As an Englishman of the Muslim faith, I’m doubly disgusted by the actions of a minority of insensitive extremists, who protested in the name of my religion against the British Armed Forces in Luton. Together with the vast majority of British Muslims, I find their actions utterly despicable! Contrary to the false view these extremists present, many British Muslims have themselves served and others continue to serve in our armed forces. Our armed forces do a tremendous job; they’re made up of very brave people, who are prepared to put their own lives at risk, to ensure the security of our country and our allies around the world. Considering the difficult work they do, surely the least we can do in return, is to show them our appreciation and utmost respect!
Paul Salahuddin Armstrong
the demonstration was unwise and insensitive. but your justification for imperialist wars and the militarism – which is as much a danger to British culture as it is to Afghan and Iraqi life – calls into question (to put it mildly) your claim to be a Sufi.
I think you may have got your wires crossed… There is a huge difference between respecting the men and women, who courageously serve in our armed forces and supporting imperialism! Not that I think Britain’s involvement in these wars was imperialist either. A great Muslim Sultan, Salahuddin Ayyubi respected the armies who fought against him! So how much more should I respect the armed forces of my own country?
I’m not saying I agree with a lot of my government’s current policy. In fact, there are many things on which I don’t agree. Before the war in Afghanistan, I wrote to then Prime Minister Tony Blair, to express my views on such a strategy. I questioned the basis for the war, highlighting my concerns it may even encourage terrorism, and my fears it could make Britain a bigger target.
In the U.K. we have a political system, which allows citizens to question the government, to put across their own views, ideas and concerns. There is no need for an insensitive protest, against our brave soldiers on their return home. The government, not the solders, are the ones responsible for these wars and it is the government, who should be held to account for any mistakes. Our armed forces are professional and well trained, they are our line of defence and I respect them for the difficult work they do!