Words have become hijacked and distorted

Readers' letters | Published:

According to a report in the Shropshire Star a while back, Councillor Pat McCarthy, who is rightly against racism, seems to equate the EDL as a racist organisation.

An EDL protest and counter protest took place in Wellington in April

This is not so. It is against Islam which is not a race but a religion and a religion supported by not one race solely but by all sorts of different races – including some English people.The tactics and methods of the EDL deserve criticism, and we could certainly do without their marches through our town centres, but the question that should be asked is why do some people feel they need to resort to such tactics to make a point about Islam?

Such tactics are not only to be deplored but they stifle reasoned discussion on the subject and so affect a basic part of democracy – the freedom to express one's views and criticise those one does not agree with, for fear of being branded as racist. Being unjustly or incorrectly accused of racism is in itself a form of abuse.

Even the word “Islamophobia” has been highjacked. It does not mean “hatred” of Islam but “fear” of Islam (phobia = fear). (As in agri phobia = fear of open spaces.) Islamophobia has been hijacked by pro-Islamic sympathisers and used to describe hatred, not so much of Islam, but of Muslims. As a practising Christian I do not hate anyone – not even those of another religion – but I do fear the influence of Islam.

Richard Camp, Wellington

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