me + you


I was telling someone about this diary project. Her response was to add her own story:
She said, I have a last name that is Jewish. I asked her what it was. I think she said it was Kirschbaum - or something-baum. I said, that's not a Jewish name. She said the "baum" part is. [Baum is German for tree and is quite common in German names. I think the last laugh on Hitler is that the rest of the world, the non-German-speaking world, now believe that every German name is Jewish. How's that for irony!?!!]

She was checking her bags in for a flight. She was running late, about to miss the plane and started to urge the guy to hurry. He just looked at her. He was "an Arab - or he looked like one" - which is how she self-consciously described him. She said "you think I'm Jewish." He said, well isn't she? She said no.

Later that day I heard another story by someone else. It was about the media reception of an exhibition I saw a couple of times about veiling and the veil. The exhibition had been censored when it was in Walsall, England just before the USA and UK (et al) went to war on Iraq this most recent time. A satirical picture about fears of Isalm over-running the world was not allowed to be shown. The images predated 11 Sept 2001 by a number of years. One of the 10ft high pictures showed the Statue of Liberty with an Afghani style burka and a book with the opening words of the Qu'ran. Another image had the Houses of Parliament converted to a mosque complete with minarets and souk. These images were censored on the grounds that they would incite hatred and intolerance. (cf: Jonathan Swift and the Irish eating their babies?) The local newspaper had a quote from the local Muslim leaders group saying that they also believed it was right to censor these images. Much later in the text it said that the group who had made the images, AES, was a group of Russian Jews. The implication was clear.

I want to add here that I have recently been told stories by a colleague about things that have happened to his Muslim friends and colleagues since Islamaphobia has taken over the morality and decisions of people living in Britain today. I have not included any of them because I do not ever record hearsay in this diary. I will record only what a victim of racism has told me- or what I myself, experience. I will not record hearsay about what happened to someone who isn't present, telling me their story. In my belief, it is hearsay that creates a climate of fear and disinformation. Stories are passed on because of the beliefs and agenda of the story teller. It may not be a "true" version story according to the victim's point of view. So I will not include it... and I will try not to be influenced by those kinds of stories either - not matter who says them, under which authority.

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