this, every 98 seconds a woman is sexually assaulted and there are a lot of men out there doing SOD ALL about it) Are they reporting on their male brothers (ahem, nope, in fact, the collusion, especially on college campuses is egregious especially in the world of athletics). Are Christians responsible for the rampant pedophilia problem that has existed in our churches for years upon years? The same issue that has been covered up and even deemed a ‘transgression’ that can be cleansed with confession. So agree with me or don’t, but don’t tar and feather 1.6 billion followers of a faith that all clearly do NOT support extremism. 

Because, I won’t be scared. I won’t be divided, and I won’t treat the King’s teacher, dentist or my husband’s colleagues any differently because they are Muslim. (In fact, word of advice, if you don’t know people of other faiths, go make some friends and broaden your horizons. It will quell the hysteria in your brain to humanize things).

What took place in Manchester the other night was appalling, ghastly, and unthinkable. And it makes you want to react, to fight back, to kick and scream and shout for justice, but to give in to fear and hate is a sign that they are winning.  And I don’t know about you, but I refuse to let that happen.

Copyright © 2014 Anthea Anka - Delighted And Disturbed