In the hysteria and media vulturism that has surrounded the murder of Lee Rigby, I still feel that this post comes too soon. The family of the dead soldier needs time to grieve, the space to support each other and to make sense of the situation. The media is not as forgiving however and sensationalism grabs the headlines. Much as I try to resist being drawn in, eventually I feel that I should also voice a comment.
I'm at odds with the media adopting extreme views, but I'm also at odds with jumping on the bandwagon of apology or justification. These are not appropriate responses. Lee Rigby was murdered in cold blood, in a most gratuitous and savage manner by assailants who had somehow been dehumanised. That act of absolute unashamed brutality, the immediate events leading up to it and the delayed response of the authorities should be under the media and investigative microscope. For the same reasons, I made a decision not to comment on the Boston attacks the Woolwich murder has led to Muslims being rolled out onto the social media platform to apologise or distance themselves from acts of terror (murder). This is a type of approval seeking and constant apology is something that I do wish to entertain. Frankly, I sense inferiority when this has to happen and I'm bored with it. Murder of someone innocent is murder. It is heinous and it deserves a just punishment. That is true if some white Norwegian is behind this or some deranged men on the streets of London are behind this. Individual acts like this simply do not represent all the members of a society. It creates an unnecessary pressure to be apologetic. Would we also call it murder if the innocent are killed by soldiers in combat? That perhaps is a rhetorical question, though it is one I could come back to in a future post. Right now, this apology by the BBC's Nick Robinson - where the killers in the Woolwich murders were described as having a 'Muslim appearance' - has the sad potential to be almost comic.
Read Areeb Ullah's take on this.
Image Source: Real Street