Shocked by moderate liberals
What a shocking morning for me. It started out with a discussion of the on-line petitions, specifically the road tax and other issues. It quickly became an unsettling encounter with racism.
On the way to work I met a respected man fro our community. He is at least a decade or more older than we are, and quiet an upstanding member of our small community. On odd occasions he would need to go into London and we would meet on the train. He has managed to amass a fortunte in the financial service industry, but has also overcome great personal difficulty within his own family.
Both Kay and myself have tremendous respect for them, and the community as a whole look up to them with no small matter of awe.
This all contributed to the unexpected shock I experienced when we started discussing another sensitive issue on the e-petition website: the building of the £100 million mosque in London. Being from South Africa I immediately tried to see the positive side, and mentioned all the work that will be created in such a massive project.
‘Oh that’s nice and positive of you,’ he laughed with irony. ‘I was just wondering where they’ll store their knives or learn to build their bombs.’
This completely threw me. My initial reaction was that I’m being tested, but when he continued with one or two more remarks in the same vein I realised he was openly joking about the extremist tendencies fo some Muslim communities.
In South Africa being less racist would still be regarded as criminal in the eyes of the law. This kind of generalisation and blind blaming of a group based on the abhorrent actions of a small minority would have been publicly condemned in South Africa.
This has led me to wonder about the famous English tolerance. They are publicly tolerant, but then turn around and blame the objects of their tolerance.