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10 July, 2005

Nothing to prove

Looby works in the rail industry, and mentioned that the day after the London bombings, fellow staff of Asian origin were notably absent from the staff room before their shifts, instead presumably going straight to their trains to start work.

I don't know if I'd have had a similar courage had the situation been reversed, but I think it would have been better if they'd carried on as normal, and taken the opportunity to make a gesture of sympathy towards those affected, and to dissociate themselves from those who committed these atrocities. I suppose you could say that to do this would be to wrongly acknowledge an affinity between yourself and the terrorists, but just as when the anti-Iraq war march was organised, it's important to display your opposition to both state-sponsored and private terrorism publicly.
I strongly disagree. Asian, or specifically Muslim, people have no greater responsibility than Caucasian christians to dissociate themselves from terrorists who merely happen to be coreligionists, or who happen to have family origins in the same region of the world. One might as well say people with brown eyes ought to make an extra effort, over and above that made by those with blue eyes.

If rail staff from New Zealand had avoided the staff room, would the same implied criticism be made?

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