I received an email from a friend today that was of a tone that is increasingly prevalent nowadays. It was supposedly the text of a letter written to a British national newspaper by an English housewife. The originator of the email introduced the text with “Ever notice how some people just seem to know how to write a letter?” I gather from the general tone of the ‘letter’ that this comment had little or nothing to do with the author’s ability to include salutations, dates or punctuation!

I agree that there have been many inhuman acts carried out by terrorists in the last decade or so and I would be among the first to condemn the perpetrators but it is the almost unified condemnation of all followers of Islam that I can not and will not subscribe to. While this ‘letter’ doesn’t quite do that, I get the feeling general condemnation isn’t far below the words.

The religion has clearly been hijacked by a rabid minority who have taken upon themselves a holy ‘jihad’ against all infidels or non-believers. What is apparently overlooked by the ‘English housewives’ and all of like opinion is that the extremists don’t make a great distinction between the religion of any who disagree with them. I would hazard that the numbers of Muslims who have been murdered by the jihardists would be as much a hurt to true believers as the numbers of ‘infidels’ who have been killed is to non-Muslims. I suspect another oversight by the housewife would be the fact that the barbarism of the extremists is as abhorrent to the moderate Muslim as it is to the English Housewife.

There have been horrific atrocities carried out by extremists in other religions throughout the years, too, but sadly the outrage has been modified by a sense of ‘it doesn’t really affect me’ or ‘they’re different so it doesn’t matter as much’ or some such similar rationalisation of the act or its victims. If it were the Irish ‘troubles’ the English Housewife might dismiss it as being ‘those Irish’. If it was the pogroms in the ghettos of Russia or Central Europe ‘she’ would have largely ignored it because it didn’t effect ‘her’. If it was the genocide of one tribe by another in African states it would be put down to a lack of ‘being civilised’. If it was the Kosovo Catholics exterminating their Muslim neighbours her attitude would be either hardened by the insulation of distance (and general condemnation may even be tempered by a not too deeply hidden support of the actions.)

I also wonder whether the ‘English Housewives’ of the world are as strident in their condemnation of such acts as the drone killings in Pakistan or

Whatever the acts the world is not made better by such broad-brush bigotry. Condemn the bombers. Condemn the mad mullahs who foment the hatred. But please don’t condemn  everybody who by accident or desire belongs to a belief system you don’t agree with.



Hate or hatred- abhorrenceabominationanathemaanimosityanimusantagonismantipathyaversion, detestation, disgustenmity, execration, horrorhostility, ill will, loathingmalevolence, malignity, mislike, objection, odium, painrancor, rankling, repugnance, repulsion, resentmentrevulsionscornspite.

I have told my children, both my own and those who I have taught over the years that ‘hate’ isn’t a word that should be used too freely. It’s often a bit of a throwaway word that doesn’t really express the true feelings at the time, or, in fact it overstates them. You may well dislike something even dislike it intensely but, in my view that is a decent step from ‘hate’.

This being said I am seriously questioning my feelings towards some elements in New Zealand society, and even some people involved in or with those elements. For example my feelings towards this woman are bordering on hatred but as I don’t know the person then I don’t honestly think I can ‘hate’ her. I DO hate the things she has done, and I DO hate this sort of behaviour from anybody. But, OK, I’ll just carry on thinking she’s despicable, contemptible, disgraceful, obscene, or any combination of the synonyms above.

Now my feelings for THIS woman I also have to think about. Again I don’t think I truly HATE her but, by God I dislike her intensely. For 3 years she has been the Minister Of Social Welfare and has been installed in that position for the next 3 years of the National administration in New Zealand. For the time she’s been at the top of the Welfare Agencies pile she’s continually played a ‘blame game’ as she is doing here that absolves her agencies and puts 100% of fault at the doors of the perpetrators of some of the worst child abuse and cruelty that any civilised society has seen. I almost said ‘condoned’ because so little seems to have been done about it! Baby killers are still walking free, and families of child abusers are still nurturing their own. This is a disgrace that this woman has paid lip-service to for years but has seemed to be ambivalent to if her stated policies with regard to the strata of society who are (in the majority of cases) responsible for violence against children pan out.

The families of these beaten children are the poor, the hungry, the unemployed, the disadvantaged, the disenchanted, the disenfranchised, the down-trodden. These people are taking the lines of least resistance and falling into habits that are dysfunctional and destructive and they see no way out.

How much truth there might be in the abusive mother’s words, they reflect the thoughts that exist in her head, they reflect how her mind rationalises things, and, in part they reflect some aspirational aspects of her life. That she doesn’t have the ability to cope, or manage her actions may or may not be something SHE has to deal with, but in our social welfare state should she have to deal with it on her own? Ms Bennett tells us that 25 different agencies were involved in this case and if this is so over a number of years then Ms Bennett needs to take one of the PM’s ‘steps back’ and do some serious analysis of the work the agencies do. If they were doing all the things they are empowered to do, and if they were failing to bring about change in the life or the girl or the behaviours of the mother then the question must be asked- “Why was the girl still in the care of the mother and her equally suspect father?”

Parents are always told they have a duty of care to their children, and the vast majority of them know and understand this. Our Governments are always told they have a duty of care to the people of their nation, but this government at least seems not to be concerned with this.

“We are all Hamza al-Khateeb”

No ‘we’ are not. Despite tens of thousands of people world-wide signing up the Facebook pages “WE ARE ALL HAMZA al-KHATEEB” too many of the entries (in English- I cannot comment on the Arabic entries) are, while probably well-meant, somewhat trite, hollow, and a bit meaningless given the horrendous treatment this young person was subjected to and ultimately died from. From what I can gather this young person wasn’t so much a protester as a pretty typical youth who just got caught up in the moment.


How easy is it nowadays to learn to hate? I never hated in my younger days. I seldom think many people did. We used the word but certainly didn’t mean ‘hate’ in the strict sense of the word. Now? Very different, I think. Where people can do this to other people is firstly beyond comprehension, but also, and more importantly beyond acceptance or forgiveness.

We look around our world and, sadly we are never hard-pressed to find instances of inhuman treatment of fellow man. Few places in the world are free from it, certainly far too many are guilty of it.

And the justification for this inhumanity to fellow man? There can be none.