Sign of the times? …

… asks jon snow in yesterday’s channel 4 news snowmail:

A day in the life of London, maybe even a commonplace day in the life of a Muslim. I am cycling back from Channel 4 at ten thirty seven this morning past the back of Horse guards parade in line of sight of the back of number 10 Downing Street – suddenly on the edge of the park I notice armed police, four of them, their guns raised surrounding a tall Muslim man with a dark beard.

He is smartly dressed and has a brand new silver coloured camera bag on the ground at his feet. The voices are raised with the guns, in the time that I take to pass the guns lower, the bag is searched, the incident passes, no one seems to notice. Up on the mall a small knot of tourists are looking from a distance. One now normal unreported, maybe unreportable incident and a searing experience for one innocent Muslim man.
Which isn’t to say that the level of anxiety and tension which prompts such a scene isn’t all too understandable.

I am white, crazy-looking on a bike, with a shoulder bag across my back, yet I am not stopped in line of sight of number 10: here lies tonight’s central dilemma – do only bag carrying bearded Muslims need to worry about passing public buildings? Soon they will begin to keep away from them and what is shared, what is all of ours, will become places they no longer come to. Not just the pubs where they never might have drank anyway, but now the places that are central to our democracy and our identity…

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About Jan Zuppinger

Jan Zuppinger has been writing this blog since 2002. He likes to grow vegetables. He likes to eat them too. He has opinions on everything, but sadly no one cares. Jan Zuppinger is not joking, just joking, he is joking, just joking, he's not joking. *click.