I worked on this piece of art today because a couple of days ago I received a rather unpleasant e-mail purporting to be a joke. It was in fact a hate message about Islamic people and it originated in Australia where, sadly, there’s been an upsurge in racism and anti-Islamic sentiment. I bin any e-mails which spread discord or hate. I particularly loathe those that purport to be official or use a celebrity’s name in order to sanction their lousy message, it’s gutless.
I am contemptuous of hate e-mails or hate posts on Facebook which foment discord between Islamic people and the rest of the population, or put down people because of the colour of their skin, their sexuality or their physical or mental challenges. It’s easy to hate, to put down others not like you, to suck up all the crap that the gutter press churns out, and to be mindless. It takes effort to rise above the rancid aggro and hate around today, and find out the truth. The reality is that the great majority of Muslims want to live in peace, in a harmonious environment where they have shelter, food, security and a good education for their kids. The colour of your skin doesn’t matter, it’s what’s in your heart that counts. Ditto sexuality – who cares who you love, for god’s sake, it’s just great to see loving relationships. And if someone’s got a mental or physical challenge, love and support them so they can lead the best lives possible. As for religion – all roads lead to God or love or whatever higher being lights your life, don’t presume your one’s the best.
Not that you get a message of love and tolerance in the mass media. You won’t see in the Murdoch empire’s trashy media any reports of the way in which, in Egypt during the mass demonstrations, Muslims surrounded Christians at prayers to protect them, while Christians surrounded Muslims at prayers to protect them.
It is very easy to hate. That’s the easy way out. But love trumps hate every time even if it does require more work. It’s why I created this image of the emotional release we experience when we release hatred from our system and embrace love instead. Love enriches our heart and souls, it creates a kaleidoscope of colours in our lives which shine a bright light on our day-to-day living and nourishes our inner spirit. As John Lennon said: “All You Need is Love”.