- By David Yusuf Wolseley
Last year police in Britain recorded a record number of anti-Islamic hate crimes. In particular violence against lone, vulnerable women, with a yougov poll showing 80% of British Muslims reporting that they had been violently assaulted during and 93% racially discriminated against.
In the wake of last weeks terrible crimes against Paris (Read More…), which in no way bare any real or legitimate ties with Islam, violent hate crime against Muslims across the whole of Europe and the US has risen at an alarming rate.
The Klu Klux Klan claim to be an extreme branch of Christianity, burning crosses to symbolise the light of their prophet Jesus. The KKK also commits horrific acts of mass murder and terrorism. Yet in the same why none of us think all Christians are KKK members, we should not assume all Muslims are terrorists.
British politicians are infamous for being out of touch and uncaring about the realities of the 99% masses of the British population. Accusations of elitism, social-ignorance and right-winged hypocrisy are no more accusations than accusing the earth of being round, more an inevitable and unchangeable fact of life.
So when George Galloway visits Mosques and is invited inside to give talks to British Muslims, he becomes the only British politician not to treat the Muslim population of the UK as automatically guilty terrorists.
Today in Walthamstow, London, hopeful Mayor of London candidate George Galloway fresh from speaking inside the local Masjid came out to do a very rare thing, listen.
Galloway listened intently to the public of all races, religions and ethnicity, asking for their concerns and for their views on what they would like to see change in London. Galloway fielded questions, listened and responded to the people on a personal and caring level, demonstrating that perhaps real change and peace isn’t just something we read about in fairy tales.
Now let’s try to remain impartial here, other politicians have gone out into the public to engage with the commoners before. Politicians with massive entourages, security teams and camera crews, all participants vetted and comments scripted, and never in a Mosque or to a sector of society that currently fears for their safety from both terror attacks and domestic racially motivated attacks.
But this was different, it didn’t feel like a publicity stunt, in fact we didn’t make ourselves known to Galloway as members of the press at all (Sorry George). This felt like a man who wanted change as much as the people of London do, this felt like a man who was listening to the type of change the people were asking for.
No one can say if Galloway will prove to be the miracle Mayor that creates a fairer, more peaceful, caring society, but even his party is called Respect. Perhaps it’s worth giving peace a chase?