Gang violence

A trial of a gang of teenagers for punching, stamping and stabbing a young man they did not know nears its conclusion. Another senseless, unprovoked attack on a stranger, perpetrated by youngsters intent on on looking cool and tough. One man dead and the rest beginning lengthy prison sentences. Yet, still, people laugh at violence like this and consider it funny.

I’m grateful that the day I was steamrollered by a gang in Tottenham there were no knives. Like the victim of that assault, I was punched by a dozen men, knocked to the ground and stamped on. My only defence to call out, “Allahu akbar!” I was one of the lucky ones.

Still, some people still think this is funny. For some, violence is a way of life. It is how life’s problems are resolved. It’s the natural order. It’s the fate that awaits the one who falls foul of communal expectations. These are just desserts for the one that transgressed boundaries. Or just had a face that did not fit.

But all of that is also known as a lack of culture. Jahiliyyah. The way of the ignorant, lost.

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