The thugs who attacked a Birmingham jogger were schooled in Islam
Does the Press have an issue with Muslims? Or do sections of it pick news stories that appeal to its readers’ prejudices? Or is debate on all religions so stymied by fear of causing offence and the speaker being labelled a bigot that free speech is on the rack? These questions and others are triggered by a story in the Express of a jogger who having been knocked into a canal only escaped his attackers by speaking Arabic.
The story, culled from the Birmingham Mail where it first appeared, tells of Lee Skinner, 38, who was “punched and knocked into the freezing water as he ran past five hooded youths in Acocks Green, Birmingham.”
The Express‘s writer is – get this – ‘Rob Virtue’. The Birmingham Post’s reporter is Jeanette Oldham. The reports are identical.
Badly bruised, Mr Skinner managed to clamber out.
As he struggled to get out of the cold, slippery canal the thug who punched him was waiting – until the former language teacher started speaking Arabic. The shame-faced gang, all aged around 17, then fled the scene and the attacker is now being hunted by police.
Mr Skinner told the Birmingham Mail:
“The police praised me and said my speaking in Arabic showed quick-thinking. They said my actions could have stopped the situation from being a lot worse.”
He went on:
“There were five in total, all wearing grey and black, casual clothing, puffy coats, caps and hoods. The guy who punched me was rounded in the face and had neat, tidy stubble. The other four were quite slim.. As I jogged past, the one with a rounded face punched me full force with his left hand, into my right cheek. I went up into the air and into the water.
“The one who punched me was waiting at the side of the canal with an incredible look of pleasure on his face. He was waiting to watch me suffer or to come back so he could hit me again.
“I was able to identify them as Pakistani as I’ve worked in Muslim communities and have a detailed knowledge of Islam and speak Arabic to a certain level. I also used to teach asylum seekers for a while.
“So in that moment I said something in Arabic – a Muslim declaration of faith. As soon as I said it, a look of panic spread across their faces. I then shouted in Arabic, ‘May God forgive you’.
“At that moment they looked like a bunch of terrified schoolchildren. That’s what ended it…
“They said they were very sorry this had happened. They then walked off and I walked home… The four boys admitted that the attack happened because I was white and I explained that in the current political climate, such actions could have a negative effect on the Muslim Pakistani community which they are supposed to be representing.”
It could be argued that the thugs were stopped from doing worse damage and perhaps repeating their alleged crime by their faith and Mr Skinner’s intelligence. Does religion make you less violent?
No-one on the Express got to debate that or more because comments below the paper‘s article are closed. The Birmingham Mail left them open. Here are a few of them:
My initial comment on this has been deleted. This I feel is unfair.
I only suggested that those who commit a crime be deported along with their families. This may deter those who are willing to carry out attacks such as these. Surely being passionate about the country you live in cannot make me racist.
Congratulations to Lee Skinner for his quick thinking and courage. Nevertheless he is sadly deluded. Firstly there are no genuine positive aspects of Islam and Mohammed for the non-Muslim…
Secondly, this is an illustration of the difference between “radical” and “moderate” Muslims. The attacker was following the cruel, violent example of Mohammed and the other four gave him passive support and didn’t help the nearly murdered kaffir.
What a surprise. More proof that integration does not work. These people do not live by our standards and do not have the same morals. Just look at the areas they live in, Rubbish piled high, dirty and dangerous. Some of you may not like it but its true.
Islam a religion of peace my a##e.
You what? Absolutely disgusting behaviour, I’ve always thought whites were overly paranoid about being in majority asian areas but I might have to revise my position
Many of the comments claim the gang attacked Mr Skinner because they were Muslims and thereby inherently violent. One commenter notes:
EVERY TIME there is a news story to do with a Muslim or Islam,
MOST of the comments are full of HATE or BIGOTRY,
So how does the Birmingham Mail follow up its story? Like this: “Jogger who escaped canal thug by speaking Arabic hailed a ‘hero’ by readers.” Thugs is right. And which readers praised Mr Skinner? Five are name-checked:
Adam Lii Khan said: “Absolutely disgusting behaviour. A human is a human regardless of his nationality, colour or language. You did an amazing job by schooling them though! Hope you get better soon.”
Raziq Rashid wrote: “Lee Skinner I wish a speedy recovery and hope they catch the criminals. It was brave what you did and hope it shows the racist people our there that someone of a diffrent colour is still human and should be treat with the same respect we expect for ourselves.”
“Once again fair play on confronting the individuals with dignity which they probably didn’t deserve.”
Nad Arabian wrote: “This is ridiculous, I am Arabic and against what these guys did. Language is not the protection they should know their religion properly. Unfortunately it is individuals behaviour. Hope they get what they deserve and well done to this Man.”
Bob Khan said: “It doesn’t matter what race or colour people are, we are all human beings and we should respect everyone religion and race.
“I personally condemn this action against a respected person who was jogging on his way home.
“Get well soon my brother and hope police can catch those idiots soon”
The Mail must haver picked through its readers carefully to get that report out.
The only other readers name-checked are Dee Webb, who says:
Dee Webb said all five of the gang should be prosecuted by police. She said: “How can he shake their hands, the hands that could have killed him? It wasn’t just the one that hit him…they all took part and watched and did nothing..they are all responsible. .and should all be charged the same. Scum.”
And Jackie Playdon:
“Brave man. I hope his attackers are caught and punished. It could have been so much worse had he not been able to speak a bit of Arabic. I doubt I could have offered them my hand….but kudos to him.”
To call the assault on Mr Skinner a crime typical of Muslims is absurd and monocular. You can follow these links and discover that not all thugs, thieves, alleged rapists, muggers, robbers, would-be killers, rapists, bastards who shove joggers into the canal and criminals on Birmingham’s many towpaths are Muslim. Being a criminal is not the preserve of any one religion or race. To say the hateful acts of a few epitomise the many is as stilted and absurd as the Birmingham Mail’s vox pop.