I am not afraid of Islam.
Not my doctor in her hijab,
nor the man next door walking his children to mosque.
I do not cower from those with beards,
having discussions in strange tongues on the bus.
What keeps me up at night is ignorance.
Our parents lived through the Troubles,
Yet never started a national campaign against Catholicism,
They bombed their houses, cars and tube stations,
Yet we never tried to ban the crucifix.
Because we realised they were a minority,
Not the spokespeople for an entire religion.
And now, when “they” are demolishing ancient art,
And trying to bring Paris to her knees,
We must remember that they are few.
They have the weapons and the will but not the numbers,
And those who practice Islam,
Have no more in common with them than the rest of us do.
They are militants and bullies,
And the only way we stop them,
Is to fight together.
We are people first and foremost,
This is our strength if we are willing to relinquish our fears.