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The world in which we live is in a state of confusion. Bring back the Locherbie bomber? Give aid to Pakistan? Develop a Muslim multi-cultural centre close to Ground Zero? Well, for what it’s worth, and despite my belief that it was wrong to release Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, I believe it equally wrong to now bring him back. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer so, what’s the point? What happens near to Ground Zero is a matter for the people of the United States and their President to decide. I will say this. No genuine Muslim is or ever could be a terrorist. As far as relief for the people of Pakistan is concerned they seem to be facing a suspicious, giving-fatigued west. You and I know that there are terrorists in Pakistan and that there are terrorists in the UK and elsewhere in the world, but I doubt that the average Pakistani family, like you and me, would ever come into contact with any of them. There is no excuse for ignoring the plight of millions of our fellow human beings as they fight day and night to stay alive in conditions that most of us would consider to be a living hell. The earth has delivered upon them such terror as we could never imagine: mothers watching their children die before their eyes, homes washed away, dad’s helpless to act as their families and homes are wiped from their world in an instant. This is not political or religious. To use any of those as a reason not to give our immediate assistance to our brothers and sisters on the other side of the world would be a shameful ignorance in the extreme. On 1st August 1971, many years before Live Aid, George Harrison responded to a plea by his friend Ravi Shankar, and walked on stage in front of 40,000 people at New York’s Madison Square Garden. They were all there: Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Billy Preston, Leon Russell, Ravi Shankar, Ringo Starr, Klaus Voorman, and a whole host of others. A concert organised for the relief of refugees from East Pakistan (now independent Bangladesh), and the consequent sale of the album, single, video and DVD still, to this day, benefit the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF. No doubt monies from this fund will be directed to the crisis in Pakistan today. That concert was forty years ago and has helped save many lives as a result. So, here’s a question for all of us today. In forty years time how will our actions be judged by future generations? Will we be viewed as compassionate human beings that recognised the need for practical solutions? Or will our grandchildren be saddened as they read about the deaths of so many because of our lethargy? That would just be plain wrong. We need to do ourselves proud: show this world that, like our parents we decided to act: we made the difference. We saved lives.

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