The Murder of Nahid Al Manea

A 32 year old aspiring scientist Nahid Al Manea arrived in Colchester Essex a few months ago from Saudi Arabia. Yesterday, she was  murdered in what is likely to be an Islamophobic attack.  I do not have any (proxy) funeral prayer details and it looks like they are going to do the autopsy today.

It is impossible right now not to read this event in the context of rising anti-Muslim agenda being normalised by powerful politicians, journalists and interests in Britain. The tip of this iceberg assemblage has become increasingly clear in recent months and includes the Conservative Education Minister Michael Gove, The Telegraph's Andrew Gilligan, The Henry Jackson Society and the Quilliam Foundation.

Colchester is not renowned as a bastion of hearty cosmopolitan dignity, and they and the University of Essex are in for some challenging times right now. Places, communities and institutions get stained in sins like these for decades, thinking of Eltham and the murder of Steven Lawrence, though it depends on the stink that get kicked up. The University's own press release was quite machine-like for starters.

  • Who did this and what were their motivations?
  • How does the misframing of Muslims make them structurally more vulnerable to attacks like this?
  • What was the impact of the recent Trojan Horse reiteration of the Scheming Muslim narrative on the perpetrator?
  • Will politicians, editors and journalists reflect on their role in creating these unsafe conditions and their responsibilities to rectify them and return the Muslims voices to them?

Little investigatory appetite

Talk about the murder yesterday was generally prayerful but also sardonic, that if the victim were white and the act's originator apparently Muslim that this would be all over the news everywhere.

The artists at OOMK were spot on, tweeting,
Wondering why a Brazillian Noodles feature made it onto the homepage while the violent stabbing of a Muslim didn't...
Last year, the 25 year old machine gunner and Afghanistan war veteran Lee Rigby's grisly murder was hugely impactful on the media and the country. As a forces guy, his honour was never disputed and the Muslim apology machine was swift into 'action'. However, that crime was on a very public street, in a metropolitan area and executed with social media narcissism and false pride that brought the edge of the moral sickness straight to our eyes.

This death context is that much harder to know about, and we really need to know. Dear Nahid was attacked at 1040 in the morning on a path by a nature conservation area by someone who doesn't want to be known just yet. As we saw in the recent floods, London news teams rarely venture out of their safety zones. As we have come to know over the years, they are generally peopled by feckless and careerist toerags.

It seems to me like it is easier to know about Mosul than it is Colchester.

Remembering Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez

I remember the hideous double murder and burning of French postgraduate researchers Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez in New Cross, South London in 2008. There were significant French protests at their deaths, families campaigned and twitter raged and their home institutions and students honoured their memory. Eventually, two were sentenced to a total of 75 years over the incident, a senior minister Jack Straw apologised for failings in the probation service and David Scott, London's chief probation officer resigned.

Fast forward to 2014, and the secret services are run by right wing nutters, there have been severe cuts in public services, Islamophobia underpins so much at play here and that the victim was a Saudi lady, not French.

Its hard to have any expectations of how the Saudi state will respond to this and their particular calculus of life. Therefore it is more important to locate the social justice and equality hunt right here in the UK amongst as broad a community as possible.

Decolonial Hopening

Below is a really well thought out 12 speech on the situation facing Muslims in the UK today.

Allahumma grant safety and dignity to all your creatures.


Ankh Morpok said...

Investigations are ongoing, so your premature conclusions are unwarranted. There may be an Islamophobic motivation or not. Stop milking it.

Why isn't your MCB coming out with robust condemnation of the hundreds of thrill seeking mutters leaving family and a life here to fight in Suria and Iraq? Why aren't you on your blog dissecting the mental acrobatics involved in fighting in a war that has nothing to do with them? Denial?

Perhaps the Al-Muthaba family would be conforted if they knew that 'representative' organisations like your MCB condemned the danger to their sons from Cardiff of the grooming which led to their sone being brainwashed?

Ankh Morpok said...

Fug, do you agree with the world view of these people leaving their lives here to fight in Syria and Iraq?