Give peace a chance

Posted 2 Sep 2013 by Walaa Idris

In response to Imtiaiz Ameen’s article in ConHome today HERE, I would like to say the following.

I am British and happened to be a Muslim too. However, I neither brand last week’s Parliament decision as a victory against the executive, nor feel euphoric and praise Miliband’s action, and I am most defiantly not a coward who turns a blind eye when innocent people are being killed in their thousands.

What happened on Thursday, was the representative correctly reading and reflecting the public’s mood and sentiment. Thursday was a good day for democracy. When the mother of parliaments led the way and showed the world democracy can sometimes be tricky, but it is always fair.

On Thursday, we also learnt that our country is in good hands with this Prime Minster. Because he councils, debates and listens but most of all he is unafraid to admit it when he gets it wrong.

Sadly what’s happening in Syria, although savagely painful, is an internal civil war that can only be solved internally by the Syrian people themselves. We can help them and their leaders see sense but we cannot make them act it. Bombing Syria will not stop this killing; it will escalate it and increase the damage.

Post Iraq, the appetite for war is no longer there. The carnage and destruction left behind that intervention is a blemish on democracy, trust and human decency.

History is here to teach us. The lessons from Iraq tell us that even those in the highest offices of the land can misread events and get things wrong. It teaches us to check and recheck before considering another strike.

Not getting involved militarily does not at all mean, Britain will sit on her hands and watch while innocent people get slaughtered. There are many peaceful ways to help and provide assistance. That should be our aim as Britons and our call as Muslims.

Too many bullets have been fired already; too many lives have been lost and too much blood has already been spilt in Syria. Let’s give peace a chance. Negotiate, lobby, and even beg and plead but let’s vow to stop this bloodshed without being instrumental in spilling another drop of blood.

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6 comment(s)

John Winlow

John Winlow
3 Sep, 13:30

Well said Walaa.
I am one of those who commented on Imtiaiz’e piece on ConHome.

I am a practicing Christian and I am grateful to have been born in a country shaped by real Christian values which have given us a moral ideal framework and freedom of choice.
I confess to not being a fan of multiculturalism, as I do not believe that such a society can really be peaceably united and stand together as one if we are to accept various groups having different loyalties.

My life experience is that it is not individuals of different backgrounds that cause tension. Intelligent and broad minded people are the same the world over! It is the “clash” of communities which cause problems. Each side feeling afraid or uneasy or unaccepting of the other.It is being part of the community which gives us our identity, but also locks us into that community’s identity.

In this regard the Jews in Britain have managed to retain their cultural and religious identity, whilst living and working as loyal British citizens.
That is how it should be.

In my opinion our country can only succeed if British law and British values are accepted as being supreme, whilst cultural/religious laws are kept within communities- again as the Jews have managed to do.

We native English/British people will not truly trust other ethnic/religious communities
until we see them willing to join our armed services and be willing to fight for the United Kingdom as being their adopted country.
Anything less than that will preserve the sense of disunity and distrust.

Walaa Idris

Walaa Idris
3 Sep, 14:11

Thanks John for your comment and remarks. I am not a fan of multiculturalism either. It works in the places like the US and Australia because, let’s face it, there is no indigenous group as such with established culture to follow. Therefore their culture is what they collectively decide and agree it to be.

Britain on the other hand has a long and established ever evolving culture that does not need changing because at its core it’s very welcoming and accepting.

I agree with you, for our country to succeed, British law and British values must be accepted, and cultural and religious laws kept within communities. Not necessarily hidden but not imposed on others either.

John Winlow

John Winlow
3 Sep, 18:45

Well that’s good!
But how then as a Muslim woman do you see British Muslims allowing (Muslim)women greater freedom, and for young Muslim men to integrate into this country by joining the armed forces?

You will be aware that in this country religious belief is on the wane amongst native British people. We don’t believe people are born Christian. It is a choice that people must make for themselves once they understand the demands of the faith.

If I understand your faith correctly it is impossible or inadvisable to announce one’s self as an agnostic or atheist.
Is that correct?


3 Sep, 19:44

I’d like to see more women show the courage this amazing girl is showing, I have so much respect for what she is doing & I wish her much luck.

‘I’m a Brummie now’, says Malala, the schoolgirl shot by the Taliban, as she opens huge new library in her adopted home city

John Winlow

John Winlow
3 Sep, 21:04

My wife and I sent her good wishes when she first arrived for surgery. She is a brave, intelligent and eloquent young girl.
The tragedy is that she may never be able to live in safety in her own homeland.
Now why might that be?
This is another aspect of multiculturalism that bothers me.
It seems that there are a growing number of immigrant people who think that it is A-OK to reside in this country and then fly off abroad to help/fight in wars involving their original land of origin.
Or to come here and spread dissent by preaching against our way of life and our customs. They seem unable to see the contradiction in leaving one place because of persecution and then using the freedom of their adopted homeland to stir up hatred against it…

Walaa Idris

Walaa Idris
4 Sep, 12:01

John in response to your comment at 17.45 yesterday.

Most religions’ old testament does not allow for believers to announce “one’s self as an agnostic or atheist”. Many Muslims are still in that “old testament” stage where they stood still when time has moved on without them.

Many Muslim women, myself included, are free. You are judging the majority by the deeds of a minority of Muslims.

Agree with T- England, Malala is an inspiration and a true reflection of Muslim women all over the world, brave, resilient and encouraging.

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