Well, I’ll start with the lighter stuff first. Was coming home from uni on Friday and was cut up by a frickin idiot taxi driver. I always thought that people hating taxi drivers was another one of those unfair stereotypes, but since I’ve been driving I’m not too sure. Up by the church in Ormskirk the road goes from two lanes into a very narrow one lane bit round a bend, after which you can turn either left (following the road) or right. Now, the normal person would think that if you wanted to turn left you would position yourself in the left hand lane. Just makes sense doesn’t it? And therefore the reverse would be true if you wanted to turn right. So after moving into the left hand lane, allowing plenty of room behind the turf lorry infront because of the width of the road, I proceed to move into the narrow bit… only to find an idiot 306 taxi driver looming large in my mirror. The drivers amongst you (and anyone else if you think about it!) will realise that if I could only see this guy in my mirror that he must be behind me. Now, if you were behind someone else in a queue of traffic, not only would it be courteous but it would also be sensible and better for everyone concerned if you let the car infront of you move into the bit of tarmac that you can just about squeeze a car onto first. Agreed? So when I look over my shoulder and see this guy staring back at me, his car barely a foot away from mine you can imagine my surprise. And he didn’t give up. He just kept on going, me still in front so still with the right of way. In the end we got so frickin close that I had to stand on the brake nearly forcing the car properly behind me to crash so this moron could get passed. It wouldn’t be right for me to post the number plate of the car, but if the taxi driver owner of a V-reg silver 306 in Ormskirk can vaguely remember having full beam head lights in his rear-view mirror for about half a mile on Friday 2nd April 2004 at about midday after going round the bend by the church nearly squashing a green Escort against a wall – YOU’RE A GRADE A MORON AND YOU DON’T DESERVE TO BE ALLOWED TO DRIVE. Another way to identify it was you – you dropped you’re passengers off on Yew Tree Road and you failed to indicate at any give way. Right, second thing before I start ranting again. Have you ever been thinking about something / someone, and then put the radio or a CD on and a song has come on that effectively gives you an answer to what you were thinking about? It was freaky the way that happened to me on Friday night. Some situation had been going round my head for the last week or two and I was watching the TV on Friday and came downstairs and put the Longview album called Mercury on (which is very good by the way!). There was one song and it came on first even though it was mid-album because my computer makes a mess of playing audio CD’s and it was just so apt that it worried a bit. OK, the third thing that’s been annoying me. There was an article in the Times on Friday (T2 page 4-5) by Mo Khan entitled “From schoolboy to the Mujahidin: Inside the mind of a British Muslim”. I’ll have to say here that I’m not racist and if he can say what he wants then I can have an opinion too. Mr Khan starts his piece by giving is a brief description of his early years and Muslim upbringing. He says that at that time his religion had nothing to do with politics, and was replaced as he grew older by cricket, and then cricket replaced by music and then girls, and then all three. He then traces the path of a friend of his who turned his back on University and working in London to be taught by Abu Hamza (the Hook guy who should be hanged for treason if it wasn’t so un-PC for the state to do so). His friend is now a doctor but was affected by radical Islam. He moves on the say that the reason for the existence of such groups in the UK is because of the lack of understanding of them and their faith by the UK, and anti-terror laws which “are now contributing to an unprecedented climate of fear among Muslims”. One man even says he doesn’t know whether or not to let his sons go to their mosque in case they get arrested. Please! The reason for this is the letters that the Government have sent out to mosque’s to encourage these communities to shop people suspected or taking part in terrorism. Ali, a 22 year old from Manchester, says “It’s crap. People feel, why should they tell on a brother just because he has a video of the jihad in Chechnya? Because his eyes are open to the destruction of Palestine? The rape of Muslim women in Kashmir? Don’t make me laugh”. OK, I won’t if you won’t. Sayful Islam (whose name was changed) says that the Government has “started a crusade against Muslims”. In order to stop this risk of violence that will ensue, it is suggested in finishing the article underneath a picture of a Briton burning a Union Jack, that the Government should seek to understand Muslims. I’m just wondering who actually has to understand who. Lets think. Lets make it simple and remove politics for now. If you move into a friends house as their guest, out of politeness you wouldn’t tell them that the way they were doing things was wrong and therefore they should change because you were there and you’d rather have it done that way. Throughout the majority of history, the UK has been inhabited by Christians. We are a Christian country. Therefore, I would suggest that it is also, if not more so, up to Muslims to understand where the Christians are coming from in this. While I agree that the problems with the world today are caused by lack of respect, I refuse to be told that the reason for violence is simply because I haven’t gone out of my way to understand Islam. Indeed, I wonder about the whole idea of Christians persecuting Muslims. Saying that just goes to show that you can spin any situation to suit a cause. Say, for instance, that a white person hit another white person who had just nicked a woman’s handbag in the street. The criminal wasn’t hit because of his hair colour, he was hit for his actions. In the same way, any action against Muslims which is terror linked is not because they are Muslim, it is because people from there country steered a couple of planes into some buildings killing 3000 people. The 8 people arrested after that fertiliser was found were not arrested because they were Muslim, it was because they had the capacity to make a bomb. It just so happens that many terror threats on the Western world come from Muslims. If there was mutual understanding, if Ali could see the whole of the UK as his brothers, the world would be a better place. The first way to start to do that it is to get over the idea that people are targeted because of their religion, rather than their actions. Em.