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My column published in Scottish Sun on Sunday 20th July 2014


I had the joy of watching my daughter start nursery last week and look forward to seeing my son’s face light up when he finally sees Usain Bolt in the flesh next week.

Every night before I go to sleep I check in on my son to look at his face as he snores away contently, wondering when a time will come that he wakes up himself rather than the drama of my dragging him out of bed each morning.

Before leaving for work I hope my crazy daughter who turns three next week will wake up and demand to be picked up and called a princess.

I know now that I will spend a lifetime worrying about them, which is why watching the news report the plight of 1 million Gazan parents who stayed awake to ensure that their children live through the night or watching a father hold his dead three year old son, trying to wake him up by telling him he had bought him a toy, all made horrific viewing.

I didn’t know what to say to when my son asked me why they are killing children or answer the simple question ‘who is the bad man’?


As I marched with thousands of young people on the streets of Glasgow yesterday against the bombing of Gaza, I could see that they still have optimism and hope, but then it’s not been smashed out of their bodies with a bullet or watching their family blown away by an F16.

But I worry what will happen if like the generation who marched against the Iraq war they are ignored, what will be the repercussions? At best will it be apathy or at worst ‘violent extremism’?

David Cameron several months ago told parliament that he would deal with “violent extremists” by draining ‘the swamp which they inhabit”. But if he wants to do that then he needs to look at the root causes.

Before Iraq was invaded it never had a single suicide bombing, but since 2003 the numbers have doubled each year, to the point they are no longer even newsworthy and of course Iraq today has thousands of wannabe Osama Bin Ladens.

If we feed injustice then we feed ‘the swamp of bitterness’ from which terrorism emerges. Every politician declares war on terror- Obama, Cameron says it but so does Putin and Assad.


There was once a time that everyone in Gaza was against suicide bombers, but now it seems that many are in favour. This is not just a failure of Israel’s overwhelming military superiority but a direct result of it. If we really want to stop young people joining Hamas and turning themselves into human bombs, then military power is not the solutions, as it will only increase the ‘mutual hatred of each other’.

If you really want to diminish the ability of the terrorists to recruit then don’t butcher innocent families, don’t blow up their kids on a beach playing football, don’t humiliate parents in front of their children and don’t take away their hope, land or water.

Many of the young Muslims I spoke to on the National Gaza demonstration yesterday reject the blowing up of innocent people on buses and trains, but they also reject the ‘grotesque hypocrisy which claims moral superiority’ over the loss of life from drones, cluster bombs and stealth bombers.

I for one want it all to stop; I do not want to have to explain to my innocent son why they kill children. It’s time to stop Israeli genocide.