31 January 2007

Birmingham arrests

The war on so called terror keeps on continuing here in UK and now on my streets in Birmingham. The fact that this took place in Birmingham doesn’t really surprise me at all, quite the opposite, but it’s a sad thing. From what I have been following the whole situation here, probably the most ethnically diverse part of the country, the tension is rising. Not in any obvious way (unless if you call the riots less than 2 years ago obvious) but on the background. You hear how people talk and how little the different communities communicate with each others. How the area you live in pretty much tells your ethic origin and those lines are not to be crossed. It’s almost like voluntary group areas act (of apartheid) and it’s sad to see. What this creates is ever increasing suspicion towards the large Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi etc communities. There has already been extremely ignorant and hurtful comments from Home Secretary John Reid urging all Asian parents to “spy” on their kids so they wouldn’t join so called terrorist activities and then the government leaked document urging universities to keep an eye on the “Asian looking people”. It seems obvious to me that every single person from these communities is a suspect now. I’ve seen the frustration of my fellow students and I cannot imagine how it would be to be in their shoes.

I am not, of course, saying that they shouldn’t arrest people who plan on blowing up innocent people, if that is the case, but this government won’t win this war with its discourse of aggression and dividing the nation. Out of all the options to deal with the situation, it is probably the worst one. There is a lot of healing to be done and for it to ever happen, someone should start it in the near future. Maybe even today.

By the way – what a convenient way of not to talk about this.

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