I love Glasgow, but I’m not going to lie – it can still be an ugly, violent city when it wants to be. We have a history of brutal gang violence, sectarianism, and drug use that has had a lasting legacy that we as a people fight against every day through social and civic improvement.

Last week, there was a murder that caught the whole city’s attention for its sheer brutal pointlessness. I shan’t go into the details here, as the family have asked for time to grieve, but I will say this: I was walking through the Braehead mall last Saturday when I saw emblazoned on the front page of some red-top tabloid rag the following headline:

“MUSLIM WHO CELEBRATED EASTER MURDERED”

That set me off on an internal rant. The victim was a well-known, well-loved member of the community, a welcoming and tolerant man by all accounts from people who knew him and frequented his shop. What difference did it make that he celebrated Easter? Would it have made it any less tragic had he not? Why not simply highlight that he was a decent human being, a kind and friendly man who treated everyone well regardless of who they were?

I’m sick of the ‘othering’ that so many media outlets indulge in so frequently these days. We’re in the 21st feckin century. Why are we being divided by those in power along community, racial, religious lines? Daft question, of course – they seek to control us through fear. And I hate saying that, because it makes me sound like a tinfoil-hat-wearing loon. But the truth is that it IS going on. It HAS been going on for a long, long time. And we need to do more to stand up against it.

I’m sorry that Glasgow is a little darker now – not that an ‘Easter-celebrating Musim’ has died – but that a nice guy, a family man, a key part of the community, has been taken before his time.

We’re all just people, people. Be good to each other.

M.