Religion

Halal? Is it me you’re cooking for?

There are 2 billion Muslims in the world, the majority of them observing halal practices such as the slaughter of animals for food or redistribution of wealth (for example). Halal means permissible, whether this refers to consumption of food products or platonic interactions between the sexes or a bank account that does not accumulate interest, these conditions protect the rights of all human beings to a fair and healthy life.

Muslims, like Jews, and even some Christian factions do not consume pork which is deemed haraam, a sin. Contrary to popular myth it is not because it is a dirty animal but because pork is a perishable meat and prone to parasites like trichinella. From a health perspective it made sense to avoid it 1500-2000 years ago in the middle east but in these times of modern refrigeration and advances in microbiology this argument falls short for those of us who trust in science. God gave us the guidelines, sure, but he also gave us a brain. However, halal does not only refer to the animals that are permitted but the way in which they are slaughtered. There is nothing inherently haraam about a chicken but it is not halal until it is drained of blood in a specific way, whilst the butcher also recites a prayer. Chicken that is prepared for human consumption using western methods is referred to as ‘makruh’, a ‘disliked’ or ‘offensive’ act but in my personal experience, it is not so offensive to some Muslims. In places where halal food is not readily available, makruh is acceptable. The consumption of meat is sunnah; a tradition or way of doing things as the prophet did. There are guidelines for halal marriage and a sunnah to observe, the wedding party should be fed a meal of at least one sheep. Meat consumption is central to a Muslim’s way of life (although there are further hadiths – kinda like the gospels – warning of the dangers of consuming too much).

It bothers me then, that so many white supremacist westerners see fit to take issue with the way other people conduct their faith. Halal rage is a tried and tested trick to whip fascists into a frenzy over faux concerns for animal welfare and Toblerone is the latest to face their ire. A halal certification does not mean a product contains halal ingredients necessarily, it just means it is not haraam. Air is halal. Water is halal. Breathe and drink to your heart’s content unless you are a white supremacist I guess.

It’s not animal welfare they’re concerned with though, if it were they’d start closer to home and consider all the horrific animal abuses Europeans are guilty of, and do something about it. Take Ortolan, the French ‘delicacy’ whereby the bird is placed in a dark cage where it reacts by gorging itself on grain. Once it is sufficiently stuffed it is thrown into a vat of Armagnac where it drowns and marinates. Diners place a napkin on their heads to hide their shame from God yet this practice evades the attention of rabid racists. The French are frogs except when they are white nationalists and allies to other white supremacists. It’s perfectly fine to force feed geese and ducks until their livers are so fatty and diseased they can be sold as a delicacy for exorbitant amounts.

The French are not alone in their barbaric butchery. In Spain lechon, or suckling pig is slaughtered between the ages of 2 and 6 weeks. The method of slaughter is harrowing, the squealing babies are impaled then thrown onto a heap of dying gurgling piglets. It is slow and torturous, from the moment they are torn from their mother’s teat – hence the name lechon, leche meaning milk – and slaughtered without a glance back to witness the suffering or even acknowledge it as such. With hellish conduct like this it is bizarre to consider the comparatively humane method of halal slaughter – and indeed kosher – as somehow more offensive to the genteel sensibilities of the enlightened European. Plucking newborn animals from their mothers maximizes suffering, whether lechon or veal, and it is forbidden in Islam.

No, the fascists don’t care much for the wellbeing of animals, they care only about white supremacy. The idea that there is a company going around, offering deals to manufacturers in exchange for favours, in this case halal certification, is not new. The fascists are afraid Muslims are doing to them what they did to the Muslim world (and beyond). They’re thinking about the East India Trading Company and all the sly manoeuvres they made, coming under the guise of merchants doing business, upending entire nations in the creation of white supremacist imperialism. Without the East India Trading Company there’d be no USA, no British empire, no divisions between the colonies they would subjugate and raze to the ground.

White supremacists don’t care if you kill animals for food, they want everyone to eat bacon sandwiches. Nope, they’re just afraid the chickens are coming home to roost.

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White Supremacy Kills Jews

The police have launched an investigation into allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party, an extraordinary feat considering they are usually too frightened to do anything about other pressing societal issues like establishment child sex abuse (lest they upset the ethnics for their cultural practices) and tory electoral fraud, which is oh so politically sensitive (and might get them sacked). A dossier was handed to the police by an LBC journalist, those bastions of anti racist activism. I’ve tried to report racism to the cops before but been on the wrong end of a white supremacist agenda and somehow ended up being warned for my political beliefs, because I could kill all the men without batting an eyelid, obviously.

It’s been almost a week since I was suspended from Twitter for calling a white supremacist a dirty rat. I haven’t stopped thinking about the 11 Jewish elders brutally murdered by a white supremacist. Robert Bowers, a white American male reported to have an online presence demonstrating a “vitriolic hatred of Jewish people and other bigotry” has pleaded not guilty to the murder of his 11 victims and although we all know he did it, recovering as he is from the multiple gunshots he sustained in the showdown with Pittsburgh police, in which a couple of officers were also injured, Bowers most likely believes he can get away with it. In what world could a man of colour shoot 11 people to death and injure law enforcement but still escape with their life intact, free to claim up is down an blame someone else for his barbaric actions? Not in this white man’s world. But Bowers is going to have a go. His white privilege will protect him, it has so far.

The white supremacist establishment have made themselves clear; racism against black and brown people does not exist but antisemitism is criminal behaviour. This will hurt Jews ultimately but 84% do not care about that currently, so long as those socialist bastards don’t get in. I wonder if the 84% are willing to consider a white supremacist killed 11 Jews because he is white and Jews are a threat to white supremacy. No? Not even out of respect for memory? Or personal safety? Of the 84% of Jews afraid of Corbyn’s socialist vision for all ethnicities, how many would consider themselves white? How many are European? How many are white passing?

Surely an interesting study to undertake given the implications of such an investigation by the police? That the people who suffer most as a result of ethno-religious conflict in Britain today is its minority of white passing Jews? Just not Muslims. Or travellers. Or black people. What an unpredictable twist. And by that I mean predictably twisted and untrue.

Punish a Muslim Day is Cancelled

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You may or may not have heard about the threatening letters sent to Muslim MPs and homes across the UK calling for a day of violent attacks against Muslims. The letters, entitled ‘Punish a Muslim Day’, feature a table awarding points for violent acts such as verbally abusing a Muslim for 10 points to butchering a Muslim for 500. It goes without saying many people are feeling scared and unsure of what to do or who to turn to.

The authorities are aware of the threat and are said to be investigating but let’s be honest, can we really trust the authorities to have our back? Organisations like Tell Mama have made us aware of a whatsapp message doing the rounds which is advising Muslims to stay at home on April 3rd, the date given by the perpetrators for their hateful day of action. However Tell Mama are suggesting we treat it just like any other day, and not succumb to the fear mongering, as though we have a choice.

Just recently Mark Rowley the former assistant Met commissioner warned that National Action was proving to be an organised threat of which the likes have never been seen before and the public should be ‘gravely concerned’. He said this shortly before stepping down from his role in counter terrorism policing. This certainly fits their MO. National Action, a hate group proscribed in December of last year, are the first far right extremist group to have been banned under terror legislation. Far right white supremacist groups account for 1/3 of all the case work undertaken by the counter terrorism unit. Do we really feel safe enough to keep calm and carry on in the face of such a threat? It’s easy enough to advise people to rise above the violence promised to them if you personally feel safe under the state’s watchful eye but for many of us, we have seen firsthand how the state enables threats like these to propagate through their wilful inaction. They actively promote racial discord, citing cultural reasons as an excuse for why they didn’t do their jobs investigating abuse of white working class minors.

I reported racism a few years back and not only did the police deny any laws had been broken they went on to threaten me for my political beliefs. I hadn’t made any direct threats, just used a vague generalised statement said by many thousands of women before me, but they decided it negated the many racialised threats to kill and rape made against me. I am one of countless victims of police negligence, they are not my saviours, never mind in matters of racialised violence. It is irresponsible for any organisation to advise marginalised folk to ignore their gut instincts to protect themselves and their loved ones and throw themselves out there. These are our lives at stake, we have no sense of English superiority to bolster our confidence in the state. We aren’t here for the blitz spirit. We can’t keep calm and carry on when disgusting white males sexually assault Muslim looking women in the streets. We shouldn’t have to rise above the abuse meted out to our children. I am not too proud to admit I am frightened for my life, I’ve been like this for years but the fear has escalated because I’m worried for my neighbours, my community, people I’ve never met before.

I am forced to think of Bosnia, the Rohingya, Muslims who’ve been systematically targeted and killed by organised militias with very little intervention by the state, because the state arms them and lets them organise but keeps a safe enough distance so as to deny any culpability when it is all done. Why hasn’t the state called Cobra? Imagine if white people were put at risk in this way? We are not just Muslims, we are British citizens, we pay our taxes and yet..

Until the authorities; the police, the state, make a point of condemning white supremacy and the enablers, the Farages and Hopkins, the lefties and liberals, this looming threat will consume us. Until they make a stand, we can only do our best to protect ourselves. Tell your loved ones that fascism isn’t dead, whatever the liberals might say. Trust your gut not theirs. Stay at home on April 3rd and remain vigilant. Doing your job, making money, none of that means anything if you’re dead or disfigured for life.

Britain’s Rejects

My 72 year old immigrant grandmother died in 2002, prompting a rushed visit to Pakistan. She had specified her wishes to be repatriated to her final resting place when the time came. Growing up we’d always objected to their pipe dream plans to show us the motherland, even going so far as likening it to death, given that we were never short of a cautionary tale or two of what could go wrong if they were not truthful of their intentions. There was always talk of so and so’s kid who’d gone off the rails so the folks took them ‘back home’ to straighten them out. This usually meant a forced marriage but there was always the worry you’d never return.

For 20 years I’d ignored their pleas to at least give them a chance and see what they had built with their own hands, for us, so that we had roots and a place we could always call home. My gran, or dhaadhi as we called her, would look at us in disbelief and shake her head, unsure of how else to sell it to us; the stories she’d tell of exotic fruits abundant in the courtyard, trees grown especially for us, her face wrinkled up in a smile as she recalled the exceptional quality of, as she put it, the juiciest mangoes on God’s green earth and other fruits I don’t know the English word for.

Whilst I love listening to her and seeing her clear delight I wasn’t convinced. I considered myself British, English even, and harboured an unhealthy self hate; I wasn’t above sneering at Pakis. Eager to set myself apart I believed the things white people said about Pakistan and Pakistanis and asserted my Britishness whenever it was required of me. I do cringe whenever I think back to that mindset. I think about the sort of white person who’d get off on hearing my disgust for people like me, the kind to collect tokens and play brown people off each other, dividing Muslims and Hindus for example and profiting off the misery that inevitably follows. Divide rule and conquer works to this day.

It didn’t matter when she died though, I suddenly felt I owed her a trip. Almost immediately I was consumed with guilt that I hadn’t honoured this wish of hers whilst she had been alive but I hoped she knew I was with her for her final journey. Barely six hours after she took her last breath we (my twin, dad, aunt and I) were in business class on a PIA flight bound for Islamabad. It was the first time I’d ever flown and my nerves were shot, I’d barely slept or processed what had happened but the hot cloths and silver service made up for the turbulence a little bit. My dad even let twin and I smoke a cigarette! It was that kind of a day, normal programming abandoned, venturing into the unknown out of a sense of duty and family pride. I tried not to think of her, alone, entombed in a wooden box, along with the rest of the cargo.

We landed at Islamabad airport at 6am. I was hit by the heat, as if I’d walked into a wall of hot air and it would suffocate me, upon exiting the plane. The sun hadn’t been up long but it was already 27 degrees. My thoughts went to my gran and the effect these conditions would have on her lifeless body. We waited for her coffin to be released and clung to each other through the chaos and din of the arrivals lounge, we weren’t in Kansas anymore. Random strange men pawed at our luggage offering to carry it, not being entirely forthcoming about the tip they expected for this service. It smelt funny, and the people were scary, staring at us as if we’d fallen from the sky. An uncle herded us out of the terminal and explained we looked different to regular Pakistanis and they were probably trying to figure out if we were worth anything.

It didn’t feel like a homecoming but the worst day of my life and the natives weren’t exactly helping. I didn’t want my worst fears to be confirmed, that we were easy pickings and could be disappeared, never to return. Dad’s cousin thought we were hilarious, batting furiously at the flies that seemed to throng the air, shrieking at the various creepy critters that had dared to greet us. We were a novelty. Fragile. Typical of desis who’d lost their way. A highly amusing form of entertainment for the locals.

The funeral was as expected; the outpouring of grief par the course but I had never imagined my dear gran knew so many people. I was bewildered by the number of women sat around smoking, a practice that was almost entirely gendered amongst the older generations in Britain. I only ever knew one lady smoker, my granddad’s sister in law and she had a free pass on account of her mental status. Here it just seemed to be a way of life, the chilum, similar to a shisha, was a permanent fixture. Granted they weren’t holding penis shaped cigarettes as they do in the west (cigarettes were originally marketed to women on the basis that women envied the penis and smoking would achieve equality or something) but this was really a sight to behold for someone who’d been brought up in a strict household where women most definitely did not smoke. I was also surprised at the relative freedom my girl cousins had with regards to their personal grooming. We’d been forced to keep our hair long, our eyebrows natural and our sleeves below the elbow and yet my cousins had no such restrictions. It’s when I first started to believe our grandparents were trying to preserve something of our culture in the west, that we were a snapshot frozen in time of an era pre colonialism whereas the rest of the world had just moved on.

They referred to us as the English princesses, for being so vulnerable to the elements. In our hurry to bury dhaadhi according to Islamic law within 24 hours, we’d had to forgo the usual preparations; shots for foreign diseases and the like. Within 48 hours we were struck with a mystery bug that was determined to shoot itself out of both ends and stifling temperatures in the mid 50s weren’t helping the situation, especially when the electricity was guaranteed to give out at least twice a day. I had never felt more miserable in my life and decided there was nothing else for it, we had to go home. Everyone else had other ideas though; we hadn’t given it a chance, we needed to eat more and think about getting better, the airline wouldn’t carry us if we were too sick and for a brief time I was petrified they weren’t going to let us leave at all. Maybe this had been the plan all along.

Fortunately the bug seemed to attack in waves and a day later our uncle took us shopping, we hadn’t come with very much stuff, in my case I didn’t even own more than one pair of salwar kameez. All was going well until we actually spoke to the vendors and my uncle clocked they were hiking up the prices. He said if we liked the look of anything to point at it rather than say anything aloud. I was confused, we’d been conversing in Punjabi but apparently even that sounded different to them and English people could afford to pay more.

I felt personally attacked, not gonna lie. I didn’t belong here, as people were keen to point out with every interaction. I didn’t like the heat, I didn’t like the food, or the people even, they were rude and looked at me the way closeted racists did in England. I didn’t feel safe. All I wanted was a cheese and tomato sandwich and my bed, at home in rainy blighty. I asked for fries on one occasion, thinking there isn’t a place in the world you can’t get fries, and bawled my eyes out when they arrived dusted with chilli powder. In the end, I shook off as much of it as I could and sliced up some tomato and onion for the weirdest chip butty ever. I dreamed of Nandos. I vowed to kiss the ground when I got home and never complain about the cold ever again (delirious or delusional, you decide) and made it my mission to pester the folks at all times, ET had to go home. Eventually, 10 days after the ordeal began we boarded a flight home, excited like you wouldn’t believe I made lists in my head of everything I would drink and eat.

I wasn’t sorry to say goodbye to my dysfunctional country of origin, but I did think of what it might be like, 50 years on. There’s no doubting Pakistan is a hellhole for many reasons but it was made this way. It was a consolation prize given to the victims of the British empire, those who once considered themselves Indian, those of my grandparents generation who would’ve been young children at the time of partition. They’ve seen horrors we can only imagine. They are the product of such horrors. To show humanity you must be shown it and Pakistanis are amongst some of the first to be dehumanised. They are the losers of the empire and all the alliances that followed, between extremists bound by mutual desires for power and control and must be mocked and denigrated in order to maintain the global hierarchy. They are Muslims and they were once proud rulers of India, loved by moderates of all faiths. Their fall from grace is the only lasting legacy for young Pakistan, it simply hasn’t had enough time to recuperate.

Our grandparents were refugees of a kind, the land they occupied was destroyed by the British who busted a dam, destroying everything. Britain promised those people refuge from a disaster of their own creation and so they came, naive to the racism that awaited them. They never accepted they were British, my grandparent’s generations, their hearts were too broken, unable to mend. Such is the life of the stateless citizen. I had tricked myself into believing I belonged in the UK but 9/11 changed all of that. The unspoken hate bubbled to the surface and became impossible to ignore. It’s gotten exponentially worse in recent years, there’s no denying it now. They say we don’t integrate but when we do they want to ban us from getting involved, just look at the furore over the Xmas ads, life is impossible for those of us who do not belong anywhere.

There’s no love lost between me and centrist Sadiq Khan but I felt for him today. We don’t belong anywhere, we only have an idea of what it is to belong somewhere and our place of birth is the nearest we can get to realising it, despite what the racists might say.

White feminists, when will you condemn the white men attacking woc in the streets for their clothing and colour of skin?

aniso attack

I only ask because I can just imagine the furore if white women were being stripped, spat on and physically assaulted for not adhering to the rules as dictated by, say, extremist Muslim men. As it is, savage white males with delusions of supremacy rooted in toxic masculinity see nothing wrong with assaulting us, even though they routinely come out against Asian grooming gangs (to the exclusion of all white child rapists, of which there are significantly/disproportionately more).

I’m under no illusions that feminism works for me and women like me. I wasn’t dressed like a Muslim but I was still called a Paki bitch whilst travelling through London in the early hours of the morning. Feminism didn’t rush to salve my wounds with the sisterhood, but anarchists did with their innate sense of right and wrong. I still feel happy to identify as an anarchist but I’m hesitant to align myself with the likes of Guardian and New Statesmen ‘feminists’ who seem to have hijacked it from the rest of us. Why aren’t prominent feminists like Caroline Criado Perez, with the nouse and gall to get balls rolling, publicly denouncing the violence being levelled at women of colour and those who ‘look Muslim’? We are women first, are we not? I don’t mean the odd tweet, I mean an awareness campaign on par with the banknotes façade. They dominated front pages, and talking points with their heartfelt pleas to the bank of England. What is preventing women like CCP, Helen Lewis, Suzanne Moore, Grace Dent, Sarah Ditum, heck even Hadley Freeman and the like, from addressing this pertinent issue in their magazines and papers? They were all too quick to condemn women who did not get behind unelected Theresa May as antifeminist, her womanhood qualifying her for sisterly support, even though she frequently allows the murder and torture of women institutionalised at Yarlswood.

Why wasn’t white feminism shook to the core over the murder of Nahid Almanea, stabbed for wearing a hijab? Or the forced termination of SamSam Haji-Ali’s twin pregnancy when she was repeatedly kicked in the stomach by a ‘shabby racist’ who was later convicted of racially aggravated assault and sentenced to a paltry three years? More recently Resham Khan and her cousin were set upon by thuggish John Tomlin in an acid attack whilst they sat in traffic at a red light, she had to raise awareness of the attack herself through social media whilst recovering in hospital. If Resham had been white, the local news agencies would have picked it up the same day and there’d be a nationwide man hunt. The perpetrator would have been taken down and executed, as is the norm for white victims of oppressive forces, their attackers do not live to see another day, never mind sit trial for their crimes.

White women don’t care about woc targeted by white men because we are also frequently targeted by them.

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This woman spat on a friend of mine in London recently, right in her face and muttered something like “people like you”. It’s not just disgusting, it is common assault. The audacity of this – older – woman to behave in such a confrontational violent manner towards a virtual stranger is not as rare as it might seem to most people. White women are presented in a light where they are vulnerable and overall, just mean well, as this excerpt from male white supremacists over at Spiked Online suggests.

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They need protecting and whilst white feminists like Caitlin Moran think of themselves as ladettes and better than any man, they still need white knights to come to their rescue against women who are not white, like that time Glinner ignored all the racism being hurled around in favour of Moran’s right to literally not give a shit about black women.

White feminists literally do not give a shit about woc and this is why I no longer give any fucks for objectives as set out by white feminists. You can fuck your language policing, ya pearl clutching twats. No, I really do not give a flying fuck for your feeble opinion on women who vote Corbyn instead of May, not least because it is utter garbage. White feminism doesn’t strive for equality but the right to behave like white men. That is not what I thought I was getting into when I chose feminism.

If white feminists cannot condemn white male violence against woc then it is time we started the discussion/debate on the inherent violence of racist sexist white supremacy. The violence of white men and women, and how they’ve turned it on its head to present themselves as the ultimate victims. The perverse attitudes they have towards foreign bodies they want displayed for all to see (frolicking bodies in the sun, decaying bodies in the war on terror) and if you object to this way of being, the forfeiture of inalienable human rights.

Interview on the Headscarf ‘Ban’

Jo Cox’s death was entirely preventable

Update: Jo was due to report on the 80% rise in Islamophobic attacks, mostly against women. I believe this attack was planned and she was targeted by the far right specifically.

As the nation waited with bated breath to hear whether Jo Cox MP would survive the gun and knife attack she was subjected to by right wing terrorist Thomas Mair, journalists busied themselves with the sort of apologism we have come to expect from them. Despite numerous eyewitness reports from the scene of the crime confirming the attacker had shouted ‘Britain First’, right wing and neoliberal quarters of the British press refused to acknowledge the white supremacist fascism they personally enabled in the backlash to the murder of Lee Rigby.

In the 3 years since he was brutally murdered, hundreds if not thousands of innocent Muslims, mainly women, children and the elderly have been targeted by right wing extremists the length and breadth of our sinking island. Tell Mama has provided us with reports every step of the way, they have advocated on behalf of many victims, a service that is valued and necessary given that people of colour have a general mistrust of the police, an institution not exactly lauded for its handling of hate crimes against non whites. I knew the police would refuse me support when I reported the many incidents of racist abuse and threats to kill me, but I did it anyway for the paper trail, and to prove to everyone I was doing everything in my power to keep safe. When the police blocked me on Twitter and sent me an informal caution for my political beliefs I knew then the impact this inaction would have on wider society.

They, the media and people with all the power and control would have us believe I am a nothing and a nobody therefore it does not matter that my concerns were not taken seriously. However it gave the people making threats against me the green light to continue. They also targeted others.

Injustice has a domino effect. First they come for one and if there is no resistance they come back for the others. When Muhsin Ahmed lost his life to white supremacist terrorism, some parts of the UK did feel the pain and suffering his family were condemned to endure. I felt it, Tell Mama felt it. It quickly dissipated though, because Muhsin Ahmed was also considered a nothing, a nobody, by the majority of Britons who either didn’t know, or just didn’t care. More casualties of right wing terrorism followed, the severity of attacks escalated, the growing fear in minority communities went largely ignored. Nahid Almanea was murdered by a right wing terrorist simply for wearing Islamic dress, but watch the opponents of hjiab shrug off the notion that hate filled rhetoric leads to actual violence against minorities on the ground. So they hurt more people, then some more until yesterday when a ‘lone wolf’ assassinated a person no one could ignore; a serving British MP, a white woman, a treasured citizen in British society.

He yelled ‘Britain First’ as he launched a savage attack against Jo, a known advocate for community cohesiveness. Britain First, the white supremacist terrorist militia immediately denied any involvement in the attack, despite the fact they were specifically named and had also just conducted a knife training workshop for their terrorist members. Whether or not Mair was personally known to them (putting) Britain First is a core objective for hateful little British Nazis. He was at the very least influenced by this selfish notion, if not by the organisation then the headlines feeding the hate train, and manifestos like this, from the supposedly non racist Tory party.

The murder of Jo Cox, Labour MP for Batley and Spen should strike fear in all our hearts. The right wing terrorists have moved on to suffocating the moderates on ‘their own side’. White supremacists will target other white people, those they consider race traitors, because they are the people best placed to protect minorities. It’s supposed to serve as a warning to others. It only happened because the warning signs were not heeded and the fascist threat was allowed to flourish.

Brexit was not the cause of the attack on Jo Cox, it was merely a catalyst. The Thames boat debacle only added to the confusion. Brexit is the logical conclusion to years of kowtowing to the fascist right, when politicians allegedly left of centre were suddenly espousing right wing ideas. Racism never goes away, it is only controlled or allowed to thrive unchallenged. Journalists, on ‘The Left’ all the way to the unapologetic sadistic right are the only ones with the power to change discourse. They have the power to create a just and equal society instead they purposefully harness the hate bubbling under the surface and legitimise it. Racial slurs have no place in print. Fascist free speech does not trump the right to life for anyone deemed ‘other’. Denial of cause and effect leads only to more violence, more horror. Denial will mean more deaths.