Does your condemnation apply only to Christian fundamentalists?

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Guest Blogger: Dr. Anwar Dafa-Alla, of  TEDxKhartoum & TEDxYouth@Khartoum

I have never been to Northern Ireland. Regrettably, my introduction to Belfast has come online, amidst the increasing furor created by the region’s First Minister publicly suggesting that Muslims are less than fully trustworthy.

Watching the BBC show featuring Belfast Evangelical Pastor James McConnell and Dr. Khalid Anis, my sense of déjà vu was palpable. Some Sudanese Imams routinely make sweeping, McConnell-style, negative depictions of vulnerable groups. The results, I assure you, are predictable.

Someone attacks someone else; someone has to move from her or his home, or place of work. Sometimes the tension doesn’t subside.  In a climate of fear, neighbors begin to suspect neighbors and soon, extremists have hijacked the public conversation until only one question remains, “Are you with us or against us?”

But that’s Africa, you might say.

Don’t be so sure.

Hateful language frequently leads to hateful actions.

Until the intervention of Northern Ireland’s most senior elected official, First Minister Peter Robinson, the increasing vilification of Muslims across Europe has tended to come from a fringe on the far right.

For Northern Ireland’s de facto First Citizen to broadcast to his fellow Muslim citizens a message that at root says, ‘I don’t trust you because you are Muslims’, is an attack not only on individual Muslims, it is an assault attack on the very concept of equal citizenship.

Stereotyping, scapegoating, scare-mongering, and raw ignorance are most definitely not problems made in or unique to Belfast.

Like Mr. Robinson, too many Muslims in my home country of Sudan lump all Christians together and, again like Northern Ireland’s First Minister, when asked about Christians, many Sudanese Muslims start by citing the views and actions of extremists who hail from Christian backgrounds.

By generalizing entire faith groups based on the worst and most extreme among their number, vulnerable and minority communities become tainted.

As a Sudanese Muslim living under political asylum in the United States, I have some personal experience of the consequences of such reckless and destructive political and religious leaders.

My calls for greater tolerance and increased access to education for my fellow citizens were beginning to resonate with the youth of Sudan. In response, Sudanese political authorities justified coming after me by citing, as ever, self-serving readings of religious scripture.

In response to indirect challenges from our increasingly frustrated, desperate and impoverished population, the Sudanese authorities escalate divisive religious rhetoric. The results can be horrendous.

Take the case of my fellow Sudanese citizen, Meriam Yahia, sentenced to death for apostasy. Her treatment is an outrage.

Her persecutors’ appalling abuse of power is obviously devastating not only for Meriam and her family but for all Sudanese citizens who can transparently see the real agenda here.

Meriam’s death sentence has nothing to do with the essence of Islam, which is, in my view, a faith relationship between oneself and God.

Meriam’s death sentence has everything to do with the politicians exploiting fear and sowing division.

When political leaders, under the cover of religious piousness, abuse the religious faith and sense of powerlessness of some of the least educated, when they whip up passion and drown out dissent, the emergence of moderate voices is stifled.

The consequences of labeling vulnerable people as satanic or heathen or apostates amid a climate of rising fear, frustration, and fury, can be much more than hurt feelings.

Northern Ireland’s most vulnerable communities are entitled to expect the support of their highest office holder.

Instead, like some of the most vulnerable in Sudan and beyond, minority communities in Belfast will be feeling much less secure following the broadcast of First Minister Robinson’s ‘reservations’.

Rabble-rousing in a climate of fear may help office holders consolidate their power but for citizens deemed a threat, the consequences can be deadly.

Last September, over 200 of my fellow Sudanese were killed during peaceful protests in the capital city of Khartoum. The killings directly followed hate speech from nervous political leaders and bigoted religious clerics.

To those throughout Europe who condemned the hate speech of Western political and religious leaders towards Muslim groups, I simply ask: Did you protest the Sudanese Government’s crackdown on our citizens’ protest?

Islamist extremists offer Western bigots an opportunity to paint the entire Islamic population with a reactionary and extremist brush. But attacking the ignorance of men like Pastor McConnell and then moving on is too easy.

I hope the international pressure on the Sudanese government to release Mariem Yahia will be successful. I am optimistic. The Sudanese government cares much more about staying in power than about Islamic theology – so keep up the pressure.

The job of Western opponents of hate speech must be to make common cause with the forces calling – and dying – for reform within the Islamic world.

We need more than your condemnation of the bigots in your midst. We need your solidarity in the fight against the bullies we face at home.

—-

TEDxKhartoum organizer Anwar Dafa-Alla worked as executive producer on this alternative look at Sudan.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    Dr. Anwar Dafa-Alla,

    Well said Doctor. Many of us agree with what you say.

  • http://www.ted.com/profiles/122540 anwarking

    Thank you Mister_Joe.

  • Naughton

    There is not a single word in this excellent article by Dr Dafa-Alla with which I would disagree and one phrase I would suggest should be added to the banner on Slugger

    “Hateful language frequently leads to hateful actions.”

    Too many keyboard warriors are content to spout generallities which denegrate and dismiss entire communities. We need to take a little time to consider our words and actions.

    My children are at school with children of african and chinese background who have been talking about their fear of the racism prevalent in Northern Ireland. For a child of 7 to feel that way is obsene and it shames us. So my family be in Writer’s Square next Saturday to show that we stand with our fellow citizens whatever their race or religion to say ‘No to racism and intolerance’.

  • http://www.ted.com/profiles/122540 anwarking

    Thank you Naughton.
    Good for you to stand with your fellow citizens and vulnerable groups.
    “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • carl marks

    Firstly Doctor thank you for your excellent article, one paragraph struck as familiar.
    My calls for greater tolerance and increased access to education for my fellow citizens were beginning to resonate with the youth of Sudan. In response, Sudanese political authorities justified coming after me by citing, as ever, self-serving readings of religious scripture.
    This could have been written about NI, the community from which most (but not all) of the racist attacks are coming from is the community which has the greatest amount of young men leaving the education system with no qualifications there is a long proven link between racism (and its sibling sectarianism) and under education.
    People without the benefit of an education are easy pickings for rabble rousers wither they are using a book or a flag (or both) as the vehicle to launch their intolerance from.
    Islam is a religion as diverse as Christianity both have adherents who are good people and both have the spittle flecked extremists and both have good people trying to live in harmony with those around them (and the full spectrum in between) unfortunately for us all empty vessels make the most noise and thus we hear the bellowing of the fool over the words of the educated.
    Ignorance is the root of the problem it allows unscrupulous politicians to divert attention from the problems (poverty, poor schooling, and housing) and turn the focus towards those perceived to be different.

  • David Crookes

    What a wise and refreshing article. Thanks, Dr Dafa-Alla. Plrase let us know if you ever decide to visit Northern Ireland.

  • JR

    An excellent article. It was always frustrating for me here when the conflict in Ireland was painted as a religious, when we on the ground all knew it was about power and control, split and exploited along broadly religious lines.

    Just like Meriam’s death sentence which as you say has nothing to do with the essence of Islam and everything to do with the politicians exploiting fear and sowing division to control, keep power and donimate, Pastor Mc connel’s sermon had nothing to do with Christianity and everything to with becoming a bigger fish in the evangellical christian pond.

    What is worring is the ammount of people both here and abroad are happy to exploit this for there own ends.

  • Greenflag

    Thanks for that intelligent and timely comment Dr Anwar Dafa -Alla . Even an atheist like myself can tell the difference between those who are genuinely religious and those who use religious identity for political ends .Northern Ireland has a long list of such abusers of religion and many have climbed to power on the back of sectarianism and then used it to maintain their hold on political power . The current FM Robinson is a case in point albeit not the worst case ever to hit the headlines in NI .

    Your comment above tells us all why Robinson should resign his FM position forthwith . The comments he made are what Paisley used to call ‘weasel words ‘

    Mr Cameron did the right thing in condemning the Sudanese Government for it’s barbarity in this matter and one hopes that this woman is released without charges .

    On a broader topic when will the individual practice of Christianity( any and all denominations ) and Judaism and Atheism be legal in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa just as individual practice of Islam is legal in the West ?

    Surely there is utter hypocrisy on the part of some Middle East governments who demand freedom and legality for Muslims in the West while denying the same to religious minorities in their own countries ?

    Good luck and best wishes in your fight for reform and against bigotry in your country and throughout the wider Islamic world and elsewhere including Northern Ireland .

  • between the bridges

    CM ‘
    Now correct me if I’m wrong but ‘the greatest amount of young men leaving the education system with no qualifications’ may statistically/percentage wise back up that which you are trying to smear however actual numbers may not…

  • carl marks

    I’m sorry BTB but was there not a report recently (discussed in depth on Slugger) pointing out that young men from the (working Class) PUL community scored the lowest in educational achievement are the leaving the education system) and are leaving school with little or no qualification’s and correct me if I’m wrong are not the overwhelming majority or racist attacks taking place inside the areas are working class PUL community’s.
    I’m pointing out the relationship between under education and racism /sectarianism, I am not claiming that there is no racism in the CNR community but it is certainly less violent and less in your face.

  • Mick Fealty

    carl,

    I didn’t think you were planning to come back? I mean you’re welcome, provided we have an agree understanding of what the commenting rules mean, but I thought you said that was a deal breaker for you?

    Anwar,

    Great to have a sane outside perspective on this matter.

    The irony of some of what you say is how close it is to where we have been (and where some of us remain stuck. I think that in part explains some of the parochial responses we’ve seen to the Pastor’s remarks.

    You make a case for diversity as a democratic virtue, or at least something which must be given its proper weight. The problem I think we have is we have two sides: one which thinks it has nothing to learn from diversity arguments; the other which sees it as something to fear.

    There are widespread corollaries from the clashing of such immoveable and unstoppable objects everywhere in our ‘cold peace’ including 95% segregation in those who live in our public housing stock.

    I prefer to think that the extreme cognitive dissonance that it gives rise to, will with the right opportunities, some proper learning ala this sort of conflict resolution: http://goo.gl/IDIBaz

  • carl marks

    carl,

    I didn’t think you were planning to come back? I mean you’re welcome, provided we have an agree understanding of what the commenting rules mean, but I thought you said that was a deal breaker for you?

    Have i broke a rule mick ?

  • GEF

    “I’m pointing out the relationship between under education and racism /sectarianism, I am not claiming that there is no racism in the CNR community but it is certainly less violent and less in your face.”

    You have a point CM. Another point is that landlords who own houses in poor loyalist areas were attacks take place cannot find local tenants to rent their properties. Immigrants are rented these houses without knowledge of the danger to themselves living in the area.

  • carl marks

    GEF
    Certainly the greater availability of rented accommodation in loyalist areas is a factor, housing shortages in Nationalist areas effectively stops outsiders from moving in.
    The true test of nationalist tolerance would be when the nationalist areas are more diverse.

  • GEF

    Thanks CM, funny I should mention landlords read this recent post in the BT. Certainly throws new light on the story.

    “Pakistani man vows to flee Northern Ireland after race-hate attacks, blaming anti-Islamic atmosphere”

    cs30u
    I AM THE LANDLORD OF THE PROPERTY and want to take this opportunity to make people aware of the on-going situation between my two tenants and I. Firstly I would like to condemn the attack on my front window and state that this is not in relation to any on-going issues. I have been taking LEGAL steps to evict my tenants from the property as they are 3 months in arrears of their rent payments. I have applied for a court order but this will take months maybe years to come threw. I am not racist in any way as I welcomed these people into my house in the first place, however they are now in breach other there tenancy agreement by not paying me rent. I have also contacted the police on two separate criminal issues. One of my tenants illegally forged a letter from me verifying him to be homosexual, I was not aware of this letter being sent to the home office which has subsequently granted him stay in the UK until 2019. Furthermore there is a court hearing for “power NI” to be granted a warrant to enter the house to investigate the electric meter which I suspected to be stuck or by-passed. NIE engineers were not granted access into the house when they called last week. As a landlord I have a duty of care toward any tenant I allow into my house, I have tried of various occasions to contact my tenants to arrange a time for servicing the boiler and PET test the electric but unable to do this. The tenants had me arrested 3 weeks ago claiming I racially abused them and asked them to pay there rent, I was not in the street and the alleged time. Furthermore they have stated quiet clearly that they are fully up to date with rental payments but this cannot be possible as I am now not allowed to enter the street to collect rent. I have now had to suspend my mortgage payments which will now affect any credit in the future. There is always two sides to every story so before people come on the media spotlight to express there disgust and what is happening please take on board my issues and see that I am the victim. Like I said before while all this is on-going, I totally condemn any acts of violence and what has occurred on sunday.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/pakistani-man-vows-to-flee-northern-ireland-after-racehate-attacks-blaming-antiislamic-atmosphere-30321119.html

  • Mick Fealty

    CM, check your email?

  • Iolar

    Dr.Anwar Dafa – Alla
    Unionist politicians had the opportunity to ensure the impartial administration of justice and government based on equality, toleration and respect for all citizens prior to 1969 in the north of Ireland. They failed to do so. The current dysfunctional administration has failed to agree a Racial Equality Strategy for Northern Ireland. Please be assured that Peter Robinson and James McConnell do not represent the vast majority of citizens in Ireland when they make such ill informed statements about individuals who are proud of a culture, traditions and learning that have endured through the ages to the present day. The late Maya Angelou would no doubt respond thus, to James McConnell, “You may write me down in history/With your billion twisted lies,/You may tread me in the very dirt/ But still, like dust, I’ll rise.”

  • JR

    GEF,

    How does that throw any light on the story? A badly written anonoms post on a message board.

  • http://www.selfhatinggentile.blogger.com tmitch57

    The basic problem with religious fundamentalism is that the fundamentalists always have scriptural backing for their bigotry. The unique selling point of Christianity was the claim that it was the unique access portal to the afterlife. This was then followed by Islam blending the basic structures of Judaism with the universalist approach of Christianity. In much of the Middle East today there is a denominational schism among Muslims (Sunni/Shia) that parallels the Catholic/Protestant schism in Western Europe during the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. Muslim fundamentalists find a way to condemn all those who disagree with interpretations as infidels and Protestant fundamentalists condemn Catholics using quotes from the Bible. Both reflect the thinking of a period of prescientific superstition and dogma. Although Hinduism can also be problematic, the main problem seems to be inherent in universalist monotheistic faiths.

  • http://www.selfhatinggentile.blogger.com tmitch57

    Sorry, that should read “with their interpretations.”

  • tacapall

    Just dont do to others what you wouldn’t like others to do to you regardless what your belief is and you wont offend anyone. Simple.

  • Mick Fealty

    What is the story though JR? We’re getting list in tit for tat details, and absolutely thriving on the lack of context.

    Anwar gives us some, and then people start crawling back to their preferred version of our own very local affair.

    I find this story dismaying for so many reasons. But let me contract it to the first and last:

    – one, a preacher who refers to something he calls #SharaaraLaw makes the news, and is seamlessly wrapped into another about Anna Lo leaving politics which she said was because she had enough of the inability of this society and its political leaders to escape from the past.”

    – two, no one takes the time look at the two incidents and examine what might tell us about why Ms Lo is planning to leave politics. Oh, and for good measure, she calls Jack McConnell a ‘lunatic’…

    There’s something to be learned in here about pluralism and tolerance. My own church is convinced all others are fake, but it’s not the sort of ‘lunatic’ claim it likes to voice too publicly any more.

    There is something in the essence of tolerance of diversity of mind and conscience we are still missing. May be it was a newsworthy story, although the mis pronunciation suggests ignorance as much as malice.

    I fear all it has achieved is the further propagation of ignorance…

  • Politico68

    What an excellent piece of writing that offers a clear narrative on the issues that -lets face it- affects most societies these days to one extent or another. I am currently living in the United States where christian fundamentalism is on the rise affecting not only civil interaction but is also seeping into the legislative framework of many states and counties causing distress and distrust, similar to what the good Doctor speaks about above.

    But, two points need to be looked at regarding the current situation in Belfast. Firstly the responsibilities of the pastor to his flock and secondly the responsibilities of the first minister to citizens. Lets simplify.

    The flock has a right to hear the pastor preach. They also would realistically expect him to reject the theology and general practices of opposing faiths. For christians like myself (Catholic) I want to hear the preacher talk of Christ, his love, the communion of the faithful, the meaning of the gospels and I also want to hear him preach; theologically subjectively on how the scriptures can be associated with contemporary life and the role of the Church in an increasingly secularised society. In other words, stick to the programme. Christians reject the devil, accept the horror of hell and fundamentally associate both with pure evil. Therefore, connecting any group of people regardless of their background to Satan and his burning dungeon is, quintessentially suggesting that that group to be either of evil character or fallen under the spell of evil. Either way it is a direct and deliberate attack, purposefully designed to degenerate a specific group (in this case Islam). There maybe some justification if the preacher feels an encroachment into his flock, a temptation to stray, an active state sponsored brain washing exercise that was forcing his faithful to change their religious affiliation. But there is not such a threat. Nor has there ever been, and so the pastor has acted way outside his brief in terms of his pastoral care to his people.

    Secondly, the DUP’s response is predictable and similarly reflects a basic failure to carry out its responsibilities to the citizenry. Whatever the religious views of the DUP and however much they might feel that ‘free speech’ allows the pastor to comment at will. Robbon and his brigade have offered the most laziest of excuses when it comes to dealing with their critics on this issue. As Marty criticised Robbo, the whiplash whataboutery is used not only to deflect from the issue but sadly, and more importantly it is used as an excuse to justify ignoring the rights of a section of society. Marty’s intervention and opinion, regardless of his past is relevent to Now (2014), credibility has nothing to do with it because the voters, and the DUP in government with him combine to legitimately mandate him to opine. Rubbishing Marty’s intervention does nothing for the victims of the troubles, it only serves to prove how the DUP are simply incapable of accepting the will of the people in terms of the current arrangements. Moreover, the clear blue water between the conflict and the ‘now’ gives both elected loyalist and republicans the democratic right, mandated by the people to comment, criticise and advise in any which way they want, on any issue they want. The DUP’s continual failure to reject this mandate and use the past to deflect from todays’s issue means that they choose to ignore the ‘new victims’ of northern society, which it appears are ethnic minorities. Like the pastor, Robbo too is acting outside his brief by failing to stick to his job spec and carry out his duties responsibly. He should be forced to leave office as an example to others coming after him.

  • Mick Fealty

    You can overuse a mandate though! Although I note how a redrawing Peter King’s congressional boundaries has cooled his ardour for anti Islamic tirades recently.

    It occurred to me that some of this reactionary Christianity might be tempered by their experience of proselytising Muslims in other parts of the world where like Sudan religious difference remain a matter of life and death.

    It was like that in Belfast for some families at the onset of the troubles. I know of one couple who skipped Belfast for Cork because of threats of ‘honour killing’ of the bride’s husband by her brothers.

    It’s such stories I have no doubt that drive fear factors high when we hear remarks like the Pastors. But then I think how many members of his congregation did he bury during our low level war.

    Organised killing of that level and on scale intended to drive up fear and paranoia leaves a mark on the community targeted.

  • Kevsterino

    It was a pleasure to read the good doctor’s blog above. Some of the most sensible sentiments I have read here.

    The First Minister has ignored his responsibility to assure everyone in Northern Ireland that they are guaranteed equality of treatment by law, regardless of their creed.

    Robbo blew it.

  • Granni Trixie

    Mick,
    You seem to be saying that the public and journalists are conflating two stories, regretting the amount of attention given to the current debate about racism with reference to ‘what the Pastor and PR said’.

    You ask “what is the story” . My take on it is that many people felt
    outrage at a PR (‘FM of all of us’?) because he chose to validate the Pastors utterances in the name of free speech and personal friendship but compounded the original problem by his now infamous example of ways in which he would trust Muslims namely to go to the shops for him. Anna lo came into the picture big time when she articulated what many were feeling. In doing so She declared she had had enough and visibly broke down, a
    situation amplified by being repeated on TV. Her reaction was clearly not planned on her part, just being human. I suspect,from what she has said, such emotion was the culmination of a year of death threats,intimidation and much racist abuse.
    Her graphic description on TV of what she endured
    going about her daily business was a lightening rod conveying the reality of many minorities. In additional She also brought to attention the lack of progress by the Executive with reference to a strategy for tackling racism currently gathering dust on a shelf. In other words she said she is leaving politics due to frustration. In moment of human weakness she said she was thinking of leaving NI which after a groundswell of support she retracted.

    However you could point to many other positives arising from something negative the key one being that the public,through their response,demonstrated that they are not prepared to tolerate blatant racism which hopefully is leading us on to discuss what kind of a society we are trying to create. In addition I think we can also claim:
    – created space in public discourse in which to discuss the nature of racism.
    -minorities have found their voice and new leadership to articulate new perspectives to the rest of us

    – diverse sections of NI society are now
    galvanised,united in common purpose to voice truth to power (NB not just the chattering classes)

    As I said Mick, my take differs to yours infact yours surprises me.

  • Politico68

    Mick,

    Is their any part of the community who has not been marked in some way due to the troubles? Who has not felt the impact of a divided society in conflict? Really, where can we honestly find somebody who has no sense of loss as a result? Yes, there exists greater pain for some over others but why does this have to constantly distract from reconciliation and civic progression? If it really is a case that we are never to be allowed move the community forward into political stability, civil security and economic prosperity, then what is the point? Why not simply suspend the assembly, remove the mandates and let a Dublin/London appointed civil service do the job in place?

    Anna Lo, is for me at least; the very manifestation of tolerence. Culturally and Politically she actively represents citizens above and beyond the tribal distinctions. Yes she does so in the context of her party’s particular policy preferences and yes she has a personal opinion on unity; but fundamentally she does not have the entrenched exclusionary personality disorder that afflicts political Unionism. I don’t adhere to Alliances political raison d’etre but no bloody reasonable person on this Island could possibly justify turning her and other ethnic minorities into the Norths ‘new victims’. And in effect, this is exactly whats happening, Unionism deliberately neglects the now, justifying it on the basis of the past. As long as this attitude exists there simply is no reconciliation possible. For sure, argue for victims, remember, commemorate and mourn. But we have to stop allowing individuals to block the future because they cant get over the past.

    The public response as Trixie rightly points out displays a maturity on the part of some of the electorate that refuses to accept bigotry, racism and prejudice. The only problem however is in knowing, how deep does this go? how widespread is agreement? and more importantly, will people power manage to sweep aside the foul smelling particles of the Pastor’s and Peter Robinson’s traditional Unionist bigotry?

  • http://www.ulster-scots.co.uk Kilsally

    Politico68 the Bible refers to cause churches in the book of Revelation as synagogues of Satan (which is quoted in the Presbyterian Westminster Confession) – nothing to do individuals per se. Second the Bible makes clear we are all evil – that is why we need a Saviour. You will find Evangelicals will refer to many things as satanic, sinful or evil – other religions, idols (TV, sport, pubs, cinema, internet), specific sins (adultery,pornography, homosexuality)

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    Kilsally,

    That may be so but Robinson made it personal when he talked about just trusting “them” to go shopping for him and bring him the right change.

  • http://www.selfhatinggentile.blogger.com tmitch57

    Mick,
    It was said of Ian Paisley Sr. that he used to receive Catholic votes despite his very bigoted comments against Catholics both as believers and as nationalists because of his attention to providing a high level of service to all his constituents. I can well believe this as successful incumbents in the U.S. devote a great deal of attention to constituent services in the belief that it will pay off come election time. I wonder whether or not Robinson pays a similar amount of attention to constituent services.

  • Zeno

    Politico68
    “But we have to stop allowing individuals to block the future because they cant get over the past.”

    If you are one of the people who had their own child murdered in the troubles and you want to forgive and forget and move on for the greater good, fair enough. If that is not the case, then where do you get the right to pontificate on other peoples suffering?

  • Politico68

    Zeno,

    Are you suggesting that it is up to the victims to decide when the whole of society can move on?

    I get my right to pontificate on this site from exactly the same place as you do.

  • abucs

    Is anyone actually going to answer his question?

    Does your condemnation apply only to Christian fundamentalists?

    Are there going to be intelligent posts and future threads which draw attention to the problems the writer faces in the Muslim world and detail closely the causes and consequences of such problems?

    Or are we going to turn a blind eye to what is happening in the Muslim world and use it only as an excuse to conflate (equalise) different religions and attack Christianity at home?

  • Delphin

    So P68, would you advise the families of the victims of the Ballymurphy massacre to stop their campaign for justice.
    If there was an amnesty it would have to apply to all, not just to the military men from the movement you support.

  • Granni Trixie

    Abucus

    In a word no. Ofcourse condemnation is not to be restricted to Christian fundamentalists. But it’s not an either or matter.

    I always resented it during the troubles when causes outside of Ni could draw much support when atrocities in Ni were ignored by the same people. Even the CAJ which works on policing issues and even Amnesty ignored punishment beatings
    It is not being insular to take some responsibility to put problems such as racism right as they are on your own doorstep where you can exercise some power.

  • Zeno

    “So P68, would you advise the families of the victims of the Ballymurphy massacre to stop their campaign for justice”

    It’s a good question and could be expanded. Should the families of the Bloody Sunday victims just have moved on? Or is it just as Delphin suggests, that all IRA victims have to move on.

  • Morpheus

    Asking the families of victims to just move on is simply out of the question in my book – every family, be they the victim of republican, loyalist or state violence deserves justice. But we need to face the reality that justice is not always attainable because the physical evidence may not exist.

    We should pursue to the hilt any cases where there is a chance of prosecution but if there is no chance of prosecution we should inform the families so they can get closure.

    The Ballymurphy incident is a disgrace and another stain on the Paras and the State. Withholding documents and not allowing a public inquiry in order to protect the soldiers who shot and killed innocent civilians whom they were paid to protect is completely unacceptable.

  • Kevsterino

    Justice delayed is justice denied. Justice is no longer available to any victims of the conflict. It’s been that way for some time now.

    So, if justice is no longer available, what is? Vengeance? That might do for some, but it ain’t justice.

  • mohd abdallah

    goog essay of you brother Dr.anwar
    ALLAH bless you and keep you for SUDAN

  • Taoiseach

    Funny the underlying racism in the repetition that Protestant boys fare worst in education. Travellers and Roma fare worst. Almost every article begins with a passing reference to that fact before ignoring it.