Crimes In The Name Of God

Mark Goodrem

My views on the Woolwich atrocity are exactly the same as the vast majority of the UK population - they are that of utter shock and disgust.  The thought that in this day and age people are STILL carrying out these crimes in the name of religion and their “God” is just beyond belief and to this day I still refuse to believe that any religion would sanction this.

I personally believe that this is used as an excuse in today’s society and a way of trying to justify what has been done and what people plan to do. I challenge anyone to read any religious scriptures and highlight where in those pages, it tells you to carry out these crimes in the name of God.

Growing up in Ireland with a Catholic mother and Protestant father I suffered a lot of religious bullying and loss.  The greatest loss I suffered was watching a very close friend of mine being gunned down in front of me just for doing his job. Darren was a reserve Police Officer and a Protestant but like many people in Ireland he was against any kind of religious attacks, on either side of the “divide” but this did not stop the “Real IRA” targeting him JUST because of what he did.

I think those that carry out these crimes are far too quick to hide behind the shield of religion and hope in some strange way that people will understand and agree with what they have done. This is clearly not the case in the majority of religious groups. The sooner they realise that there are better and non-violent ways to voice opinions and get the message across, then the more likely people will stop and listen. 

I can revert back to my childhood and early teen years in Ireland. As I have mentioned, I am from a mixed religious background and it was incredibly difficult growing up at the height of the troubles. No matter what attacks were made on each side, I found that the bullying towards me increased. I also think it was because I tended to speak out no matter what side “started” the whole tick-for-tack killings.

Whilst I am watching the news, all I seem to see is a repeat of the troubles in Ireland - a crime is carried out in the name of religion and even when that religious group slam that atrocity and condemn it you still get the “small minded” group of people, (and I use that term very loosely), who use this as an excuse to attack the hard-working, peaceful remainder of that community.  In what way, shape or form is burning a mosque, attacking a Muslim or rioting going to reverse what those two imbeciles did to Lee Rigby? Quite simply put, it’s not!

I think a group like the EDL will take any opportunity to start any form of hate crime and in turn give them more publicity that they would not normally have; even bad publicity adds fuel to the fire and gets more people aware of their methods.  It would not matter what size the crime is, the robbery, GBH, or even murder - they will use whatever excuse.  

I personally believe that the only way to stop this is to stop giving them the attention that they are getting. At the height of the troubles in Ireland, the Irish Press stopped allowing Gerry Adams to have his voice on TV and when he was in the papers they blacked out his face. This worked to a certain degree and I think the same should be done for the EDL and other groups who are just out to incite race and hate crimes.

Everyone, and I mean everyone has a “God” given right to worship who and how they want, as long as it is done peacefully and does not cause harm to others. For any mere human to stand up and disagree with that right is just wrong.  Who gives them the right to say people can’t just because they don’t agree with that particular religion? I mean, if someone was to turn around and say the same to them then that person would be accused of being racist, it’s a two way street folks.

Until we ALL realise that, then there will be constant unrest and to be honest, it’s not something I look forward to. We really have had enough – Northern Ireland, 9/11, 7/7, Lee Rigby and all the lives lost on both sides in the name of religion. Enough is enough!!!