I haven’t posted anything for some time. I have been trying to get through There Was A Country by Chinua Achebe and I wanted my next post to be a review on his book. That’s not the case. Whether we are directly affected or not, there is hardly a day that goes by where we don’t hear about some disgusting act of terrorism. Yesterday, a serving soldier was hit by a car, beheaded, hacked and cut and then dragged from the pavement onto the middle of the street. This disgusting act was committed by two black men, who were shot by the police when they attempted another attack. They are both currently in hospital. This happened yesterday but I can’t remember how I heard about this. My family and I watched the news, viewing a video (shot by an eye witness) of one of the men. This is some of what he said:
“You think politicians are going to die?… No, it’s going to be the average guy – like you – and your children.”
“So get rid of them. Tell them to bring our troops back so you can all live in peace”.
He also apologized to the women and children who had to witness the heinous act. What those two “men” did was extremely disgusting and beyond what words can describe. No religion advocates abhorrent acts like these and there is NO justification at all for anything like this. To make matters much worse than they already were, the killers allegedly asked for photos and videos to be taken of them and waited around twenty minutes after the attack, when the police came. What is scary is that they wanted recognition for their disgusting act through media attention and did not care about being caught.
As my family and I were watching this, my sister mentioned Nigeria. I can’t recall what she said but I think it was along the lines of, “He looks Nigerian”. Immediately, my brother and I argued against it. I thought that was a very stupid assumption to make. Turns out she was right. At the top of the Daily Mail website was the headline: “WOOLWICH HORROR TOUCHES RURAL ENGLAND: Police swoop on house in Lincolnshire village as it emerges ‘Islamists who slaughtered soldier’ are British born with Nigerian background“.
The world’s perception of Nigerians is already bad enough what with 419, corruption, our home grown terrorism, money laundering and etc. How Nigeria looks is only a small element of this story and does not overshadow the innocent life that was taken. This was a man who served his country to keep people in Britain safe. It takes a special person to have the courage to make such a choice. The point I am trying to make is that there are other elements to this story i.e. perceptions of Nigeria and Muslims. It is sad that there are people who treat Muslims a certain way because a minority of them are committing these atrocities. I have friends that are Muslims and I will never shun them or treat them badly because of terrorist attacks they have no involvement in.
Please, no one should get me wrong. It does not matter that the media are saying that they are of Nigerian descent. They are Nigerians and it won’t work if fellow Nigerians disown them. The fact that they are Nigerians is not the main issue. An innocent man died unnecessarily and in the most horrific manner. I believe the issue Nigerians have is the perception once people see the killers are Nigerian. Nigeria already has a bad perception. It may not be important but people feel that way and they should not be insulted for it. Stating how they feel does not mean that they are disregarding the fact that a soldier who was a son, father, husband and many things to the people in his life was brutally murdered. Whatever Nigerians feel about the media stating that they are Nigerian, which is justified as that is what they are, is way below the importance of how a life was taken.
Unfortunately, and it is not surprising, this further promotes the fear of terrorism. People will definitely be more wary when they go out and about. This has brought to light how far they can go to achieve their mission.
The houses of the men have been raided. I believe the family members of one of them were bundled into a police van. I can’t begin to think of what their families are going through especially the family of Lee Rigby, the murdered soldier. My condolences go out to his family. How is his son going to process what happened to his father when he grows up?
I commend the immediate response of the Government and the Prime Minister. The Prime Minster made a statement on the matter and chaired a meeting this morning with Cobra, the Government’s emergency response committee. They will discuss security measures.
This is the link to the news story which includes the video taken by the eye witness of one of the killers: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22634468
This is the last thing I would ever want to talk about. I have already spoken about terrorism before (read here). Unfortunately, I doubt it will be the last. I am going to post happier things for the meantime.