Saturday, December 10, 2005

"I don't like your Muslim"

Today a friend of mine, with whom I worked last summer (well, I worked, he mainly sat surfing the NME website), MSN'd me. Matthew, who lives in London, said he got in a cab the other day, and the cabbie decided to strike up the conversation by starting out with "I don't like your Muslim", which is apparently cabbie speak for “I don’t like Muslims”.

Now, I have no particular problem with people not liking Muslims (I can’t say I have a particular fondness for Cockney cabbies), but what does bother me is that people who hold such views would generally never say such a thing in front of an actual Muslim. Generally, such comments are reserved for conversations between people of the same skin colour/religion/whatever.

I’d really love to know what it is about people like me that he doesn’t like. I want to ask him. It might help me understand a little better why the BNP are apparently doing so well (despite the fact they are an openly racist party). I do, however, find it completely reassuring that views like his are, in my experience at least, in the minority, and for the most part are on their way out. But, because I never get in on such conversations between ‘white people’, I’m never quite sure exactly how much of a minority guys like this really represent.

The cabbie left Matthew speechless, so Matthew left the cabbie tipless. I wonder if the cabbie clocked?


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