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Tolerance and love will win eventually

Sheffield Lord Mayor Councillor Magid Magid
Sheffield Lord Mayor Councillor Magid Magid
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I saw the letter against the new Lord Mayor from Paul Wake, 71 from S4, in The Star and I am utterly stunned that it was printed.

I’m all for freedom of speech, but not only does he directly call for segregating our society into whites vs blacks/browns by only reserving the position of Lord Mayor for white people, but there’s something even more troubling within it that has gone unnoticed. Something subtle that shows how racism is being allowed to flourish in our society. It is to do with his use of ‘moslem’. Now most people will have thought Paul Wake was naive/stupid by spelling Muslim wrong. And while they may not be wrong about him being naive or stupid, I’m sure it was part of the reason the letter got included in the first place as it was surely meant to make people think Paul is unintelligent and doesn’t know what he’s talking about i.e. to invalidate his whole point of view.

However, this is actually a serious slur. And therefore while freedom of speech is all well and good, racism isn’t and The Star should not have published that letter at all.

But what’s the issue? Well, ‘Muslim’ in Arabic means ‘one who gives himself to God,’ and is by definition, someone who adheres to Islam and practices kindness to others. By contrast a ‘Moslem’ in Arabic means ‘one who is evil and unjust’ when the word is pronounced as ‘Mozlem’ with a ‘z’.

‘Muslim’ has been the more common spelling since the 1940s and is now the most common term used to describe those following Islam.

The spelling ‘Moslem’ on the other hand is frequently retained by serious far-right, ultra-nationalist, anti-Islamic groups. So I believe Paul Wake, 71 from S4 knew exactly why he was using that spelling.

After all, in the words of Louis Theroux on Jimmy Savile: “Even if an evil person does a good thing, they’re still an evil person.”

And thinking someone is more worthy of something because of their skin colour is evil.

And finally Paul, how have you lived 71 years without realising that the entire British population is a hodgepodge mixing pot of all different nationalities/ethnicities and cultures.

Have you not learned anything about your own heritage? Get one of those online ‘check your own DNA history kits’ for crying out loud pal.

And no, quite clearly you are alone in your want for a white Lord Mayor, as proven by the vote that Magid won.

Which he won by the way, not because of his colour but because he is a genuinely affable, community-minded chap who wants to bring Sheffielders together. Something you are intent on doing the opposite of, by trying to divide us into whites and others.

Our culture as a city is not defined by what we look like. It is how we treat each other that builds a culture.

Unfortunately for you Paul, history has always shown that tolerance and love will win eventually. So stop pining for a time before the ‘blacks’ and ‘browns’ arrived in ‘your’ land and start getting to know your real Sheffielders. To repeat your own words, ‘Is that really too much to ask?’

Mr J Jacob, 26

Sheffield, S7