Pakis! Muslims! Terrorists? Crap what do I call them? People?

Pakis. Is that word offensive? Not to me. I see it like Brits, Aussies, Poles, Italians, and of course Spains. Then again, I’m white.

Thing is I was born in the early 70s. I grew up with the word. I don’t mean I walked around the lounge tooting a plastic trumpet, banging a drum and shouting it out, but I heard it occasionally at school, out and about. My primary school had no Pakis, it only had about 50 kids, but I’d seen them, as I grew up in an area where there were a lot of them. My dad worked with some. I thought it was short for Pakistani. Honestly, until I was 10.

Bobby was the first Paki I’d met properly; to talk to, he was in my form at secondary school. It was him that told me the word was offensive. He didn’t tell me aggresively, with any resentment or sadness, just that it was because of how it was often said, in a derogatory way. I remember asking my dad, and he said it was. I’d never asked before, never had a reason to; I don’t recall it ever been said at home.

I didn’t like Bobby much at first (Bobby wasn’t his real name in case you’re wondering, but everyone called him that all the way through school, it was his idea!) he messed around a lot, and although he was funny, he got on my tits.  It didn’t take long though for me to appreciate his humour, he was bloody hilarious, and responsible for several of the funniest moments of my life, which I won’t share as I don’t think he would thank me for it!  Looking back I now realise why he was like that, and I the same: I went up to grammar school a year early, as I was very intelligent (yes, yes, I don’t know what happened either you cheeky bastard), and I used humour and laughing at myself as a means to fit in with elder peers. He was the same, but trying to fit in as the only Pakistani and Muslim in a class of white kids.

We became close friends, and through the last four years of school, I spent more time with him (and one other lad) than anyone else. The three of us spent a great deal of time together in and out of school, and never a wrong word was spoken.

We lost touch after school going to separate universities, him moving south, and this saddens me to this day, as I remember fondly just how close we were, but two years ago, I bumped into him in a supermarket, and right there at the checkout, he hugged me like a long lost brother. I heard he had become more involved in his religion, but I wasn’t expecting the beard he had, and I complimented him on it!  We exchanged numbers, but still haven’t seen each other. I will ring him this weekend.

Why am I typing all this? Because of what happened on Wednseday, and because I feel I have a unique position to view it.  I’m not an expert in sociology, psychology or international diplomacy, but because one of my closest friends was a Muslim, and he taught me a lot.

I feel priviledged to had experienced that at a young age, as it taught me how to talk to other people, not just Muslims, but anyone; how to make sure you treat people when you first meet them, how to get on with them, how to make sure you don’t upset them or offend them, and this applies to everyone I ever meet.

But most importantly, it taught me that Muslims, are people. Sounds ridiculously obvious typing that, but whenever some mad bastard claiming Islam has told them to murder someone crawls out of the woodwork and commits the atrocious, there are a growing number of those that think Muslims are all plotting against everyone; like they sit in their mosques planning and scheming.

Pardon my language here, but the “Muslims” that murdered that poor soldier on Wednesday weren’t Muslims; they were cunts.

I don’t want to get into all the foreign policy bollocks, why they think they had cause, simply that I want to distance them as far as I can from Muslims, to anyone who is confused to what they think they know of Muslims. I probably talk to a Muslim every day, I’ve never had a crossed word with anyone of that faith, except for one taxi driver who tried to charge me the half hour standing time when his exhaust fell off, cheeky fucker, but I’d have kicked off whatever religion they had been!

The harm those twats on Wednesday have caused is incredible.  The death of a young father is bad enough, but the manner in which they killed him is unforgivable.  His family will know, his poor poor younger sisters will too eventually.  Those poor mites will have to go to their brothers funeral in a few days. And what about his child? Jesus.  There are the murderers families too, Christians I read, not that that is an issue, but I’m not sure they will live that down, would you? I’d be fearing for my life in their shoes.  Then there’s almost every other Muslim, peaceful, PEOPLE, who will be fearing reprisals.  What about kids in schools? One with a racist father? How many 5 year old Muslims kids might get a punch from a classmate because of it, and because of what was heard at home? The stupid fuckers have put race relations back 20 years in the UK, to prove a pathetic point that even the people they purport to represent disagree with. And as for the right wing whites, well, it’s like kindling.

I wish I had some words of wisdom to sum up with, but I don’t, just to say don’t judge a whole country, religion or creed by the actions of a few evil bastards; evil bastards are everywhere, and they come in many different forms.

I’m just glad that I had the chance to find that out as a kid, and I wish everyone else had, but sadly, they don’t. What a travesty.

I’m going to text Bobby. He’s my old mate.

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