Good Friday

I have had an interesting day. I decided that I would have a look down at the service in the market place. This is a christian service of witness which takes place each year on good friday. It is begins with a  walk through the main shopping street and ends in the market place. I used to take part in this which I was a church goer a number of years ago. My abiding memory is getting told off by someone for talking while we set off on the walk.

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The service end but I had something else planned for the afternoon. Most people know that my education is in religion and I have followed an organisation for a number of years called Hope not Hate. This was set up to counter the extremist groups such as the BNP and others and to educate those about their BNP racist agenda.

During my year in Oxford training to be a teacher I visited various places of worship including two of the main mosques in Birmingham. I have always be interested in religion and thought it was about time I spoke to some muslims about their views of various racist groups and their outlook on the continuing attacks on Islam.

I set up a meeting with someone from the Islamic Diversity Centre in Newcastle and spent time discuss my concerns and getting their perspective on life. It was certainly an interesting discussion. It was good to hear that their work is to break down the various misconceptions about Islam. They regularly speak to various groups in the north east and part of their outreach is to provide services for the homeless and elderly; something even I wasn’t familiar with.

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I was given a small gift which contained various literature about Islam. I hope that I will be able to learn more and get to know a few of the muslim population here in the north east. I attend to visit a mosque and hopefully gain more understanding of this religion.

News

I cannot stand the internet sometimes. I am sure I have said this before. I have spoken about conspiracy theories and the stupidity of some people. I don’t read tabloid headlines or ‘news’ if I can help it as most of it is full of crap. If it’s on the internet then it must be true is some peoples take on life.

The place where I do get my news is from The Times. The only place where sensible debate and quality reporting remains. Before you moan on about it being a Murdoch paper think about how many other media channels are free from people who could be seen as less than suspect. It’s a pick of the bunch.

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I support Hope not Hate and their campaign against the vile BNP. Their organisation highlights for me the vomit inducing lies that the BNP produces. If you want conspiracy theories look at the BNP website. I want truth. I don’t mean speculation or supposed theories. They are experts on fracking and global warming. Putting it down to a leftist plot. Never heard such crap.

Maybe I am old fashioned and like the truth and fact rather than tittle-tattle gossip.

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Still grumpy

Gari Wellingham

UK-based musical theatre geek previously living with a brain tumour!