Thursday 22 February 2018

Ex-soldier's appeal for an end to generalised anti-Islam sentiment goes viral

Chris Herbert and his dog. Photo: Facebook/Chris Herbert
Chris Herbert and his dog. Photo: Facebook/Chris Herbert
Chris with his fellow soldiers. Photo: Facebook/Chris Herbert

Sarah-Jane Murphy

An ex-soldier who lost his leg during the Iraq War has issued a poignant message urging those who blame all Muslims for terrorists' actions to rethink their attitude.

Chris Herbert was 19 when he served in Iraq in 2007 when his unit was ambushed by insurgents, and he lost his leg, Buzzfeed reports.

His friend was killed, and another soldier from his unit was injured.

Writing on Facebook this week, Herbert who now lives in Portsmouth in England and works as an events manager, said he has recently been asked 'troubling questions' from friends and colleagues.

Some of these people expected him to support the anti-Islam attitude that has become more widespread since the recent Paris terror attacks, he said.

Chris decided to explain his feelings on the decisive and sensitive subject.

“Yes,” he wrote, “a Muslim man blew me up.” But he cited the various Muslim people who have had a positive impact on his life.

"A Muslim man also lost his arm that day wearing a British Uniform.

"A Muslim medic was in the helicopter that took me from the field.

"A Muslim surgeon performed the surgery that saved my life.

"A Muslim Nurse was part of the team that helped me when I returned to the UK.

"A Muslim Healthcare Assistant was part of the team that sorted out my day to day needs in rehabilitation when I was learning to walk.

"A Muslim taxi driver gave me a free ride the first time I went for a beer with my Dad after I came home.

"A Muslim doctor offered my Dad comfort and advice in a pub, when he didn't know how to deal with my medicines and side effects.

He remarked that several white British men have been cruel to him since he suffered life changing injuries.

"A white Brit spat in my girlfriend's face for ‘f**king a cripple when you could have me [him].

"A White Brit pushed my wheelchair away from a lift so he could use it first.

"A White Brit screamed at my Dad for parking in a disabled bay when I was in the services coming home.

Herbert said that he knows many incredible white British men too.

His point was that he does not hate people based on what they believe.

The post went viral and received much support from friends and strangers alike.

It has now been shared more than 30,000 times.

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