In the interests of taste and decency, let us look away from the gruesome spectacle of the civil war that has engulfed the Labour party and concentrate instead on the far more serious conflict in Syria. So here are some questions that you might like to ask yourself (with my answers) before you decide whether you agree with David Cameron that the UK should now join the international military action against IS in Syria.
On home turf, with Islamophobia and myths being peddled about the religion and those who follow it, as well as the further racialisation of Muslims, critical thought and engagement is of the essence. Let's create a climate where that is genuinely possible, because 'we're all in this together' - right?
I desperately want to see the good in people and the good in the world. I need it to be safe as my arms for my children and the protection of my classroom walls for my pupils can only stretch so far. I hope this post is causes no offence or harm. I just hope it makes you thankful for your lot in life. I know I am.
Why do we insist on ignoring what stares us in the face? The suicidal fanatics who threaten to kill us in the name of their perverted brand of Islam are not refugees from Syria, or deranged zealots from the mountains of Pakistan: they are, with only very few exceptions, men and women who were born in our hospitals, educated in our schools and who grew up in our cities... Many of the attackers were already known to the police. Some had records as petty criminals. Others had clear links to identifiable terrorist groups. So as we still struggle to comprehend the crime that was committed in Paris last Friday night, perhaps we should start by examining what is going on under our noses.
I have a confession to make. I'm tired. Tired of rebutting the same old clichés and contradictions that you and your rabid CAPS LOCK brigade constantly spout every time something like the awful events in Paris last week occur. So I've decided to do us both a favour and bring a dispel a few of those repetitive falsehoods you're so fond of.