16 Years Ago – Will It Never End? #9/11 #MondayBlogs

This time last year, I posted about what I was doing that fateful day – 9/11 – when the world changed.

Image result for 9/11 never forget

Has it made any changes for the positive since then?

There have been more attacks, with Islamic terrorist groups taking the blame.

Trump has been blowing his hot air into the atmosphere.

Kim Jong Un threatening to set off Nuclear bombs.

And there have been plenty of natural disasters causing mayhem in the world.

Yet;

We have seen compassion.

The rush of aid to the various places where devastations have occurred.

People cmore likely to stand up to misplaced racism, especially against those Brown Skinned folks who are nothing to do with terrorism.

Sometimes it’s just little things. If we can keep making changes, little stands against the wrongs happening in the world, maybe, just maybe, we can help to turn things around in this world.

Today stands for remembrance, for all those innocents who lost lives, in 9/11 and all the other atrocities.

But it is also a time to address that if we can make a choice, offer a hand, we can change what’s going on in the world – together.

It’s our world. It’s our children’s future.

Let’s not let it die…

Brown Skinned and British – #Manchester

I’m brown skinned and British
That’s what I am
Don’t label me by colour
Just see me, if you can
Don’t question my religion
Beliefs don’t mean a thing
Cos in the grander scheme of life
I’m jus’ a human being
So I may pray quite differently
And eat other types of food
But to label me a terrorist
You know that’s kinda rude
Get to know me, talk to me
And then I guess you’ll see
That there ain’t no difference
Between you an’ me
We need to live in harmony
And celebrate our quirks
Jus’ please don’t judge me
By the deeds of other jerks

Ritu 2015

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I’m lucky I haven’t experienced racism because of the acts of terrorism around the world, but I know of many innocent people who have been labelled, who have suffered because of their colour, and beliefs… Beliefs that don’t condone the acts of those who use the name of God to destroy lives.

These are just my words in solidarity with the majority of brown skinned British, who are just as horrified as their pink-skinned countrymen.

After the attack on Monday night in Manchester, we have heard of many acts of ‘revenge’ on innocent muslims who are just as horrified by the goings on of that night. But they are just like all the other Brits out there…

DON’T JUDGE FIRST….TAKE TIME TO LEARN A LITTLE… THEN MAKE YOUR JUDGEMENTS.

Peace out Peeps šŸ˜Š

A poem from my book, Poetic RITUals, that is extremely apt this week… (availableĀ myBook.to/PoeticRITUals)

Author Zone, Ritu Bhathal, Poetic Rituals, Writer

My Neighbour, The Terrorist

Pardon my jumbled up thoughts, but I have been thinking a lot about last Wednesday in London.

There are so many stories going around about the latest ‘terrorist’ attack in London, on the Houses Or Parliament, in Westminster.

Within hours, homes in Birmingham and London were raided and 8 arrests were made. A name was given for this ‘terrorist’ who had been shot and killed by police. ISIS claimed responsibility.

No one can say the British Government didn’t step up and act ASAP.

However…

All those arrested were released.

The named ‘dead terrorist’ was actually alive and well behind bars. It wasn’tĀ long before the real name was revealed. A man born pretty local to where I now live as it happens.

 

Two images of Khalid Masood

AttackerĀ Khalid Masood

 

The next step was to find out who had radicalised him while he had been in prison because that was what had to have happened.

Today, I read that the authorities can find no links to any terrorist groups. No evidence to suggest that this guy was planning another attack. And they were forced to admit that though it would be good to know what prompted it, they have to face the reality that they may never know why the Wednesday attack happened.

It is likely that a slightly unbalancedĀ personĀ was swayed by the preachings of some radical groups, and decided to take matters into his own hands. There may have been other reasons. He may have had personal issues… and the pressure sent him a bit loopy, causing the attack… who knows.

It is such an awful situation for the families of the victims. No rhyme nor reason to why they are now sat in grief.

But what a great opportunity for those that like to stir. It has to be ISIS. It must be Islamic terrorists. Get these Muslims out of our country!

Seriously?

Those that knew the attacker, Khalid Masood (bornĀ Adrian Russell Elms) said he was somewhat violent and had served time in prison for knife crimes, but could be a polite person. No real evidence of when he converted to Islam.

It all got me thinking.

I know of a convicted terrorist.

And even to this day, I find it hard to believe that this guy had a hand in planning something that could have been so horrific.

Going back to 1998, I remember a phone call from my mother, asking if I had seen the newspaper that day. I duly went out, bought it and called mum back. There was an article about 5 men who had been arrested in Yemen on suspicion of planning a bomb attack on the British Consulate, and a church.

“Ritu, have you looked at the pictures? That’s not Samad, is it?” my mum inquired.

I glanced at the photos, and there, in a really grainy photo was a familiar face. I confirmed what she had said.

Image result for samad ahmed yemen

This was a boy who was not only a neighbour of ours, he and his family were patients of my Pops while he was a practising dentist. But not only that, he had been at my university, a couple of years my junior.

I hadn’t really known him while living in Birmingham, before university, but it was just chance that as a fellow Brummie, and more senior student, I gotĀ chatting to him during one of the fresher week events in his first year.

He was a charming lad. So bubbly and full of fun. He was also not a strict follower of Islam at the time, going out with his mates and drinking etc. He was your average university student, enjoying all the fun of being away from home!

We found out that he lived down my road back home, and that he know my parents, and that was enough to forge a big sister/little brother bond. In the holidays, he had a security guard job in a store in Birmingham City Centre and if I ever went there and he was working he would always have a chat.

But one day, during term time, something awful happened.

There had always been clashes between the religious groups withing the universities. Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus, they can clash, and our university was no different. I had witnessed some horrific fights after a night out that stemmed from the religious hatred.

Samad and his friends went out somewhere. His best friend was with them. Sometime in the evening, an altercation happened. I wasn’t there, I don’t know many details, but the culmination of the event was that his best friend was killed in the fight.

Understandably, the fun loving guy we all knew changed. Samad rarely had a smile on his face. He was depressed. So down.

And that’s when I think something happened. He found God.

Now I am not condemning finding your God when in times of distress. Many people do, and that belief saves them.

But this was different. He found God through some radical group. The Samad I knew started to wear the traditional dress and became more serious. He still was politeĀ and spoke to me, but he was not out in the evenings like before, and there wasn’t the jovial nature there anymore.

I graduated soon after, Ā so didn’t see him anymore, and didn’t think much about him.

But a year later, this phonecall from mum… and I looked back at what I remembered of him.

This was so unlike the Samad I knew. ThenĀ it hit me. When you are down, and vulnerable, it is so easy to become consumed by whatever appears to be soothing you at the time. There must have been some sort of grooming in place, that, I don’t know, brainwashed him. I couldn’t believe that the lad I knew could even be capable of planning something so heinous as a terrorist attack.

His family, along with the other captives families, pleaded for their release. Samad’s brother spoke at length about how his brother was no terrorist. But they were convicted in the end. There was foul play at work. They had all been involved in the planning of something that could have been awful.

But my mind still boggles.

Terrorists and radical followers of any religionĀ are not born. They are made.

No religion dictates the violent destruction of another creed. It just takes that minority to find a line within any holy text, and manipulate it, then locate a group of misguided, vulnerable folk who need guidance, preaching to them about whatĀ their God tells them to do and Boom! You breed a band of extremists who blindly follow this incorrect belief.

This, in turn, reflects badly on a whole majority of the religion, who wholeheartedly condemn the actions of these radical groups. and racism and hatred is born.

I never knew what happened to Samad after. As far as I know, he was released a few years later, but we never saw him again. But I still stand firm in the belief that someone took advantage of his vulnerability at his time of need, and instead of supporting him and guiding him correctly, they gave him the support he felt he neededĀ and led him down a much more sinister path…

Similarly, was Khalid Masood simply led astray by watching propaganda from some of these groups, then acting on what he felt he was being instructed to do? Or was he simply an unhinged man who saw no rhyme nor reason the day he ploughed his car into a group of people on the bridge, then went on to stab a police officer? An attack that led to the death of 5 in total, Ā and many in critical condition in hospital.

What are your thoughts on terrorists, and why they commit the atrocities they do?

Thursday Thought

mahatma-gandhi-310552_1280

Image from Pixabay

“An eye for an eye makes the world blind.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Waking up to read more and more about the latest atrocities in London yesterday, fills me with a sense of fear.

What kind of world are we bringing our children up into?

And what lessons are we teaching them by retaliating?

Terror attacks around the world cause dread, whether large or small, and there are those who take the matters of ‘revenge’ into their own hands.

Without any facts.

That need to retaliate blinds them, and in the end they are no better than those terrorists.

What we need is peace and understanding in the world.

It’s a wish I know many people have, but even with the volume of us who want it, it never happens…because we aren’t the ones in power.

“A minority cause the anguish.
A minority seeks to exterminate the cause.
A majority wants to soothe the world…” – Ritu 2017

One day, will this dream of a safe future and world for our children actually come true?

ļ»æKids Logic Part 49 – Europe

They can talk sense, sometimes, these kids!

In the UK at the moment, the papers and news shows are repeatedly showing articles and items regarding Britain’s EU Referendum.

Just yesterday my colleagues and I were talking about it, saying that really we have no idea what is best. The with business acumen say we must stay for, the economy. Ā But the speak in such high faulted terms that Jo Bloggs on the street won’t listen, so that point falls on deaf ears.

Many people, fed up with the immigration mess the country appears to be in, say get out of Europe, close the borders!

But it’s hard to get a rounded picture for the average person. There are many implications with staying in the EU, but also many issues that will rise with leaving.

Who knows how the country will vote?

This morning, Lil Man, who is a worldly wise 10 year old suddenly gave me his opinion.

LM: We should stay in Europe!
Me: Why?
LM: Because it’s better for us all.
Me: How will it be better? I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m genuinely interested in what you think.
LM: Well, if we stay in, we have more allies, and much better defences against terrorism.

There you go. A 10 year old nowadays can’t even have a simple innocent childhood, as he is already thinking about things like terrorism.

But I think he has a valid point.

What do you think?

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