Prejudice in politics
IT is very dangerous when poli tics stokes up the passions of prejudice, seeking to gain advantage from nurturing differences. It is frightening to find how thin the barrier is between reasoned debate and appalling violence. The behaviour of the Russian fans in France is one example, and one should remember that they come from a country that has had to play some of its international matches with no spectators after the Russian crowds greeted black players with abusive “monkey grunts” and flinging bananas at them. The English fans also showed their terrible aspect when they surged through French cities looking to fight anyone different, and then relaxed by flinging coins at beggars and jeering at them in the street.
All this racism was brought into focus last Thursday by the murder of British parliamentarian Jo Cox by a white man who, when charged with the killing, shouted out in court, “My name is death to traitors, freedom to Britain” in an apparent reference to Cox’s excellent record of supporting diversity within Britain. Reports have suggested that the accused shouted “Britain First” as he killed Cox. Britain First is an extreme farright group in England. This is why Cox did so well when she campaigned for diversity in Britain, supporting victims of the Syrian conflict, child refugees, Palestinians affected by the blockade of the Gaza Strip and Muslims who endured Islamophobia, as well as the anti-slavery charity Freedom Fund. Her example of actively working for inclusive tolerance was a welcome rejection of politics of hate. — Gulf News