Powerful representation of the frustrated, angry Muslim response to acts of terror being carried out in the name of Islam. A response I can fully identify with when such acts are committed.

But the tragic act of violence that happened in Leytonstone isn’t one of them.

When a Muslim man commits an act of violence shouting “this is for Syria,” it is considered a ‘terrorist’ incident. When a white man commits an act of violence shouting “white power,” it is considered a racially aggravated incident.

Why the differentiation? Because he is Muslim? Because of what he said? Or both?

Surely by this logic, any person who is Muslim, commits a crime and makes some reference to something political is a terrorist.

The question is, why do we need responses like “You ain’t no Muslim Bruv”? It represents a perpetual obligation that Muslims feel to justify their faith and distance themselves from such acts. But why should we need to do that?

The language of terrorism and specifically ‘Islamic fundamentalism/jihad/extremism’ whatever you want to call it, is chucked around so freely that it has become embedded in the mainstream narrative of what people understand of Muslims.

That narrative is not ok. And must be challenged and dismantled.

“You ain’t no Muslim Bruv” represents the pent up frustration of having to defend one’s faith from attack. It does so powerfully and ironically – eloquently.

But we shouldn’t need it. And the fact that we do, the fact that it is trending, the fact that the PM has hijacked the phrase – is a problem. Reclaim our defiance. Reclaim our faith.

Hundreds of stabbings in London, day in day out. But our ‘free press’ likes to be selective in what is reported and how it is reported. All designed to serve the narrative.

A man, with mental health difficulties, who committed a crime. Sounds like many of my clients that I represent on a daily basis.

Not a terrorist.

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