It was Saturday night, and we were drinking. Beer and whiskey go well with Bad Santa, or whichever movie it was at that stage on Saturday when the messages started coming through: ‘Are you guys alive?!’; ‘Hey, is everyone at the house OK?’; ‘There’s been a stabbing at Leytonstone tube station — are you guys all alright?’
Thank you, person who sent the last message for providing some context. It turned out that in our alcohol-and-Billy-Bob-Thornton-swearing haze, I and my three housemates had been entirely unaware that at around 7pm a man wielding a blade and reportedly shouting, ‘This is for Syria!’ had attacked people at our local tube station. Mercifully, no one died. One man was seriously injured after having his throat slit but is now apparently making a good recovery. The police were at the scene within a few minutes, and they managed to subdue the attacker with a few Taser rounds.
The attack came just days after the British parliament moronically and cynically voted to ‘help’ the fight against ISIS by starting to drop bombs on the very-much-civilian-filled Syrian city of Raqqa. This despite the overwhelming evidence that not only does bombing increase ISIS recruitment and kill innocent civilians — it also increases the chances of a terror attack on home soil. The problem with these terror attacks (apart from the obvious one) is that anyone can carry them out, any organisation can lay claim to them — and the media can and will decide whether the attacker was a lone, deranged blip, or a sleeper agent for a vast, linked-up organisation. No prizes for guessing how that decision is made.
Unfortunately, the world is full of hateful idiots, and whenever an attack is claimed in the name of Islam — either by the media or by the deranged attackers themselves — ordinary Muslims suffer for it. They suffer for it as the vast majority of terror victims are Muslim themselves, and they suffer for it via disgusting reprisals from non-Muslims. So it’s amazing to hear a rallying cry emerge immediately — in fact while the incident was still in progress — for unity and against hate. Shouted by an onlooker while the attacker is being detained, ‘You ain’t no Muslim, bruv!’ is the perfect, dismissive, London response. It doesn’t waste any energy on someone that’s not worth it; it’s the verbal equivalent of stepping around a slow-moving person on a busy London pavement, and it’s rightfully been taken up by British Muslims and social media as a renunciation of this hateful violence and a dismissal of anyone trying to link this nonsense to Islam. (All of that’s also completely ignoring the current causal ambiguities of this situation, such as any mental health issues the attacker may have suffered from; as well the loaded linguistic games inherent in making the judgement call to term something like this ‘terrorism’, while other acts escape the label.) Considering the dire situation in France following the horrific attacks in Paris — the crackdown on protesters, the terrifying rise of the far-right Front National, and the absolutely pants-shitting prospect of a full-on, indefinite state of emergency — well, any positive message is good to hear.
You can see it happen here:
Shocking scenes at Leytonstone Station pic.twitter.com/QwsynQjZHA— Yusuf (@YusufP94) December 5, 2015
Can't get anymore British than #YouAintNoMuslimBruv hashtag. I love this country and people so much. 😂— Dekaaaahhhh (@DekaDMichael11) December 6, 2015
To the eyewitness who shouted #YouAintNoMuslimBruv, he spoke for millions of British voices and got the point across directly in 1 moment.— Mo Farooq (@MoFarooq9) December 6, 2015
#YouAintNoMuslimBruv is another example of why Britain is Great, the majority of people know these terrorists are sullying the name of Islam— Scott Coleman (@scottlufc19) December 7, 2015
"You're not a Muslim, bruv. You're an embarrassment." Passerby gets the last ten years down in a sentence. #YouAintNoMuslimBruv— Matt Kelly (@mk1969) December 6, 2015
#YouAintNoMuslimBruv. So. Much. East London.— Katie Martin (@katie_martin_fx) December 6, 2015
I'm Muslim and my mum gets mad if I harm a spider. Islam teaches peace. #YouAintNoMuslimBruv— Mirakool Jay Jaziah (@ImMirakool) December 6, 2015
"Whoever kills a innocent person it is as if he has killed all of Humanity"(Quran 5:32) Wahhabis dont even Read Quran #YouAintNoMuslimBruv— YOUAINTNOMUSLIMBRUV (@1LaneOnly) December 6, 2015
#YouAintNoMuslimBruv is the most phenomenally British response to a Muslim extremist terrorist wielding a knife you possibly will ever hear— Ben Blake (@bdblake94) December 6, 2015
Dreading the moment when Cameron tries to say #YouAintNoMuslimBruv— karl wareham (@Warlkareham) December 6, 2015
Or, perhaps best expressed here: