Here at Sheffield University, I know that all my colleagues and students are proud of our diversity on all levels, diversity of nationality, race, gender, and most of all today religion. This diversity underpins our ability to investigate, understand, and ultimately solve the major challenges facing the world today, not least in the field of oral health and innovation where we focus the endeavours of the Dental School. To make my own small contribution to this important goal, I am fortunate to work closely with a large number of PhD students and visiting academics, many of whom hold senior research and clinical positions in universities throughout the world. These include Muslim academics from Kuwait, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bahrain, and the UK. Irrespective of background, we are united in our efforts to undertake research for the benefit of humanity and the world, we share the same values, and - more widely - we believe in cooperation to find peaceful solutions to the complex challenges that face humanity at the beginning of the 21st century. These are facts.
People that believe any one race or religion are especially prone to extremist ideologies are at best ignorant, or far worse they are deliberately peddling a hateful narrative to achieve their own political or economic goals. Examples of the latter are already espousing lies and bigotry (just look at the statement of Australian Senator Fraser Anning if one needs an example, sadly others exist). The atrocity in New Zealand - following a long series where different religions have been the victims - demands a response to all extremists and their poisonous ideologies, irrespective of the identity they and their supporters claim to hold. This post is my contribution to challenging the lies peddled by racists and extremists who fuel violence and terrorism.