I have been mulling this over in my mind for a while now. I was so angry, so appalled and so infuriated when I heard about this that I couldn’t even speak about it without tears springing into my eyes and an audible shake coming into my voice. Even now, over a week later, i am still seething. But i cannot ignore this anymore. There have been newspaper reports, editorials, opinions, and many discussions. and it seems the majority of the British public are equally outraged. Anyone who knows me, or has read this blog, is aware of my love for the military. Not all military action, but the soldiers and the institution itself. I think the men and women who fight for this great country deserve the utmost respect and admiration.
Yet what did the 2nd Battalion Royal Anglican Regiment receive when they came home and had a celebratory march through the streets of town? dozens and dozens of muslim protests. Cowards, murderers, butchers, and shouts of 'go to hell' is what they were greeted with. The soldiers were taunted, jeered at and even had dozen of huge signs berating them with negative and offensive messages as they marched by. they were met with crowds of people not protesting the war, but protesting them, as people, as soldiers. even now as I write my hands are starting to shake and I am fighting back tears.
These are men and women who signed up to serve their country. who are willing and ready to fight and die to for the cause that their country sends them to fight. I am not saying every person in the service, here or in America, agrees with the war in Iraq. But they still go because that is their duty. They deserve our admiration for being willing to sacrifice comfort, security, family and friends. Whether or not you agree with the war, the soldiers who go, who risk life and limb, are our true heroes.
In light of this protest, many have come back with the argument that in the UK it is legal to have 'peaceful' demonstrations. Indeed that is the muslims leaders main argument. Fine. i will not disagree that you can protest the war until you are blue in the face. But lets be honest here. Those who went out to protest as the troops were marching through town were doing so to cause a scene, to make a very obnoxious point, to cause disruption. That is inappropriate and completely out of line. It doesn’t show courage to go out and protest against returning soldiers. (3 of that particular regiment were killed whilst on duty) It is an act of cowardice to stand behind a hateful sign, shouting negative and derogatory remarks at fellow human beings when they march by. It is unbelievable, it is infuriating.
Several newspapers have featured editorials and articles with that very opinion; that it was extremely inappropriate to protest at the time they did, in the manner they choose to. The leaders of the protest have come back with the argument that it is their right and to try to take it away would be discrimination. One even mentioned that the very mention that the protest was inappropriate was discrimination in itself. I realise that what i am about to say is slightly off topic and will more than likely come off negative and racists, but so be it. I don’t care what religion you are, what colour you are, what you choose to do in your spare time, but the second that any person, people group, religion or race starts to behave negatively towards the country and their countrymen who have so graciously taken them...well enough is enough. at least half a dozen of the protesters who people who are known to be in the UK on asylum. People who choose to leave their own country due to persecution to come to this country, which has so graciously let them in. The UK has different laws than a muslim country. Why? because it is not a muslim country. pretty simple. If you feel that the UK is not muslim friendly, that the government is not bending over backwards to accommodate islamic law, that you will have to abide by the British laws, and if you have a problem with that...you have the choice to leave. If you are of the persuasion that because you are a muslim you should only be accountable to islamic law...then move to an islamic country.
you do not have the right to shout negative remarks at returning soldiers. you do not have the right claim discrimination every time something doesn’t go your way. you do not have the right to demand a different law, expect people to bend over backwards to accommodate your needs. you who have chosen to live in the UK, you must accept the law and rules of the British government. or leave. And just to be clear, the you in this diatribe is not specific. it is addressed to all of the 'yous' out there who have chosen to negatively and inappropriately protest, all the 'yous' who have chosen to demand extra rights and privileges only to cry abuse when not given it. you could be muslim, American, Chinese, black, white, male, female...it doesn’t matter. However for this specific instance, i refer to the muslims. Not all muslims; i have some good friends who are muslims, who do not behave like this. but those radical and verbal muslims who feel the rest of the world owes them something. and it is fresh in my mind as it has been in the news, the papers, an even closer to home....as the soldiers marched through the streets of Watford. my town. my turf. and they need to back off.
forgive me as I have gotten slightly off base. but the point remains. I am so angered by people who, just because they believe differently, feel they have the right to belittle and degrade another human being. Those soldiers should have been through hell and back. They have seen and lived in places that you and I would not even like to imagine. I know its cliché and I realise that the war in Iraq and say, World War II are quite different, but the duty of the solider remains the same. to fight for our freedom. to protect us, to serve us, and some even die for us. They deserve more from us than we can ever give. Remembrance Day, Veterans Day...those are not enough to show our appreciation. Those soldiers should have felt appreciated, loved, celebrated and welcomed as they marched through the streets. I am disgusted to think of what they were met with instead.
Not to down play the hundreds that came out in a show of support. flags were waved, children were yelling, shouts of 'well done' and 'welcome home' were also heard. Many of the supporters turned on the protesters, yelling at them, showing their anger. One man climbed atop a telephone pole and threw packets of bacon at the muslim supporters. I am not advocating that kind of behaviour as I feel that is just stooping to a negative level, but he made his point. You are not welcome here. and that is how i feel. If you want to come out to protest against the laws of the UK, want to claim discrimination and want to label the returning soldiers cowards and murderers...well you can shut the hell up or get the hell out.