Together we stand

So once again our land is under threat from terrorists. How are we going to stand together across our different cultures and beliefs to see off the terrorists who would steal our lives and our freedoms?

I was watching Andrew Marr’s Sunday morning program recently – and he was interviewing Prime Minister Brown the day after the attack on Glasgow Airport, and two days after the two London car bombs. Andrew raised the issue of the thousands of websites that pour out bile against Western girls who go to night clubs – calling them slags and whores. I was appalled. You see, I think it’s fair enough to find such girls’ behaviour objectionable and to be reviled by their activities – although I totally disagree – in as much as it is a free country and if young women want to dress scantily and go to nightclubs and drink alcohol – that is their right to do so. And whilst I will defend the right of those who believe these women are somehow the spawn of the devil to say so – my tolerance stops when there is actual harm or incitement to harm them, to murder them.

I find many things offensive about religions that subjugate women. I find it appalling that a woman’s life can be dictated by a man. I find it incomprehensible that women tolerate such absolute dominance. And I will always campaign and highlight the need for equality – and I hope one day that no woman will be subjugated to a man’s will – and that goes right across every faith, culture and race I know – including white Christians. And I would intervene in a flash if such relationships became violent.

So when terrorists attack nightclubs as symbols of decadence – I say they should look at themselves. Any religion – or perversion of religion – that claims a right to kill people because they find their behaviour offensive is where my tolerance stops. And it is not as if those who declaim against the supposed decadence of Western society are particularly pure or clean themselves. A quick quiz question: who was it who superintended the widespread growing of illegal drugs for Western consumption and made profits out of it? Answer – Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. So much for their claims to being virtuous; the truth is that they are the very same amoral grubby profit seekers they attack others for being.

Now, this country is phenomenally liberal – and that’s why it is such a great place to live. That’s why it is a place of asylum. That is why those who are persecuted by the murderous bastards that seem to inhabit and threaten in so many parts of the world come here to find peace, shelter and safety.

Enough is enough! There must be no hiding place nor shelter for those who would murder us – whatever their perverted rationale. And to anyone who might mistakenly believe that there is any justification for such attacks – then I say they are as guilty as those who perpetrate these hideous murders. I don’t care if you disagree with the war in Iraq. I disagree with it too. We will not be beaten by extremists whose warped views cannot succeed through democratic means – who have to blow up people because they can’t get them to agree with them. That is the true mark of the frailty of their believes and their continued failure.

(c) Lynne Featherstone, 2007