Published in Scottish Sun on Sunday 2nd March 2014
The Judge got it right on Wednesday in sentencing the killers of Drummer Lee Rigby as he contrasted the ‘sickening & pitiless conduct’ of Adebolajo and Adebowale with the bravery of women who tended to Lee Rigby in his dying moments.
But I wondered why the thugs of the BNP and English Defence league had been allowed to demonstrate outside the court and get away with building gallows, as they chanted and fought with the police. At one point some of their drunken thugs even exposed themselves before the assembled media.
They claimed to be defending the British way of life but all they succeeded in doing was to disrespect the memory of Lee Rigby and cause more pain to his family who had asked for them to stay away.
In the days and months after Lee’s cowardly murder the EDL marched through our streets, inciting attacks on mosques, as Muslims were assaulted, abused, stabbed or murdered.
These far right thugs are perhaps are too thick to realise the irony of marching against the Burqa by turning up themselves in balaclavas.
Too thick to realise the irony of protesting against violence yet aiming their kicks, punches and bottles against the police as they try to keep the peace.
One could perhaps understand the need for their protests had Muslim leaders been on our TV screens supporting the murder, but in fact there was 100% condemnation from every section of community.
As Mr Justice Sweeney sentencing the pair said: “Your actions were a betrayal of Islam and of peaceful Muslims who contribute so much to our country.”
The actions of the BNP and EDL reminded me of another murder, when on March 15th 1994 a 15 year old white boy by the name of Kriss Donald from Pollokshields was kidnapped, tortured and murdered by two racist thugs.
The BNP had wanted to march then as well but Kriss’s mother Angela Donald asked them to stay away, speaking with immense dignity she said
“these men are full of hate and it doesn’t matter to my family what colour these men are who murdered my son. Kriss is gone because of gangs, not just in Pollokshields, but in every area of our communities. However, I would urge the public not to target the Asian community because of his death”
Members of the Asian community horrified by the attack had themselves faced years of terror from the killers and demanded they be hunted down.
Some actually put their lives on the line in order to do so, one of them was local MP Mohammed Sarwar whose family faced death threats and attacks as a result of his bringing the killers back from Pakistan to face justice.
I don’t actually remember the leader of BNP Nick Griffin ever trying to board a flight to Pakistan, although he found it easy enough to fly to Syria last year to praise butcher Assad.
From everything that has been said about Lee Rigby, he would have been horrified by violent thugs claiming to act in his name.
Long after the EDL and BNP are gone Lee’s family will spend a lifetime picking up the pieces.
As the tenth anniversary of Kriss Donald’s murder approaches the same thugs will try to exploit his murder and hijack the grief still felt. The message today is no different to when Angela spoke a decade ago, stay away and let our community and his family peacefully mourn his loss.