The British values debate has refused to look with the open mind it claims to be shaped by, upon Islamic values and honestly ask why such a wide range of Islamic practices and views have been seen as a problem for life in Britain. This is not tolerance, but a sweeping wave of intolerance in the name of security, instead.
It is inevitable that the Western world is still recovering from the horrific images of British aid workers and American journalists being beheaded in orange jump suits, by a masked executioner with a London accent. But as difficult as it may be, there must be a genuine attempt in creating a nuanced approach to understand what leads individuals like Adebolajo and Emwazi to resort to such extreme measures.
As an LGBT person of faith, it is important to me to continuously build cohesion between the LGBT community and faith groups - and this extends to our campuses. It is not conducive for students who may wish to reconcile their LGBT identities with their faiths or are struggling with these two seemingly contradictory aspects of their identities to see the two groups at war with each other.
As a child, I experienced directly the violent consequences of prejudice and hatred, and understand all too well the serious effects of keeping silent in the face of bigotry. So I stand united with the people of Newcastle who are coming together positively to show that there is no place for Pegida on the streets of Great Britain.
The idea that the entire Muslim community should be watched for signs of adherence to Islam, which will then lead to potential criminal activity, underpins Prevent and the CTS Act. It would be expected that with such policies and matching rhetoric, the public would begin to see the Muslim community living by Islam as a problem, criminal community that should be ostracised.