I have just come back online following the Jewish holidays…
The killings in Orlando are a pure act of evil. They were aimed at the LGBTQI community. I have spoken out before on homophobic attacks but perhaps the time has come for my voice to get a little louder. This was a homophobic attack aimed to bring death to many and fear to millions.
I am Jewish Chaplain to the University of Surrey and the Guildford School of Acting. Our community has one of the largest percentage of proudly Jewish LGBTQI students in the country. They are proud of who they are and I am proud of them: proud to be their Chaplain, proud of them as Jewish students making their mark in a world that does not always respect them.
In my years of working with the police services in the UK the levels of physical assaults on young LGBTQI students has appalled me. The attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando is the most extreme and evil expression of this form of hatred. We seem to live in a world where hatred is becoming all too tolerated and love, peace and respect of others is being sidelined.
My thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones in a city that I know and love but it is also with those who worry whether the world in which we have tried to build equality seems to be one filled with that much more fear.
The events in Orlando have sparked extremists into action who meet intolerance with more intolerance in attacking America’s Muslim community. This is sickening. Again, in my work over the last few years the rise of physical assaults on Muslims has appalled me.
The attacks in Orlando follow on from an attack on diners in Tel Aviv. The response to this attack of indifference in some quarters of the left and far-right has been deeply worrying.
You see hatred comes in many packages: homophobia, Islamophobia and Antisemitism. There is no justification for intolerance. We are all created in the same image and must learn to love one another, treating all with compassion…
Perhaps Edmund Burke did not say one of my favourite misquotes that, “all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”
but he did say
“I take toleration to be a part of religion . I do not know which I would sacrifice; I would keep them both: it is not necessary that I should sacrifice either.”
So let me add my voice… And say neither do I…