There seems to be a charged atmosphere around my area at the moment. It's hard to tell for sure though. Maybe it's just me interpretting everything through my own feelings of insecurity. I feel like there is a greater tension between Muslims and non-Muslims, a feeling of paranoia towards people in salwar kameez (traditional clothes) or veils, even to some extent anyone who looks 'Asian'. I am told that women who normally wear veils are being looked at oddly by white english people but maybe these women are just picking up on the 'normal levels' of hostility, maybe they're simply more sensitized. Maybe I am also more sensitized and there is no charged feeling in the air.

To some extent life is continuing as normal. I was in a queue for the post office and some guy behind me, a white English guy, started having a go at someone behind him, saying they were trying to push in. He then asked whether "you speak english?" Alarm bells started ringing for me, and probably most other people in the queue because they stirred, shifting about from foot to foot, looking to see who was making the accusations. "Don't push in," he warned again adding, "You get enough money, don't ya?" I looked back at the guy with a sneer, just to let him know that not all his audience were symapthetic. He shut up then.

This is 'normal hostilities' where I live. Not an everyday encounter, as you can see from my diary entries, but common enough. But I feel like it has so much more impact now. I feel like I'm living on a knife edge in the world and we have to be careful, all of us. But I'm not sure everyone else feels that way.

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