Sooo…I am in Waterloo station to catch a train. For the umpteenth time I am wondering what *Pp (the current subject of my infatuation) would smell like if she allowed nature to take it’s course and morph into the titanium-tipped-flower she was meant to be; walking along, minding as much a business as is mine, when all of a sudden, this montain of a man shoulder charges me. I spin on my heel, watching the stranger swagger away like he has just defeated Goliath. He stands at least a head taller than me, looks about twice my weight, beer gut to match. He is the kind of bloke Portuguese-football-fan-death-wishers Want to meet in a dark alley in England. My first instinct is not to tangle, to shrug it off and keep walking. I comply taking a few steps away… then something kicks in. I stop suddenly: “you know what homie, naaa, go back, stop him”

So I do soo, I trot after the ‘gentleman’. “excuse me, Excuse ME” “wot?” “you just walked into me” “ no, you walked into me” “no, I did not, I turned around to apologise, expecting you to do so…” “no mate, you fucking walked into me” “no, I even tried to move out of the way for you” “no, I was walking on my… you watch… erm… fuck you, you wanker, Take THAT FUCKING SCARF OFF!” and he walks away, still swearing at me over his shoulder, me standing still flabbergasted, puzzled and spluttering - for a second. Then Day breaks.

It seems my scarf offended him. I was wearing this around my neck- scarf. The man thought I was a Muslim and proceeded to display his intolerance. Now, being judged by the colour of your skin is one thing, I’ve had experience, I am used to that shit. But being judged by the colour of your cotton is just ‘Fucking’ ridiculous. What do you say to that? The scarf is called a Shemagh. It is of Palestinian culture, not Islam, Palestinian. I guess this is not common knowledge, but it is still no excuse for the assumption, and greater still, No excuse for an action of that sort, Whatsoever, regardless of… WhatEVER. If I wore a kilt would that make me Scottish? My sister ties her hair back with chop sticks, she wears those little slippers with beads on them from India… mayne, I don’t even need to elaborate on this. Those of you reading this see how pathetic the situation is. It just… sad. You know? Judging Islam by the activities of Al-qaeda is like judging Christianity by the activities of the Klu Klux Klan.

Anyways, Later in the day I was walking through Vauxhall station when hope happens. There is this teenage kid dressed in a jet black Nike hoodie, hood up, swaggering like the ‘gentleman’ but this time with three of his friends. A perfect 2 by 2 formation. We are walking towards each other. As we get closer I remember the reports. The news reports will tell you that kids like this will mug you faster than it’ll take ‘em to drop 16 bars over a beat. Kids like this are watched as soon as they walk into a mall because they want to steal- naturally. Kids like this are likely to break the law. Kids like this have A.S.B.O.s, a kid like this, walking towards me, broke formation and bowing slightly and smiling said:

“Asalam Alaikum”

To which I instinctively replied:

“Walaikum salam”

Yes, perhaps he did assume I was a Muslim as well, but there was a degree of knowledge, there was understanding, whereas in the experience earlier, there absolutely nothing. …

Karma reasserts itself, a boy counters-sways fascism, And I tell you what, the balance was beautiful, I smiled for the rest of the day.

Our children are learning to name themselves.

This is for hope.

One. Five Inua~Phaze