Thursday, June 30, 2016

A plea from a friend

Stanley - Thursday

Annamaria contacted me about posting a Facebook piece from a friend of mine and of so many crime writers everywhere. 

 Ali Karim is legendary in our circles as someone who has an immense knowledge of mysteries, an immense stamina for enjoying himself, and an amazing ability, it seems, to go for weeks on end without sleep, while at the same time holding down a high-powered job as a businessman and scientist.

Ali Karim: reader and reviewer
Ali and his mathematician daughter Sophia
Ali with Lee Child
Ali in party mode
Ever since the Brexit vote was announced, Ali lobbied against it, arguing not only what he believed to be its disastrous economic consequences, but also what he thought would happen to civil society. 
 After the vote was in, and the UK was out, just what he predicted started to happen.  The louts came out in droves, threatening and abusing people who weren't white or English.  Here are three examples, the first from the Financial Times, the second from The Guardian, and the third from the Express & Star.

What has happened has reminded Ali of his own youth, so he penned and posted what appears below - a plea to us all._________________________________________

Warning to all my Family, Friends and Colleagues:

We are witnessing an alarming rise in hate in the UK, including violence, against people who don't fit in with the Aryan Dream from White Racist Thugs - directed at people like me.The Black Shirts are Back, so can I please ask my Friends who are Aryan, and not Racist, to please speak up, and help anyone being verbally or physically abused, because they are not Aryan.

This nostalgia of my youth, I thought had been defeated, but it is back, and this time it is very dangerous, for we have unlocked the door that kept The Kraken imprisoned, for it feeds on Economic Turmoil, which is about to get very serious, and is part of the dark side of human nature.

I recall being a seven year old, holding my head and crouched in a ball as a gang of youths, cornered me in the school playground, kicking me, calling me many names "Wog, Nigger, Coon, get out of our Country", but as I was so badly winded, I thought I was dying, as I couldn't breath, trying desperately to reason with them, to say 'sorry I'm from Epsom' as I didn't understand why they wanted to hurt me.

This was not an isolated incident from my youth, far from it.

Please help us, as we have helped rebuild your country after the last War, please intervene if you see hate, and violence as it will spread as we haven't seen anything yet, I fear, as the economy destroyed will fuel the chaos that the Nazis and their Kraken need to emerge from the slime where they hide.

Thank you,

Ali Karim


And we must do the same everywhere, particularly in the USA for the next four months.

Thank you, Ali, for reminding us of our duty as believers in a civil society.

Ali and friends


  1. Totally in solidarity with Ali Karim.
    He is so right in asking everyone in Britain to combat racism and xenophobia. It's escalating, not only verbally, but physically.
    I sympathize with everyone being subjected to this bigotry in any form.
    It has to be combatted there and here, too.
    I read that neo-nazis plan on coming to support Trump at the Republican National Convention in July in Cleveland. He has emboldened the worst groups.

  2. Stan, what I said to you when we first spoke of this: I find Ali's words powerful and so moving. And I can't help wondering what kind of lives might those miserable little thugs who beat on Ali are having now. Thank you for putting up the pictures that show where he came out of it. That gorgeous, accomplished daughter. Pals with Lee Child. NICE.

  3. Ali is a friend and confidant of virtually everyone in the mystery community, and among his many honors and positions held in our community is his receiving Bouchercon's David Thompson Special Services Award for extraordinary efforts to develop and promote the crime fiction field. For a man of Ali's grace, stature and accomplishments to confront what he does on a daily basis saddens me beyond explanation. When I first read this post on his Facebook site it inspired me to write my blog for this Saturday. We must ALL stand together on this.

  4. England is very fortunate to have people like Ali. What he describes has nothing whatever to do with immigration. It is pure, unbridled racism. Whatever the merits or otherwise of Brexit, it is being used as an excuse for that beast to rear its ugly head.

  5. It terrifies me to see society reverting to an abusive, hateful past. It saddens me to think of Ali as a child, having to deal with such hate, and absolutely crushes me to know that he and others must face it again / still in adulthood.

    It takes no more effort - often much less - to show love in place of hate and fear. I will absolutely stand up for Ali and others when I see them being disrespected or abused, and I hope everyone else will, too. I'm not foolish enough to think that everyone will - but I do think everyone *here* will, and that's a small, but real, comfort to me.