So Sorry

I have been made aware that both me and Taslima have both been doing something wrong.

You see, when we spoke out against rape and when I covered the ways that Indian culture failed with regards to rape I made a horrible mistake.

I forgot to delineate between the men who rape and the men who do not. I also forgot to delineate between men in different parts of the world who rape because the American Football (Handegg) Rape and the subsequent support for the rapists is clearly due to different American Issues than the horrific Indian Rape. I forgot to delineate between these horrible monsters and the nice guys and a few people have decided to tell me so in often very irate ways. I have seen the error of my ways and I am sure Taslima will too. I also know that principles don’t feed children so I am willing to trade on mine and make an apology.

I am Sorry.

I am sorry we didn’t specifically remove the Nice Guys from the set of men who are involved in a culture which clearly is designed to denigrate, harass, rape or otherwise interfere with other people in a sexual manner, the vast majority of these people have the double XX chromosome. From henceforth please automatically remove yourselves from the sets we are discussing if the set does not pertain to them.

I am sorry we implied that all men you know are potential rapists, I am afraid we forgot that they are nice men who are incapable of such villainous behaviour. In addition I am in particular sorry that I applied a non-western ideology being a British Indian and I will speak to Taslima so that she stops writing things from her viewpoint as a Subcontinental living in India so that she conforms to the atheist norm of Judeo-Christian American issues. We will stop writing as atheists of colour… sorry… COLOR and remove any such influences such as our race, old faiths and culture from our writing.

I am sorry I wrote about protests that were happening around me. I am sorry I wrote about the rapes. These were clearly done to generate traffic so as to con people into paying for my Fabergé egg and vintage pornography addictions  (However! If you would like to sponsor my Faberge egg and vintage pornography addiction or my ongoing quest to get in order of importance… a faster flight back home in May for my yearly holiday so I can spend 2 more days with Tiga, a New Laptop and a New Camera; then the paypal link is on the Left… Not the Right…). I am sorry that I said that I was reporting on potentially dangerous situations because I was genuinely saddened and angered by the tragic death of a woman to a planned and malicious assault on her, compounded by the nature of Indian culture’s attitude to shame, honour and chastity along with the gross incompetence of the police in hand. From henceforth I will only write recipes, fashion tips (shave your head if you want to look like Avi… Streamlined!) and about gruesome and lurid medical procedures (Did you know there is a type of x-ray taken during defaecation? That’s at least good for a couple of dozen readers being put off their food…) that will drive away all my readers.

I apologise if any further writing offends you but I urge you to follow the lead of my readers and think carefully about what you do and why you are offended by what I say. Using the vast powers of the human brain to realise that the material isn’t aimed specifically at you and any other men you may know who aren’t involved in such a culture may seem like a chore but it is really important to utilise the skill of discernment. We apologise in advance for making you utilise your valuable ATP for such a process instead of say “Cancer Research”. We are sorry we alienated men by doing this. I will happily give any such insulted man a Rupee (You can be just like Link!) if we are to meet in real life.

The next time we write about rape or female genital mutilation or sexual harassment we will try to think of the men, if we don’t mention it we are still thinking about them and hope that you will understand that we are utilising an open concept. If you send us the names of men you know who don’t fit the set we are discussing we will strike their names off from the big book of hating  (Mine is personally sponsored by Haterade! Remember! If you must hate then quench your thirst with Haterade! The Electrolyte Balance replenishes your hatred so you may hate things up to 30% Longer!) that we all are issued with.

We hope you will accept this humblest of apologies from me (and probably Taslima) to all the nice men who cannot pathologically do anything bad.

Yours Sincerely

Avicenna (the) Last

(P.S – Sorry!)

The Nice Boys Next Door

I used to live in Leeds, a lovely little city in Yorkshire. Home to the debauchery of the Otley Run, the triple sports of Football, Cricket and Rugby and a tale of tragedy.

The first boy was born at the Leeds General Infirmary and lived all his life in Leeds. His father worked as a factory worker and taught his son the value of hard work. His mother used to teach him the value of community by helping foreigners who came to the little piece of the dales. She used to accompany those who were sick but didn’t speak English to the hospital where she would translate for them. He attended school in Leeds and while (like most of us) wasn’t a model student he was punctual, courteous, and social. He went on to college where he trained vocational qualification in Business. He played cricket ferociously but his true love was football. He turned out to play for the Holbeck Hornets. Those who met him said that he was a “Gentle Giant” and the only stain on his record was a caution for shop lifting which was put down to “kids will be kids”. As a mark of apology he worked at a youth centre as a volunteer.

The second boy was less of a boy than a man. He was the oldest of the four friends and a mentor figure to the other 3. He was undoubtedly this little gang’s ring leader. He was born at the St. James University Hospital and grew up in both Beeston and Dewsbury. Son of a foundry worker and a housewife, he had a relatively strict upbringing but loved his parents. He was well liked and volunteered with the community that gave so much to him. He would mentor and teach new immigrant kids about the UK. He was seen as a god fearing young man and was happily married to his wife. He made plans around everything his wife did including delaying his dreams so that she could have the baby she wanted. His mother in law doted on him. She even got to meet the queen and reportedly spoke about his achievements to her.

The third young man was born in Jamaica and moved to Dalton. He was the most tragic of the 4. A normal childhood in Yorkshire but he was enticed by crime where he worked dealing drugs. However one day he changed his mind and found faith. He become quiet and less angry. He tried to get a job and even though pay was poor he qualified as a carpet fitter.

The last young man was born at St. Luke’s in Bradford to a local entrepreneur. He was a born sportsman and represented his school excelling in cricket, football, triple jump, distance running and ju-jitsu. He studied sports science but probably wished to inherit his father’s small business empire. Often working to help his dad at his father’s fish and chip shop, restaurant and butcher’s shop. He was widely regarded as kind and courteous to everyone in his neighbourhood.

Apart from the Jamaican who was new to the group these three young men were thick as thieves and helped everyone who they met. They were model human beings… Even the Jamaican had turned over a new leaf. These are Nice Boys ™.

Except for the last thing they ever did.

On that day I was at home, relaxing after my brother’s 12th birthday party. My brother was talking to my aunt who had work in London so missed the entire party and I was listening in exhorting him to get her to buy some video game when the phone cut off.

It was the same day that these four young men had decided to go on an adventure to fight against injustice and oppression. In their own words…

I and thousands like me are forsaking everything for what we believe. Our drive and motivation doesn’t come from tangible commodities that this world has to offer. Our religion is Islam, obedience to the one true God and following the footsteps of the final prophet messenger. Your democratically-elected governments continuously perpetuate atrocities against my people all over the world. And your support of them makes you directly responsible, just as I am directly responsible for protecting and avenging my Muslim brothers and sisters. Until we feel security you will be our targets and until you stop the bombing, gassing, imprisonment and torture of my people we will not stop this fight. We are at war and I am a soldier. Now you too will taste the reality of this situation.

On that day four of these young men blew themselves up using home made explosives on the Underground and on the London Bus Service. They killed 52 people between them. These nice young boys next door killed people. Their names were Hasib Hussain, Mohammed Khan, Germaine Lindsay and Hasib Hussain.

But no one really dwelt on their niceness. No one would listen to their families who honestly didn’t believe their sons did this. It was the second deadliest terrorist attack in British History (Lockerbie was the biggest), but one that lived in infamy. I still went to work that day, knowing I would have to face people who were mad at brown people.

At times like this I am proud to be British. When the vultures that are the BNP and the various right wing conservatives such as Melanie Philips came out against non-white immigrants brits rallied and told them where to shove their bigotry. The answer to bigotry is not more of it. There were incidents but they were few and far between compared to the horror show of the USA post 9/11.

But you have to admit, they were nice boys until the end. In the UK at least we don’t stand for the kind of scrutiny that americans put on their killers but if we did we probably wouldn’t know anything about them. Their story is one of faith creating alienation, and the unscrupulous taking advantage of that alienation to create hate and the notion that their cause was just. They fell prey to religious extremists who filled their mind with poison which caused them to be able to rationalise the deaths of so man and to act on it. They fell prey to a feeling by their parents that they were losing their culture so they sent them to places like Pakistan to be re-immersed in traditional culture. Where they were told that their parents are traitors and too soft to fight for justice, where their minds were poisoned by hate and conspiracy theory powered by a unquestionable belief in their holy cause.

Just remember that the next time you hear about a tragedy like this. The people who did this may have been “nice” and “not white” too. We forgot that in the UK and that resulted in the tragic death of Jean Charles de Menzies who was shot for being too fast moving, too brown and wearing a coat by a police officer who made the wrong decision.

I do wish to end on a note of absolute humanity. I believe that heroes aren’t special, they are people just like you and me who when called upon by circumstance did what needed to be done and what we are all capable of doing. This doesn’t make their achievement small, in fact it makes it bigger. If grew up with what we would call  genuine heroes in my life. My grandfather was awarded for valour. I have family who were given medals for giving up their lives to save others in Ypres. My mother was a hero when she fought to be taught surgery when young women were serious discriminated against in the field. And my grandfather taught me two things, the first was how to fish and the second was what makes a hero a hero. A hero is just a human being who did the right thing when no one else was willing to. That when the odds were against him just did what he thought was necessary. Anyone can be a hero. You do not make them. While my actions have been on the small scale compared to a man who once held a position in the middle of a jungle so damp that your clothes rot away and fought with everything from gun to grenade, knife to rock against an enemy that was legendarily brave. Or compared to my mother who learnt her trade through sheer stubbornness. And all through that I have always been impressed by the humility of these people at their achievements.

I have tried to do the best I can as a human being. I think the greatest expression of humanity is someone doing the necessary and the best that they can. There were heroes at Sandy Hook, there are heroes everywhere as there are villains.

There were two cells of bombers. The second wave failed due to equipment failure. However one of the bombers called Ramzi Mohammed was confronted by a man. Angus Campbell, an off duty fire man got everyone else to evacuate the carriage to safety but stayed behind to get Ramzi to not kill himself. Ramzi was captured a while later, it is believed that the actions of Angus saved lives as well as stopped Ramzi from killing himself. He may not have the chance to live a normal life again but he gets to do something with his life rather than cause pain for others. Angus’s courage is an equally good lesson to learn from this.

I agree with Siviku on this, perhaps we should realise that the people who commit crimes from different communities have stories too. That it isn’t just “middle american white youth” who are nice boys.