Yesterday and today, I've been alarmed to see this message going round on status profiles.
"Today we saw Muslims break the 2 minute silence in central
Yesterday of course was Armistice Day and no more an emotive day could be found in the calendar. As I mentioned in my blog post yesterday, Cardigan Will Remember Them, I paid my respects at the Cenotaph at 11am and will do the same on Remembrance Sunday.
Muslims don't = extremists and whites don't = the English Defence League
It was indeed a horrible sight to see extremists burning poppies during the 2 minutes silence yesterday. But as this BBC News article shows, a member of the English Defence League was also arrested for assaulting a police officer during this confrontation.
It's very easy to quickly 'copy and paste' an update that looks decent into your own to spread a particularly topical message around. It is far to easy to make emotional and spur-of-the-moment comments that make sweeping but dangerous generalisations.
What most aggravates me about this Facebook comment that is spreading around is that it seems to tar all Muslims with the same brush. We can't accept this. Just in the same way that I won't be tarred with the same brush as the English Defence League. There's a hideous, extreme element in our caucasional society but that doesn't make us all the same as them. Just as any extremist Islamic action doesn't speak on behalf of a broader Muslamic community.
My Facebook comment to the message doing the rounds is this...
"Whoa guys calm down a little here. Please don't generalise and tar all Muslims with the same brush. These people are extremists so let's call them that. There are plenty of white extremists too. The IRA were white and tried to blow up British soldiers for decades but that didn't mean that all Irish people were bad. Let's get some perspective in here".
The vast majority of us all are moderate, normal, run-of-the-mill people. We need to all work together to ensure that as many of us are as tolerant and understanding of others as is possible. Picking out the differences between ourselves only makes matters worse.