The Irish Man 
Member since Dec 3, 2015


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Re: “Living in fear in my own country

I hear what you are saying, Sagar, and I truly sympathize, as I will explain. You have a friendly pleasant, face and smile, who I know I could have good chat with. But understanding the fear and mistrust goes both ways now in this messed up media driven world we live in.

Being Northern Irish and a few times visiting the UK mainland (at the height of the IRA bombings in England) I got totally ignored by some people etc (I wont go into it) and I even had stringent security checks to get there and separated from other people- but I understood this. I did NOT like it and maybe it was wrong- but I understood their fear that lead to unreasonable mistrust/hate. I was ashamed and embarrassed by the reputation us Northern Irish had gained as terrorists and knew I might get attacked but I didn't let it stop me. Thankfully there were people who spoke to me kindly. It wasn't race issues but I was seen as a terrorist and despised. I wanted to change this so I made a point of being as nice as I could to whoever would listen. I let them know the majority of Irish did not want conflict and didn’t have a hate for anything British- just the brainwashed few. I made good English friends by trying to integrate and circulate among them.

Can I ask, are all your friends Muslim and of your 'brownness'? Apologies if you have non-Muslim white friends too, I'm just trying to get a feel, as self-segregation can cause problems too. Also apologies if you have tried to mix but found it hard/had problems. From N Ireland I have seen how segregation builds and feeds mistrust and hate. But in N Ireland it is not race but religion dividing people. There are strict catholic only areas and strict protestant only areas that are a breeding ground for hate- and used as an excuse by either side to stir up hate. But thankfully is it SO much better now and the mistrust is abating- not totally gone, as there are small minded people who thrive on power and hate.

I think the point I am trying to make is that while we can do our part to understand Muslims and their faith (I have read and researched the Quran a bit to understand Islam, and it is clearly not a religion of hate- just hateful people hiding behind it and using it to carry out murder- but all religions have these uneducated people) while reaching out to help you or going to places for Muslims, you can also help by not segregating yourselves through fear or mistrust if you do, and going out of your way to help educate people who maybe fear you. Understand them too, like you want others to understand yourself. Some will ask me what I have done to get to know other people of different beliefs or race- but I am not going to go out purposely and find a Muslim or an African-Canadian or a Chinese person to have as ‘token’ friend for me to go out and say ‘look at me- I'm open minded’. That’s wrong to do. Since coming to Halifax I have encountered some fantastic people of all races and religions- non yet my friends but I cant force that. I wont care who that friend is, but if they are a good decent person then they can be from outer-space for all I care.

Sorry if any of this offends you, Sagar, or anyone else. And I may be preaching to the already converted (excuse the unintended pun there ha ha) and again I can only apologize, as I wasn’t clear from your article. I hope you get the point I’m trying articulate. The media plays a massive part in it’s divisions but then also what you are doing by writing your article helps counteract this and is positive steps to to understanding. But like you ask people to got to events to listen to experiences, then that works both ways to understand other peoples fears. By the way, I am atheist (well maybe agnostic, but what are labels anyway?) but at my root level I am a human, like yourself. My motto for life is ‘Respect each other and look out for each other’.

I hope the fear you have gives way to hope and not letting ignorant people hold you back. Haligonians of all races and faith are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. You and I, we are lucky.

The Irish Man

18 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by The Irish Man on 12/03/2015 at 8:15 PM

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