Poppy Burning – The horrible truth.

A sane voice in a crazy world? (strike that, reverse it).

Despicable is the only word to describe the actions of a minority group of extremist Muslims who burned poppies, chanted derogatory and hateful words and held placards that threatened both pain, suffering and death upon the lives of British Troops three days ago in London. Their actions sickened me, they clearly know nothing of their own culture and history, what they are unaware of is that hundreds of thousands of Muslims have fought side by side with the British and Allied Troops in both World War I and World War II and many other conflicts across the globe, there are thousands of practising Muslims in the British Armed Forces and hundreds of thousands in Allied Forces across the world that have fought for their freedoms and to protect their way of life as well as ours including religious beliefs.

Poppy Fields by Cathy Smale

But the press coverage and the vitriolic attacks across social media from a minority representation of the British public of racism, bigotry, xenophobia and ignorance towards almost all Muslims and followers of Islam also sickens me. Don’t let racism hijack your legitimate concerns and complaints, the perpetrators of those awful actions should be persecuted, arrested, prosecuted and incarcerated for their terrible hate crimes.

The search term Burning Poppies has generated so much press and social media coverage that it has been hijacked by spam and sales web sites as a search term so that they can sell you something!! It is also exactly what these horrible people wanted to achieve and we should think twice about what their actions were about and what was their objective, it was to hurt as many people as possible and to disrupt our daily lives with their hatred (I believe that is pretty much a description of terrorism), they wanted to terrorise our minds and for some, they have succeeded, which is very sad.

Their actions were criminal and it is unfortunate that the law is so complicated and convoluted that the Police don’t know it well enough to react effectively and efficiently on the day, but I am confident that those responsible will be brought to justice and I hope not victims of vigilante vengeance or revenge.

Let’s put all this into perspective: last month a girl vandalised the cenotaph in Wolverhampton. We the public didn’t start criticising every teenage girl in the country, we didn’t threaten to round-up all the white Christian girls and send them back home! No, the crime was investigated and she was prosecuted and was forced to pay for her crime.

The same monument was vandalised by a stupid young man just before the WWII Victory in Japan celebrations in 2008, again he was investigated, caught and prosecuted, we did not go on a rampaging march through the streets with pitchforks and burning torches handing out ‘justice’ to every teenage boy we saw!

Last year a 62-year-old man wore fake war hero medals and joined the Armistice Day march in Nuneaton – apparently to satisfy the whims of his 38-year-old girlfriend who he had convinced he was an actual war hero. The country was rightfully outraged, but we didn’t go on a witch hunt seeking out all 60-year-old men from Nuneaton for that crime, nor did we assume that every man who had a medal was a liar, a fake or a cheat. We investigated, prosecuted and he was sentenced for his crime.

Today is meant to be a day when we think about those that have died to enable us to live in peace, that’s right, peace, not more fighting. We are a nation of immigrants and always have been (check your own Family Tree, I bet you won’t have to go too far back), our wonderful multi-cultural society is what makes this country such a joy to live in.

So please stop with the vitriolic, racism and abusive assumptions that this mindless minority represent their community, their race, their creed or their religion, they do not. They are nothing more than a rather unintelligent minority criminal group who clearly have ideas of grandeur to be terrorists who are trying to provoke a reaction so that they can justify their hateful ways and maybe recruit yet another stupid person to join their cause.

Don’t be the stupid person that makes that happen, please!

Wear Your Poppy With Pride

Royal British Legion

About X-Wide P

Award winning advocate for the arts, heritage & culture; Fine Artist & Curator at StudionAme; Resources Manager for Leicester Arts, Museums, Festivals & Events; Founder & Curator of L.O.V.E. Art the Leicester Open Exhibition
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