I had the misfortune to find out a group existed on Facebook complaining that there are plans for a mosque to be opened in Stalybridge. I was disgusted at the kind of things I saw on the page (example: an image of a burning mosque with a caption suggesting this is what people would see in Stalybridge is there was a mosque). I reported the page for hate language and was a bit annoyed when the that I was told that the page wasn’t being closed down.
I was wrong. And not because of my belief in free speech. The group itself cannot be held responsible for the posts of the individual comments which is what I should be reporting. (To be fair: you can do settings to ensure comments are moderated so I disagree to an extent, I mean what was someone expecting when they set this group up? Some reasonable comments?) But doing that is a real ball-ache isn’t it? I’ll just pretend I don’t know about the page – after writing this blog.
The comments people come out with on pages like this is not really amazing, it should be completely obvious that the things on pages such as this are going to repulse me.
One man says, Unfortunately it’s the “don’t cause offence” brigade who practice “tolerance” and except everything, who are at work again here! I love the suggestion people not wanting to cause offence is something bad, fucking pricks NOT wanting to offend people – who do they think they are? Tolerance in speech marks. Who is he quoting? [I’m not above pointing out the inability to differentiate the except/accept issue either but why not just do it in a bracket?]
Someone else suggests that if the people of Britain had the same attitude 70 years ago we would all be speaking German now. What? World War II was about Germans wanting to build mosques in small northern towns? Well I never. And this is from someone who does the typical thing of refusing to debate with people questioning him, claiming he’s educated and knows his stuff and isn’t being a racist – while being racist. Example quote from him: Try building a church of England in the middle of delhi!…nuff said. Well I suppose there might be issues with this but only because there are probably enough churches in Delhi already.
The overriding tone is that people are not racist for being against the mosque. And if they want to believe this than if that helps them look in the mirror at their racist self then so be it. The ace up their sleeve is that “Islam is not a race, so how can I be a racist???!” [I’ve spelled that correctly which makes it less genuine -and that’s not a generalisation I’ve been reading through lots of horrendously spelled right wing comments on the page and people labouring under the misapprehension that an apostrophe has something to do with pluralisation.]
Of course the irony of this statement is that people who come out with it would band all asian people together as Muslims (that, of course, they wouldn’t be judging). But also they are being racist they are just being racist towards a subset of a race. This belief that multiculturalism is a sacrifice of British values makes little sense to me. Some people would seriously posit that something like having a mosque in England is somehow devaluing British soldiers dying in The Somme or the industrial revolution.
Should people be denied a voice if there are genuine feelings? No. But there is no need to be vile and horrible. Or a fucking moron. No judgmentalism from me. Here’s how it is: if there’s nothing offensive about it why do people not want something near them and think that it should be confined to somewhere else that they clearly feel negatively about?
I’ll let another comment show how you can be nicely racist without using offensive terms. Why can’t more people be like this person? All he wants is another pointless statue rather than something that might be used.
At the end of the day this page is for people who want to petition against something being built in their area when they already have them in hyde and ashton both commutable by bus/train from stalybridge. And they already have a community centre in stalybridge why not make that multicultural instead id sooner see another pointless statue be built using your hard earned money that the council wastes on a regular basis you never complain about a statue do ya.