FROM HERO TO POTENTIAL TERRORIST
By KIM VUGA & BIANCA BARDEN
JULY 5 2019
Roy Larner a 49-year-old was enjoying a pint at a pub in London when he was confronted by terrorists. Roy wasn’t backing down and confronted the jihadist. Roy was labeled a hero and given the name 'Lion of London Bridge'.
Roy suffered deep stab wounds engaging with the jihadis that allowed others in the Black & Blue bar and restaurant in Borough Market at the time to flee to safety saving many lives in the process.
Roy was later contacted by so called anti-Islam supporters after terror attack which prompted the Government to place Roy on a watch list and forcing Roy to undergo de-radicalisation training a program known as ‘Prevent programme’.
Roy is shocked and said,
“They treat me like a terrorist but I’m not political at all.”
Anti-terror police was alerted to footage of Roy yelling abuse at a black man while walking his dogs. Roy was charged and handed a suspended term and had to serve five weeks for breaching court ordered conditions.
Larner attended his local MP’s, Neil Coyle’s, office a month after the terror attack and said to a staff member,
“Sadiq Khan shouldn’t even be in the country”, and called him “a pile of shit”.
He also told a Muslim staff member of, ‘All Muslims are the same – scum, then made a gun gesture with a rolled-up newspaper.
The judge made it clear that Roy was entitled to express his views, as they are entitled to express theirs and they cannot expect everyone to agree with you.
'But then, ironically, you showed that you can bring great benefit because before you were arrested you became a national hero on 3 June.
'And of course you cannot use that for the rest of your life, but it is a side of your character that I must – and do – take into account.
'As you heard me say to your counsel, it is no excuse that you were a victim of a Muslim attack for you to behave in that way to people of the Muslim faith.'
Larner, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated common assault and religiously aggravated harassment.
Roy was sentenced to eight weeks and suspended for 12 months and fined Fifty pounds for his anti-Islam abuse, required to undertake an ager management course and a diversity awareness course. Roy Larner is also banned from attending his local MP’s office for two years.
Roy Larner is seen as a true hero by many. Doesn't he have the "right" to be anti-Muslim? To be "anti" anything for that matter?
Harvey Dent, a.k.a. Two-Face, The Dark Knight had it right when he said,
"You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain."
In Roy Larner's case the public took him to hero status whilst his very own government, treated him as the enemy.
There are two points that need to be made.
Firstly, it's psychologically understandable that when you are a victim of an attack that your instinct would be to despise your attackers. If your attackers were a set nationality, or held set religious beliefs would it not stand to reason that in future you would instinctively be wary of anyone else that fit that description or shared those same beliefs? Enrolling them in deradicalisation programs and treating them as possible terrorists isn't allowing them to work through a normal emotional response to their own grief. If anything, it's only exacerbating it.
Secondly, and mostly worryingly, if those that, without thinking, risk their lives to save other potential victims, will now pause before acting, to consider the possible ramifications of whether they themselves will end up on a terrorist watch list and enrolled in deradicalisation programs. How many would rush in to save lives?
Sadly, it's becoming the norm in society for the criminal to have more rights than the victim, but when the victim is then treated as the terrorist, we are setting very dangerous precedents.