The Paris atrocities
I wanted to take a moment to express some thoughts on this weekend’s events, in light of the fact that a photo of me is currently going semi-viral on Facebook in support of the Parisian victims.
You may have seen this photo doing its rounds, and you may even be using it as your Facebook profile photo. It’s a beautiful photo, and was taken of me in Skye in October.
I fully support the use of my photo in an act of solidarity between Scotland and France, which of course pertains to the Auld Alliance.
I’m also deeply sympathetic to all those afflicted by the Paris atrocities on Friday. What has happened is truly awful and should not be happening anywhere.
However, I also want to be clear on my stance on this.
Firstly, in supporting this, I’m not turning my head from the other atrocities happening in the world right now that go unnoticed. In Beirut this week, a similar terrorist attack took place, but hasn’t received the same attention in the media.
Swathes of refugees are risking their lives to escape this and are being shown no sympathy or solidarity by other nations.
People aren’t rushing to put other nations’ flags on their Facebook profile pictures when similar events occur.
Not that any situation is more or less deserving of love, support and sympathy, but we can’t ignore that the tragic events in Paris are a regular occurrence in many parts of the world.
Neither these people nor the violence they are experiencing will be as well documented, and will probably not receive the same assistance as our Parisian neighbours.
I’m not condemning or criticising anyone’s support of the Parisians; far from it. But I encourage you to be as supportive of all people who are affected by such extreme violence.
Secondly, I’m concerned that anyone may use my image or misinterpret it in an anti-Islamic manner. I’ve already seen many people spread messages of hate as comments on this photo; many people are trying to suggest that all Muslims are violent and hateful.
Sadly, there are those who will inevitably use such images to drive a misguided opinion which is as destructive as those they are decrying.
We need only look to Britain First for ready examples of this use of other people’s images, and I’ve been frantically keeping an eye on their Facebook page for fear that this photo of me may arrive there, being used to spread a hateful message.
I wish to be clear that I am not anti-Islamic and completely condemn anyone who would whitewash the actions of the bastards in Paris last night and tarnish an entire religious group as a result. I am anti-intolerance.
Anyone who uses this image to promote an anti-Islamic, bigoted or intolerant message needs a good slap.
Moreover, the people who carried out the attacks are an isolated group, they do not speak for all Muslims. They were not humans. They were very sick people, and sadly there are many such people in all religions.
In posting this I don’t want to incite any anger or provoke any argument.
We mustn’t let any extremists win. We mustn’t let anyone suffer, no matter where they are from.
Thank you for reading.