In 2007, Private Chris Herbert (shown center in the above photo) was serving in the British Army in Basra, Iraq when his leg was blown off by a roadside bomb. He lost a comrade, 21-year-old Private Luke Simpson, when their Land Rover was struck. In the years that followed, Herbert rebuilt his life and prevailed in the face of unspeakable tragedy. With all of the recent terrorist attacks that span the globe along with the scattered rhetoric over the Syrian refugee crisis, tensions remain high. However, though Herbert is one of many who have suffered from violence that stems from hate, he’s tired of people assuming he’s Islamophobic as a result.
Herbert posted a message on Facebook to clear up any confusion over his stance. The message of his letter is profound and details his experiences during and after the attack. Herbert discusses the Muslim man who blew his leg off, but he also reveals his fellow British soldier who lost his arm too. He details the Muslim medical staff who saved him from death and the Muslims who have helped him return to a normal existence. Then things get very real when Herbert describes the white British citizens who have treated him (and his family) terribly after the attack. His point? Stop assuming any one group is responsible for bad deeds.
Herbert’s argument is both hard-edged and heartfelt, and he wants to counter the hate that many feel against any group of people: “Blaming all Muslims for the actions of groups like Daeshe and the Taliban, is like blaming all Christians for the actions of the KKK or Westboro Baptist Church.” This is Herbert’s full letter with some pretty awesome photos to follow.