When I woke up this morning I was preoccupied by thoughts of my 9am hospital visit. My preoccupation lasted approximately three minutes because I quickly discovered that a young soldier was brutally hacked to death on the streets of London yesterday. He was ambushed in broad daylight not far from the largest military barracks in the capital and pictures of the perpetrators soaked in their victim’s blood are now all over the press. Various reports suggest the two attackers viciously stabbed the young man and decapitated him all the while encouraging members of the public to take photographs or film of this sickening event.
Whilst officials were desperately trying to play down the motives for this act of barbarism eye-witness statements and footage of the culprits ‘explaining’ themselves are crystal clear. One witness said “They grabbed the guy towards the wall then stabbed him – stabbed him, stabbed him, cut his neck, and then dragged him into the middle of the road. They dragged the poor guy – he was obviously dead, there was no way a human could take what they did to him.”
The poor guy was Drummer Lee Rigby, a 25 year-old from the Royal Fusiliers. Tonight his two-year-old son no longer has a father.
No doubt when Drummer Rigby joined-up he realised becoming a soldier meant operating in war-zones and placing himself in situations fraught with danger. No doubt his loved ones also realised the significant level of personal risk that went along with his career choice. I suspect neither Drummer Rigby nor his family and friends expected he would be ambushed and hacked to death in London all in the name of a “cause.”
Irrespective of your position on Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, the Falklands, Uganda, the Niger Delta or any other troubled place on our very troubled planet, two wrongs never make a right. Irrespective of your beliefs or religion, Christian, Muslim, Judaism, Buddhist, Sikhism, Hinduism, Agnostic, Atheist, Pagan or Wiccan, two wrongs never make a right. Irrespective of your ethnicity, culture, class, origin or status, two wrongs never make a right. We of all faiths, colours, religions, countries and castes would do well to make this our mantra. We should ensure our children – let’s not forget the men who committed this crime are someone’s children – respect the sanctity of life, all life, even if it happens to be different to our own.
When a “cause” becomes so all-consuming that it permits one man to murder another, to boast about that wrongdoing and encourage others to do likewise we have slipped from humanity into inhumanity. As a mother and a peaceable citizen living in a country that is supposed to be “safe” I can only echo the words of the person who left these flowers for Drummer Rigby. I hope your suffering was brief and that you are at peace now. I am disgusted that my child is growing up in a world so full of corruption and unnecessary violence. I am ashamed to call myself human when this kind of depravity exists in our world.
- ‘Sickening, deluded and unforgivable’: Bloody attack brings terror to capital’s streets (independent.co.uk)
- Woolwich machete killing: two men shouting ‘Allah Akbar’ shot by police as ‘soldier is beheaded in Islamist terror attack’ (standard.co.uk)
- Suspects in butchering of soldier had been part of previous investigations: British official (vancouversun.com)
- Woolwich horror: Murdered British soldier named as father-of-one Lee Rigby, 25 (express.co.uk)