As British intelligence services disrupt a terrorist plot to hijack planes and cause “mass murder on an unimaginable scale” I find myself concerned that these latest revelations will spark a new round of hatred that is essentially racism born out of fear and ignorance.

Take for example an email which I was forwarded yesterday evening by my friend Josh. It wasn’t created in response to the recent plot revelations, but it might well find a new lease of life in the wake of that news.

The email, entitled ‘Scary’, shows pictures of Muslim extremists who marched on the streets of London in February of this year in response to the overblown scandal that surrounded the Danish cartoons which depicted the Muslim prophet Muhammad in an unfavorable light.

The email is headed with the line “ALL AMERICANS NEED TO SEE THESE.” Followed by “Scarey isn’t it!!!” Then in bold blue and red text the author continues. “Below are actual photos of Muslims who marched in the streets of London during their recent Religion of Peace Demonstration.

“These photos have never been shown in any American newspapers or television news programs because we want to be careful not to offend the Muslims.”

The author of the email makes no mention of the facts behind the pictures included which show Muslim extremists holding up banners with slogans like “Behead those who insult Islam” and “Europe you will pay. Your 9/11 is on the way.”

The email takes on a rather ironic feel because presenting the pictures in this way without even the slightest shred of context would suggest an attitude as hateful and closed minded as the sentiments behind the banners held by the people in the pictures themselves. This was very clearly not a ‘Religion of Peace Demonstration’ as the author suggested, and to claim it was is clearly a cynical attempt to stir a reaction of anger.

In claiming that the pictures had never been shown in any American newspapers or television news programs the author may indeed have hit on an even more worrying truth that the American news media is essentially rubbish! News is often branded and packaged into nice little easy to consume morsels and then spoon fed to the masses between commercials for S.U.V’s, toothpaste and fizzy drinks.

Perhaps the author should be more afraid of the fact that maybe the media and the powers that be are indeed keeping things from him, and manipulating information to keep him docile, obedient, and afraid. That revelation should surely scare the author of the email more than a few angry Muslims taking part in a small march in London more than six months previously.

American TV news networks are awful, but in their defense I might suggest that the reason they didn’t carry these pictures way back in February (if indeed they didn’t, and that is unconfirmed) was because the march was on a very small scale and was somewhat overblown in the UK media who were themselves hungry for news relating to the equally as overblown Danish cartoon scandal.

In the end though I would imagine that anyone who forwards this despicable email on will have little concern for the facts behind the pictures or the context as to the extent of any reporting that surrounded them. Instead the email will find it’s way from inbox to inbox eventually fading away when people of good sense deliver it to the only place it belongs… the trash.

Muslim leader condemns protesters
Cartoons and the globalisation of protests
The truth behind the email