I nearly put in here an interesting anecdote about anti-semitism and jobs concerning a close relative but I realised it falls outside the parameters of this project. I will not include hearsay on this site, only things that have happened to me or in my earshot. The actual victim of the incident didn't tell me himself so I can't include it. In other words, I only include things I have directly experienced and not stories about others. The main reason for this parameter is because I believe that hearsay is a fundamental catalyst for paranoia and hatred. When things are whispered far from the source, they are framed by the agenda of the story-teller, so the information may or may not be accurate.

Because of this rule I have also not included many conversations I have had over the past 3 weeks about friends' and colleagues' actual encounters with racism. I forgot that if I hear something 'from the horse's mouth', I will include it. Unfortunately most of the stories are now half-forgotten except one which I will relate.

T is quite young (around 18 and in her first year of Uni). She wears a headscarf. She is a practicing Muslim and she thinks about her religion inquiringly, learning from the Qu'ran. We were walking in an area of London where her school was and she told me about her experience after September 11th. She went to a mixed school and after September 11th, the majority of her non-Muslim friends stopped speaking to her. She said it made her so angry that people could react with such ignorance.

I said I agreed and that that kind of ignorance could lead to further polarisation of both groups, with each fearing and loathing the other, despite having known each other, being old school chums and neighbours. I was thinking of the former-Yugoslavia.

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