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Don’t look back in anger, Noel Gallagher, we heard you say

Don’t look back in anger, Noel Gallagher, we heard you say

Categories: Latest News

Friday October 20 2017

In a recent interview, Noel Gallagher has strongly criticised the British Government for being unable to stop terrorism “because of some hippy ideal about people’s religious beliefs”.

Speaking to Rolling Stone Colombia, the former Oasis star said: “Our government are seemingly powerless to stop this s**t. I have children and they’re growing up in London and they take the tube, I take the tube – we all take public transport because I can’t drive.

“And there’s bombers roaming free around the whole f***ing city and the government and the one before them and the one after that will be powerless to stop it”.

Mr Gallagher saw his track “Don’t Look Back in Anger” become an anthem of defiance in the wake of the Manchester Arena suicide bombing, which took the lives of 22 people and injured many more.

The song became a message of hope, peace and togetherness when a huge Mancunian crowd spontaneously began to sing it during a minute of silence held to commemorate the victims of the attack. It was then performed by Chris Martin and Ariana Grande during the ‘One Love Manchester’ benefit concert on June 4, organised by Ms Grande herself for the victims of the Arena bombing.

Renowned for his bluntness, a visibly upset Noel Gallagher has missed an important opportunity to strengthen the message of his own song. Don’t look back in anger, come together and move forward, was the approach chosen by many in Manchester to cope with the dramatic event and to prevent it from deepening the divide between Muslim and non-Muslim communities in the city.

Instead, Mr Gallagher’s comments are a message of division. Indeed, there is a real danger that Mr Gallagher’s statements may be taken by some as justification for prejudice against innocent individuals on the basis of their faith, and may have the effect of fuelling a depressingly familiar narrative dictating that violence against Muslims is justified revenge for terrorist attacks.

In the month following the Manchester Arena attack, Greater Manchester Police reported a 505% increase of Islamophobic hate crimes in the city. Other horrific events, such as the Finsbury Park attack, have further demonstrated the vulnerability of innocent individuals who may be targeted purely for their identity as Muslim, or even for their perceived identity as a Muslim.

Furthermore, far from holding a “hippy ideal about people’s religious beliefs”, government counter-terror strategies have been acutely felt by Muslim communities throughout the UK. Of particular concern is the Government’s Prevent agenda – a strategy that has been condemned by the NUT, the NUS, two special rapporteurs to the UN, and countless academics, security experts and politicians. Heavy criticisms have been levied against the strategy for its ineffectiveness and its creation of a pre-criminal spaces that stigmatise entire communities, as well as for its serious negative impacts on the development of children.

As such, UK counter-terror strategies are in desperate need of recalibration in order that they may work with communities instead of against them. It is imperative that policy-makers engage with Muslims to form an effective, evidence-based and non-discriminatory counter-terrorism strategy.

The Manchester Arena attack is evidence that communities can, and do, react to such tragedies by coming together, regardless of ethnic, religious or social differences. It is essential that high-profile celebrities use their positions of influence to promote these positive messages of peace and unity in an effort to break down barriers between communities.

Don’t look back in anger, Noel Gallagher, we heard you say.


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