Had a conversation with a close relative about Muslim terrorism. Was reassured that the majority of Britain also 'hate the Arabs'. But I don't find that reassuring anymore. I used to. I used to feel that if everyone (the dominant culture) hates Muslims, then Jews were safe - and therefore me too. As long as the world has one scapegoat, they don't need me and my people...

But I don't feel that anymore. I believe that hate spills over very easily and if the lynch mobs are out for Muslims, it won't be long before they're out for me. I remember a conversation I had where T described a programme on Sept 11th which had an incoherent Muslim fundamentalist terrorist sympathzer and Muslim M.P. They were clearly both invited on the tv program to display a range of opinions in the 'Muslim community'. But I have realised it had also done something else: it portrays a world where assimiliated secular Muslims are ok and religious Muslims are fundamentalist extremist terrorists. I have friends who wear head-scarfs and fast over Ramadan who are neither. 99% of Muslims are not fundamentalist though they practice Islam.

In the past, it has been clear to me that here, in Britain, it's ok to be another religion - as long as you don't believe in it or practice it. Assimilation still appears to be the only 'acceptable' way to be 'the Other' in our society despite the rhetoric of multi-cultural, multi-faith Britain.

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