Instead of being my deliverance
Music to accompany this post is from my favourite Muslim, a man without whom my life would not be as rich. Copyright is owned by Cat Stevens, Island Records and Universal Music Group. Video courtesy of YouTube and apologies if it doesn’t play where you are then I can only apologise for that.
Here we are as Saturday Night turns into Sunday morning and the attacks in Christchurch last weekend have not led to any further attacks on our Muslim brothers and sisters. Thank you to everyone who helped to make that possible this week.
I always feel a sense of horror when I read of attacks against anyone while they are in a place of worship, not just because they happen there but they are targeting people who are trying to make sense of the madness by praying to their God. I may not believe in a Supreme Being but that doesn’t mean I don’t see good people all around me who do believe in one God or another. They are trying to get through life the same as everyone else and it is always a shame when someone comes along and takes their life away too soon.
I am no stranger to death, having almost died several times in my life and coming close to ending it myself a few more. Because of this I don’t believe that any divine being would sit back and watch as we try to hurt and kill each other every day. If there is one truth I have learned it is that every holy book that has ever been written, puts in plain language, that we should love one another. Every religion has its own set of rules and yet they amount to much the same across every religion on this planet. Jews and Christians have the 10 commandments, Islam has another set of rules, Buddhism, Sikhism and other religions have different rules laid out in their holy books yet the one thing every religion has in common is love.
If every religion states that the followers of said religion should love their neighbours why is there so much hate in the world? The reason comes down to people. A few radicalise the Qran, or the Bible, or Scripture, for their own agenda. They preach hatred, violence against others who don’t follow their faith and incite others to go out and kill innocents. I have seen throughout history that the ones preaching violence and hatred are not the ones doing the killing, why? They want to live to spread their lies and hatred across the planet to as many people as possible.
If they believe that war can be justified in this way then there is no hope for them. Everyone of us is capable of killing another human being given the right set of circumstances. Bravery isn’t being able to walk into the line of fear unafraid of being killed. Bravery is being scared to walk into the line of fire but doing it anyway. That is why we have police and armies to do this on our behalf and keep us safe. I have admiration for those who take up arms in order to protect others who seek to do harm. I do not want the day to come when all of the police in the UK are armed as a standard, unlike the US and many other countries on this planet we have special armed units who can be mobilised wherever they are needed.
In the modern world where our enemies hide in plain sight because they are too cowardly to wear a uniform and declare themselves enemy combatants, we are facing an ever growing danger of someone pulling a weapon on our police officers, soldiers, sailors and airmen, even when they are off duty so it will probably come to a time when every one of the policemen and women in the UK will be armed in order to protect them while on duty.
Gun and knife crime are on the rise, there are many organisations operating on our soil who use explosives to terrorise our communities and make our life difficult. I for one refuse to change my routine for them. If I see anyone being attacked and the odds are stacked against them, I will use my phone to call the police before I then wade in to offer assistance. There are a lot of others who will do the same, we are not heroes, just ordinary citizens who hate to see anyone being targeted because of their differences. Women and men, we overcome our fear and jump in to help whenever anyone is in danger. The only time I draw the line is when someone is drowning because I cannot swim and there’s no point in a rescuer having to rescue me as well as the person I was trying to save.
If life has taught me one thing it is how to overcome my natural fear of being injured, any time I have fought has not been to defeat someone else, it is to protect myself or others from harm. I have had a broken nose, had my scalp cut and head bashed in a few times but I will not back down when someone is threatened and fighting for survival.
On a less fractious note, I have spent the last few days listening to Tom Walker’s album, much to the annoyance of my wife, and it is exceptional. I cannot compare him to anyone else because his influences are there but he has followed his own muse and his sound is not like anyone else I know. His talent shines through the songs, some of which you will know if you listen to the radio, some you may not know but every song on the album is a gem waiting to be discovered.
I have also started watching Designated Survivor on Netflix because of the strength of the first episode when it was shown on Sky. I have watched the first 17 episodes of season 1 and it is going from strength to strength. Story lines are believable and the cast is so strong that you forget they are actors playing a part and become enthralled by their individual back stories. Keifer Sutherland has found another winner to bring to the small screen and I really hope this goes on and on.