Archive for the ‘Hope’ Category

Ned Kelly. Captain James Cook. The Anzacs. Banjo Patterson. All of these Iconic Australian names and titles i remember since i was a kid, they represented our country – Australia- for many different reasons and their names are etched into the framework of our nation and society. 

There is nothing more i love than reading about Australian Icons and Heroes and paying them that due respect. The Anzacs for example, every year are commemorated for fighting for this country, defending our land and their allies and putting a stop to potential invasions and wars presented by enemies of the time.

Give credit where it is due i would say, yet did you know there is an Australian icon and Australian hero that predates all of the names mentioned above? An Australian Aboriginal Icon and he has a name. That name is Pemulwuy.

Pemulwuy is thought to have been born in 1750, some 38 years before the first fleet planted the British Flag on Australian Soil in Botany Bay.  He was part of the Bidjigal  tribe who called that part of Sydney, Australia home.


January 26th 1788 was the day that changed Pemulwuys’ life and turned him from provider into protector.

The raising of the British flag on already occupied land is a very game changing part of our history. It’s literally the beginning of European Colonization and the soon to be degradation of Aboriginal populations. Pemulwuy was a protector and maintainer of his lands and traditions or what one would call a “Warrior” today.

These armed men that started occupying their lands, destroying their environments and building settlements were clearly deemed a threat to Aboriginal tribes in the area who saw a people who came with sophisticated weaponry, travelling vessels and a careless attitude in regards to their sightings of Aboriginals who had called this place home for at least 40,000 years.

The Smallpox disease is said to have started infiltrating into the Aboriginal population by 1789 due to the introduction of the Colonies population. Pemulwuy started his first campaign against the foreign invaders in 1790. Governor Phillips gamekeeper John McIntyre, who was notorious for his cruel treatment and outlook on the Aboriginals,  was speared by Pemulwuy and died of his wounds. This enraged the colony who went out looking for retaliation, only to find no aboriginals in their search.

As the Settlement grew and skirmishes started occurring around the region the tensions were growing between the Colony and Aboriginals. The Settlers started to prey on the vulnerable of the Aboriginals like Women and Children, holding them as ransom and kidnapping them to effectively “bring out” the Men who were thought to be the imminent threat to the settlements.


Pemulwuy protected areas of Sydney including the Georges and Hawkesbury river regions.

At Age 42 in 1792 Pemulwuy increased his defensive measures
, which of course to the colony was an act of offence. He targeted settler camps and properties, conducting raids and the Colony by this point managed to get a good description of the warrior Pumulwuy who was described as an  “active enemy” with a blemish on his left eye.

In 1794 Pemulwuy had his skull cracked by John “Black” Ceasar a huge bushranger of West Indian Descent working alongside the convicts. At this point many were convinced that the Aboriginal Warrior was killed as cheers echoed through settler camps. Yet Pemulwuy survived his injuries without any hospital assistance. Pemulwuy then continued to protect numerous Sydney districts (now known as suburbs- ranging from Parramatta, Prospect, Toongabbie, Georges River and the Hawkesbury River).

As Pemulwy’s notoriety increased among the Colonizers they made many exhibitions to capture him and his tribesmen and for years they failed in their Endeavors. Pemulwuy knew this land like the back of his hand, he knew where to hide and he was accustomed not only to the climate but also the landscape.

In 1797 Pemulwuy and up to 100 Aboriginal Warriors stormed their way into the Parramatta settlements after another raid on Toongabbie and threatened to spear those who got in their way. The soldiers without hesitation opened fire and this time Pemulwuy was shot and injured again by bullets and lead that essentially not only should have killed him, but according to settlers should have killed “30 people”.


Pemulwuy survived so many attacks by the Colony that his own people saw him as an “invisible” force to their weapons.

Pemulwuy was for a brief moment captured but many were shocked by his quick ability to heal that some started genuinely believing he had some superpower against “lead”. 
He eventually escaped yet again and returned to his people and the all so familiar Australian bush that was being cleared for agriculture.

This time when he retreated back into the bush not only did his tribe think he was a Miracle Warrior even he was emboldened enough to believe he was “immune” to the colonizers weaponry.

Approaching twelve years of resistance to the occupation Pemulwuy fought for his land, culture and people. He was relentless in protecting what he and his tribes knew for thousands and thousands of years. He battled soldiers with their 18th and 19th century weapons with humble spears marked with local red wood.

By 1801 rewards were being offered to any who could capture and kill Pemulwuy. Gallons of rum and clothing were offered to those who could kill him and even for those who could provide information to the whereabouts of this mysterious Native.

In 1802 Pemulwuy was caught by surprise by British Sailor Henry Hacking. He was shot and killed. His head was cut off and preserved in spirits before being sent to Botanist Sir Joseph Banks for preservation and showcasing in Britain.

A letter by Governer King at the time admitted that “Although [Pemulwuy was] a terrible pest to the colony, he was a brave and independent character.

From 1802 until 1810 Pemulwuys Son Tedbury continued the resistance until he too was shot and killed only 8 years after his Fathers Death. The Mystery of where Pemulwuys skull is today has yet to be answered.



Pemulwuys effect not only to his Aboriginal Brethren yet also to the White Colonizers was huge during its time, so much so that even members of the intruding Colony joined in to fight with Pemulwuy and his resistance, these convicts were named “William Knight” and “Thomas Thrush”.

Just like our Anzacs, Pemulwuy defended his land and his people. He fought tooth and nail and he never backed down in resisting the force that was about to take stronghold in his nation. Respect must be granted to his strength, courage and will to defend himself, his clan, his land and his nation as a whole.

Pemulwuy, not only to me, but also to you – should be seen as an Australian Hero…because he was truly Australian and he was a Hero to the very land that we call home today.  If Pemulwuy were with us today and fought for what we now know to be “Australia” with such confidence and willpower as he did back then, we would label him appropriately and not allow him to be a forgotten part of our story.

Rest In Peace.



“Stop it. How would you like it if somebody did that to you?” – these were one of my first lines of empathy that i remember yelling out to a fellow student in my Music class when i was 12 years old as he started torturing a Moth that happened to fall on his lap by slowly plucking its wings and laughing in ecstasy.

His response?

“Shut the fuck up before i punch your head in.”

At that moment i realized something…Something monumental. I am BETTER than this person. Yes that is right, i confidently could say that at that place and time i could attest to the fact that i was indeed superior to this fellow Human Being by my side who felt no empathy, remorse or regret over the torture of an animal, yes a mere insect but it did not matter to me.

You see i used to see the World in quite a naive light- i believed that no body was above me and that i was above nobody. That somehow we are all seeing each other at the exact same level, eye to eye. This disturbing stance of mine led me to overlook the heinous behaviours of my fellow humans both in childhood and adulthood.

Besides, how could any of us reach for betterment if we are all “equal?” If there is only one throne- 7 billion rears cannot be seated on it at the same time and that is the ultimate reality in life, its the hierarchy of truth, sometimes one person is entitled to that throne- and that one day as a twelve year old kid i can confidently say i earned it.



My views of the World have changed.


This might seem like a petty example but there are many more examples of how i was the “better man” in many situations that had occured to me. Like a few years later when a few “friends” of mine cornered a cat in the unit block hall and let it shriek, cower and scream in fear as they were throwing screwdrivers and other tools at it. The fact that i felt an intense sickness in my gut and a seething hatred to these supposed friends in that moment made me realize that i was the better man, too good for their company not only then but even now.

How about the other time a supposed “friend” from a popular group suddenly asked me to “burrow” him my PlayStation and in pure manipulation never spoke to me at high school after i gave it to him. When i finally confronted him months later about giving it back to me he physically threatened to beat me up. I shriveled up as he was a big and intimidating guy but i left with a lesson that day – to trust people less- and to realize despite this happening to me i would never do it to anybody else.

Then there was the work colleague with her wide smile and friendly demeanor who worked at a cafe i had been employed at for a year. I trained her vigorously and would drive her home every time we finished work at night . I thought i had formed a bond and friendship with Will – to only learn that she had been secretly telling my bosses the fabrication that she must “follow up” everything that i do and that i am not pulling my weight- eventually she got me fired and took my job. Even then i would never do that to somebody. I attest to the fact that i am superior in my morals and she was inferior in every way that she had to stoop to such a low to achieve a “success” in her life.

What about the bullies in my school that tormented me every single day for 7 years physically and mentally? Assaulting me in every manner possible, dropping my confidence and marks to all time low. Forcing me to avoid school for three months straight and making me lick a urinal in a dirty school toilet. Why? Because i was a kind natured guy? The truth of the matter is these bullies 25 years later are still the low life scum that they were when they were kids because they were and are inherently , psychologically, mentally and spiritually void beings.

Let me tell you something, success comes from a drive that thrives within you. You don’t use other people to step on to climb to the top, you use other people as motivation on how you can better yourself and all this can be done without putting others down. This false peak of success is short lived and far from satisfying and i am proud to say that everything i achieved in my life was with clean hands.

Never did i drop to such levels in order to get somewhere in life. Each and every single achievement of mine was done with my own drive, work and integrity. Lets be honest, there are shit people in this World. People who are not on your level, people who are sub- par and limited. Do not let these people define the model of which you decide to pave your life, they are mere distractions from the fact that you are wonderful, amazing, beautiful and successful whereas they are the bottom dwellers of our societal framework.

No. We are not equal. I am better and perhaps, so are you? 🙂


I saw it coming, i saw it coming from a mile away. I am talking about the latest numerous spats by exasperated and fed up local Croatians who have been inundated with tourists from around the World (Thanks, Game of Thrones).

Yet there are some particular tourists that are copping more criticism than others and yes the Green and Gold Aussies are unfortunately one of them. Sure, we have seen it all -the not so wonderful etiquette of tourists coming to our own shores here in Australia, yet i feel like our tourism load doesn’t match our reputation, our “laid back and relaxed” welcome we greet tourists with isn’t the same “laid back and relaxed” attitude we take with us when we travel abroad.

First of all, we like to party. It must be all of our nanny state lock-out laws that make us want to let our hair down and just go crazy at Moon Parties in Thailand or Yachts sailing over the Adriatic Sea in Croatia. I get it, from a Worldwide scale our nightlife sucks and it doesn’t hurt to live a little.



Drunk Australian man plunges into the Baroque Fountain in Rome. He is then fined.


Yet one thing that i think that gets the best of us is that even though we love a good time we are not so accommodating with the customs, laws, rules and regulations of other countries and once this complaint is recognized we can turn from cute cuddly Wombats to ferocious wild “drop bears”. (Relax, they’re not real).

The latest complaint comes from Croatia. I am half Croatian and i have been to Croatia at least six times in my life. All of my Croatian family still reside there and my last visit was in 2015. When i visited Croatia in the Early 90’s until the Early 00’s people would often say “Croatia, where is that?” or they’d seem perplexed and ask if its near “Russia”.

Yet today Croatia is on every Australians radar, it’s pristine beaches, wonderful food and lively people are all part of a very attractive package, i know because i have seen it. I remember in the Mid 1990’s visiting the ancient Fortress town of Dubrovnik, back then i saw next to no tourist buses and crowds were minimal. It was a relaxed, calm and absolutely gorgeous atmosphere where locals and tourists alike could still feel a sense of peace in their day.

You see Croatia was never meant to be the next Ibiza, this is not its authentic self. Despite its huge coast it only has a few “party” towns and even then they were relatively tame compared to many other Worldwide party destinations. Boy has that changed, fast forward approximately 20 years later and Croatia has become a place synonymous with drunken adventures and us Aussies being within the top 20 drinkers in the World, why would we say no?



Drunk and part naked Australian tourist sitting in a public bench in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Yet it appears the Croatians are now fed up
. Accusing Australian tourists of having sex in public, climbing balconies, running amok and starting fights. It was only last month that an Australian man was charged in Split, Croatia for leaving a man with life threatening injuries after a fight.  Australian tourists have also been accused of vandalizing property and smashing up their accommodation.

One Croatian local claims “Young Australians are blatantly performing sex acts on the streets without any shame, pissing in our swimming pools, climbing our balconies and bathing naked in the harbour.’

The problem is these aren’t isolated cases, Croatian paper reports are coming out that are singling out Australian tourists as being especially unpleasant guests. Hospitality workers and residents who deal with Australians would know and it appears our reputation is slowly being flushed down the drain.

This is not only a Croatian problem. I will never forget when i was in Bali, Indonesia – a board short wearing, oakley sunglass wearing Australian male tourist was looking around at one of those poor clothing shacks on the outskirts of Kuta, when he addressed the older lady working there asking how much it was for a particular dress she said “120,000 Rupiah” he scoffed and said “No, no, too much, make it less” then she responded “Can do 100,000 rupiah” he then replied “No! 20,000 Rupiah” which mind you is approximately two Australian dollars. When she looked at him with relative sadness he waved the note over her face and said very condescendingly “do you want it or not!?



Anti Tourist Protests have taken place in Barcelona where locals say they feel “terrorized” by misbehaving tourists.


The problem was this man was sober and he was not young either and this is the sort of attitude that puts us all in the wrong books and we don’t deserve it. I know many fellow Australians that want to travel and absorb the country they are staying in. The good and the bad and everything in between they want to embrace as part of their experience.

Unlike another fellow Aussie tourist who complained that she could not openly drink in the United Arab Emirates nor have a “piss up” on the streets without getting arrested- she then went on to complain about the heat and the sufferance of Ramadan, despite not being obliged to partake in it.

I feel like we need to do some extensive research before visiting a place. Look at the local customs and learn them. When in Japan take off your shoes. When in remote areas of Fiji cover yourself with a Sarong. When in Dubai don’t make out in public. When in Croatia be considerate of the locals and keep the noise and rubbish down. When in Bali respect that the people there work hard with tiny wages and don’t need to be reminded how high and mighty your Aussie dollar is. When in the United States- TIP! (Even i despised this, but i conformed!).

If you are an Australian tourist and you are a well seasoned traveler with conduct, then that is wonderful. This post isn’t meant to drop your confidence or make you feel bad, it’s simply to raise awareness that our reputation is dwindling and i don’t want YOU to bear the brunt of the negative repercussions.

Let us put ourselves back in the Global scale as being tourists with dignity, respect and appreciation- let us have fun but also be mindful of the places we’re in and the people we are with. We need to reclaim our reputation and let the World know that indeed we ARE a cultured people, heck we live in one of the most Multicultural nations on this Earth, we should know better and sure as heck we do! So let’s make Australia proud! 🙂

Peace, Salam.

It’s a difficult road ahead for all of us here on Earth. The recent terror attack in Manchester is only one of many tragic events of violence, injustice and horror inflicted on innocent people here in this World and naturally such stories make us lose a bit of morale.

Stories that deal with the death of innocents, whether they be men, women or children constantly flash on our television screens and one thing we must understand is that we cannot become “comfortable” with terrorism, nor can we become desensitized to a violent World.

The Media does not help in this situation because as tragic as the story is we come to find that the media swamps us with the imagery, sounds and woes coming from such attacks and eventually we switch off and miss on many other true stories that are happening in response to such sad news.

You see since the horrors on Manchester there have been many uplifting, amazing and inspiring stories coming from Manchester itself! You very likely would have missed on most of these humble headlines but i present to you my selected top 10 stories to restore your faith in humanity post Manchester. Enjoy!

1.  £5 million raised for Manchester bombing victims in just three days

A fundraising appeal for the victims of the Manchester terrorist atrocity has raised more than £5 million in just three days.

2. The English Defence League have their rally and protest shut down by locals

Mancunians were quick to condemn a group of English Defence League protesters following the deadly explosion


Ariana Grande has offered to pay for the funerals of all the victims.

3. Singer Ariana Grande made the generous offer to pay for the funerals of all victims

Ariana Grande has reportedly offered to pay for the funerals of the 22 people who tragically lost their lives when a suspected terrorist attack took place after her concert in Manchester.

4. Homeless hero awarded free rent after saving children following Manchester attack

A homeless man who frantically pulled nails and glass from injured people’s eyes during the aftermath of the Manchester bombing has been awarded a place to live for his bravery.


The tragedy exposed beautiful friendships

5. An unexpected & deep friendship is revealed between a Muslim man and Jewish woman.

It was the photo that touched Britain, a Jewish woman and a Muslim man united in grief. The story of their 10-year friendship will restore your faith in humanity

6.  Manchester attack: The Blood bank is ‘full to the rafters’

Blood banks in the UK have received so many donations for victims of Monday’s Manchester attack they already have met their goals.


Taxi drivers offered free lifts during and after the tragedy.

7.  Generous locals offer concert goers lifts home, free taxis and rooms for the night

Generous Mancunians are offering people who were at the Ariana Grande gig either accommodation or a lift home in a taxi – while others are simply offering a cup of tea and a hug.

8. A simple Muslim social experiment in Manchester reveals a united community

A young Muslim man is going viral tonight with a moving video about how he trusted strangers – and asked them to trust him. The response is truly something wonderful.

9. Great Manchester Run: Thousands take part amid heightened security

Tens of thousands of runners pounded the streets during an emotional occasion for Manchester. The latest large-scale event to take place since Monday’s suicide bombing.


Despite tension- thousands showed up for the Manchester Marathon.

I hope these nine stories made you realize that beneath the ugly surface of terrorism there will always shine bright a common humanity that we all share. In the face of tragedy we come together and we never let hate win, if only the media used all of these actions as stories worthy of a lengthy spotlight.

Peace, Salam


A candid and honest look on perhaps why i am still not married. 🙂

So, i sit here, a man in his early 30’s who is begging the question…”Why am i not married yet?“. You see, growing up i always used to have these comical benchmarks on when exactly i would be getting married. When i was 18 i said i’d be married by 25. When i turned 25 i said i’d be married by 27. When i turned 27 i said i will definitely be married by 30. Then i turned 30 and pushed up my age of marriage to 33 (which mind you is around the corner!).

Being raised in a household with strong ethnic ties and having a Eastern European and Middle Eastern background i very often saw my family members and friends getting hitched in their early 20’s and as i grew older it really dawned on me how that was a truly unattractive prospect for me.

I suppose in the meantime i have been enjoying my life so much that it has been difficult for me to stop for a moment and analyze exactly where i am standing on this marathon called life. I come to realize that i absolutely want to get married and i absolutely want children, i am definitely not one of those “I’m too selfish to have children” sorts.

In fact the attraction for me is the fact that i am the total opposite to that, i am selfless and i put others before me, yet i cannot actually wait to have that child in my arms, that person that i am more than happy to put before myself, i am sure most parents can resonate with that.

Have i not found the right woman yet? Well, clearly not – because i am not married. Yet at the same time i do think about the cliche “It’s not you, it’s me” theology that runs through my mind. I ask myself am i prepared for marriage? Financially, yes. Emotionally, Yes. Mentally? Probably not. 

I do think the scars of a rough upbringing of many many years of intense physical and mental bullying, low self esteem and zero confidence really cut deep into my system. Despite me dropping plenty of weight in my early 20’s and regaining some of that charm and confidence that i hadn’t seen since i was in primary school- i still feel that even today, despite my outwardly popular and confident appearance, that i still have the remnants of low self confidence, self esteem and a battered value.

This in essence then makes it very difficult for me in relationships because my dream woman could be and probably is literally standing under my nose but i likely wouldn’t even realize it- because if my inward vibes synchronized with my outside vibes i would instantly recognize these women and i would snatch up any given opportunity- but i don’t.

Even though i do not appreciate the societal pressures of people being cornered into marriage and children, i do think its not for everyone. Yet it definitely is for me, if there’s anything i am certain about its the fact that i am very self aware- i strongly believe that i’d make a wonderful husband and an absolute kick-ass father, so i do not want to waste my life without sharing these qualities and attributes that i know i have, especially with people of which i know would earn and appreciate it.

In saying all of this, please remember i am not having a dig at those who choose not to get married or have children. As i said, i do not think its for everybody and people need to come to terms with exactly how they feel about these two major responsibilities. For me, i am up for the challenge, in fact i don’t consider it a challenge, i see it as a step in my life and it’s a step i am happy and willing to take.

Yet in the meanwhile i still have a lot of work to do on myself. I feel that i am still constructing myself into this mansion that i want to be, and i cannot let anybody else move in, whether wife or child, until i am happy with my home, until i am happy with me. The fact is, we cannot pretend that we can provide happiness for others when we are not entirely happy ourselves.

I am definitely not sad or depressed – yet i am a bit of a perfectionist. I want the timing to be right, i want to be mentally prepared and charged for the moment. I don’t just want to “wing” a relationship, i don’t just want to test the waters for years before i decide to put a ring on it. If i am at complete peace and harmony with myself and you happen to walk on by then good heavens i’d say watch out, but who wouldn’t want to be swept under their feet? 😉

Peace, Salam

Ah yes, as i type this the word Islamophobe and Islamophobia has a red underline on it, indicating a “spellcheck” because it is a word still not formally accepted by dictionary definition. Yet just because the word is not recognized by the dictionary does not mean a strong anti Muslim sentiment does not exist. In fact both Anti-Antisemitism and Islamophobia are on a steady rise, yet only one of these statements of intolerance is formally accepted, despite both of them being as detrimental as the other in regards to its impact on a cohesive society.

The United States, Europe and Australia have all seen an increase in Islamophobic behaviour from the minor annoyances of constant protests by nationalistic groups or to the more serious Burning of Mosques all the way to the heinous assault and even Murder of innocent civilians who just tend to share a supposed name or look to the “enemy”. In September of 2012 i received a strange friend request on Facebook from a Man that looked suspect to me.

Yes, even i fell victim to generalizing others. This man looked like your typical Skinhead that would attend those Anti Muslim rallies on the streets, rambling on about Halal, Terror and Mooslims. In fact, he outright looked like a Neo-Nazi and i was thinking “What could this guy and myself possibly have in common”.?

Minor examples of recent Islamophobic events

some recent examples of  Islamophobic                                    events in Australia.

Ladies and Gentlemen, i would like you to meet Frank Castle, my dear friend from the United Kingdom, many thousands of kilometers away but a character you wish you could meet face to face, every day! Our online friendship is approaching its third year and this man has quiet the story to tell you.

You see Frank WAS everything i feared him to be, well for the most part. Yet believe it or not, people change and this man made a 180 degree turn on his life and his attitude towards people. In the process of our mateship i did not only learn more about him, i learned about myself and the damage that generalizing could have from destroying fruitful relationships because we are so fixated on stereotyping one another.

Frank was kind enough to be Interviewed by me about his Journey from a Muslim hater filled with seething anger and hostility to the “other” to a wonderfully funny, tolerant, welcoming and kind human being who now has a Facebook Friends list that resembles a FBI Watch List (JUST KIDDING!!) 🙂 Let us begin this interview and i hope this dialogue between us can open a few hearts and change a few minds on how we see the World around us, even more importantly how we see the people around us. Peace.!

My interview with Former Islamophobe, Frank Castle

My interview with Former Islamophobe, Frank Castle

Ramey: First of all Frank, give us a brief introduction about yourself and your history.

Frank: Well,let’s say I wasn’t exactly the kind of kid that looked forward to going home. I felt most comfortable among fellow Skinheads, Rude Boys, Rastas and Punk-rockers. I was a troublesome, frustrated, youngster who picked all the fights he could. I disowned my whole biological lot and am happy about it, it’s not ‘sad’ at all. I feel much better since I got rid of them over a decade ago, my chosen family in North England and the United States, plus my taken-on children in Britain, America and Pakistan, make me feel  a lot more as a part of a family.

Ramey: Did you ever think- given your history- that you’d ever end up in a situation like this? Where you are being interviewed by a Muslim about how you’ve “changed your ways”?

Frank: Haha, absolutely not! I’m a stubborn git, changing my mind don’t come to me naturally, like my mate Danny said recently, I stick to my convictions like shit to a blanket.

Ramey: Now tell me, when did your seething hatred for Islam start? Then explain to me what periods escalated that already lingering hatred?

Frank: I didn’t really notice Muslims even existed prior to 9/11 (September 11th)- of course I knew they did, but it never mattered to me before the collapse of the twin towers. The day it happened was the day my hatred of Muslims flared up, later on revived by the 7/7 bombings (In London).

Ramey: During your period as an Islamophobe did you ever get yourself a copy of the Quran and read it, or pay a visit to a mosque to “learn more” about this supposedly evil ideology?

Frank: No, my explanation was “All I ever needed to know about Islam, I learned on 9/11.”


Frank once said

Frank once said “Everything i needed to know about Islam, i learned on 9/11”

Ramey: You describe yourself as a skinhead- during the days of your intense hate for Islam and Muslims did you openly support a Nazi like perspective of Muslims- just as the Jews were once seen?

Frank: No, not ever. Racism, fascism, Nazism, etc, were never my thing. I’ve always been a traditionalist Skinhead, my thing was always Ska, Rocksteady, Reggae, patriotism, working class background and a tough guy attitude. Extremism of any kind was always something I rejected. My hostility towards Muslims escalated in verbal abuse, physical assault and spitting, otherwise I mouthed off about how the government should do something about ‘the Islamic threat to our nation’.

Ramey: Were you ever part of extreme Nationalist groups like the English Defense League? What was your opinion of such groups during your time as an Islamophobe?

Frank: No, I always looked at such groups with great distrust, as I knew they tend to attract racists and Nazis, and so far I’ve always been proven right. I’m genuinely a patriot, that’s nothing like being a nationalist, I love my country, I don’t reject others for having a different background, never have.

Ramey: What moment in your life did you see the tide change when it came to your views on Islam and Muslims? Was it a slow moving tide or a sudden rush that swept over you?

Frank: It was a mixture of both. The deciding moment that radically changed my attitude from one moment to the next was when a teenage Muslim girl, Shahzeen, countered my disgusting comments with kindness and understanding. Of course, it took me a while to stop sounding stupid, such things don’t change overnight. It takes the patience of a Muslim to put up with that for as long as it takes. Over the years, Shazzy and I grew very close and she became a daughter to me, my love for her is deep and genuine.

Ramey: What was the biggest challenge in seeing the “other” as basically “The same” as you?

Frank: . I may not be a fan of multiculturalism, but it occurred to me rather quickly that it’s not my call and the majority loves it. Also they’re not usually breaking any laws, so that’s where I’m an example for true tolerance, which some mistake for ‘intolerance’ because they get it confused with acceptance. Tolerance is putting up with things you don’t like because they’re not actually causing you any harm- but race never came into it, as a traditionalist Skinhead who rejects political extremists and calls them ‘boneheads’  as a way to reject the notion of accepting them as our own. I feel a deep connection to Jamaican culture, that kind of wouldn’t have been possible if I ever had racist views, hahaha!

Today Frank is a changed man and has ZERO tolerance for Bigotry.

Today Frank is a changed man and has ZERO tolerance for Bigotry.

Ramey: So today, what is your opinion on Muslims and how extensive is your “Muslim Network”?

Frank:  I got to know Muslims as the kindest, most generous, and infinitely forgiving and understanding people I’ve ever met, and these days I have a ridiculous amount of Muslim friends because I  feel much more comfortable around Muslims than most other people. I now actually find it easier to forge a friendship with a Muslim than anyone else, because it is easier for me to trust a Muslims after learning as much about Islam and Muslim values as I have after meeting my baby girl [Shahzeen]. I once called the Prophet Muhammad ‘the first terrorist’, now I know he was an honourable man, a great leader, and very committed to the teachings of Jesus Christ, which he passed on to his followers to the best of his ability.

Ramey: Do you agree with the term Islamophobia and do you believe it is a real movement?

Frank: Well, a lot of things, especially the hatred of Muslims and homosexuals, are being commonly referred to as ‘phobias’, but as  Morgan Freeman said, “they’re not scared, they’re being arseholes.” So that seems to be a new, or secondary, meaning of  the term ‘phobia’ now. Movement… I have a hard time to apply that term to a relatively small bunch of braindead f*ckwits who aren’t actually doing anything besides being nasty.Yet for some time now there have been enough of  them to at least in some places be a massive nuisance to everyone, and even a considerable threat in some instances to the residents of  some local Muslim communities and a number of people who simply disagree with them.

Ramey: Are you proud of your accomplishment in banishing your past generalizations and looking at the world from another angle?

Frank: One of the very few things I’m actually proud of, yes- it has made my life better and brought the best people I’ve ever known into my life. I can’t grasp why they so easily treat the bad things I’ve said and done to Muslims like they never happened and give me their unconditional love.

Ramey: Do you have any advice for Muslims that are battling through Islamophobia today?

Frank: Well, Muslims and Skinheads have something in common: being judged for the despicable actions of a few idiots who abuse a good name for bad purposes. Us Skins handle it like this: the youngsters take it to heart, want to be understood, keep explaining it to everyone and always end up being disappointed, because no-one wants to listen, everyone loves to hate us. Should sound familiar to a Muslim, I’d say. Well, us old farts have stopped giving a f*ck long ago and just let the losers talk, and we’re much more content that way. Maybe Muslims should try that some time. As for physical attacks, I’m afraid everyone will generally have to go about that the way they usually would, there is no universal recipe against that.

Today, we are Bro's with different Mo's :)

Today, we are Bro’s with different Mo’s 🙂

Ramey: What words of wisdom do you have to the people today that mirrored you 10 years ago?

Frank: Stop being arseholes, get a grip, and start listening to people, you just might love what you hear.

Ramey: Thank You Frank for your contribution! Love ya mate.

Frank: My pleasure, bro, love ya too!


Let us start this topic with some statistical facts. Around the world men are in general more likely to commit suicide than women, bar the exceptions to the rule of course. For example in Australia men are 2.5 times more likely to kill themselves than women. In the UK men are 3 times more likely to kill themselves than women and in the USA men are 4 times more likely to kill themselves than women.

So we see a startling pattern here, men are having some critical life issues that are barely addressed and i think it is fair to make the statement that although men are not to be perceived as “vulnerable” these statistics show that indeed men are vulnerable when it comes to taking that step to ending it all and as a society we should be doing and saying things to reduce these shocking statistics.

Now let me welcome you to the all too familiar case of the Mythical “Real Man”. Indeed such language has filled my facebook feeds, news articles, twitter sphere, movies, radio and television screens. Surely you have heard it all before right? Where constantly men are being barraged about what exactly entails a “Real Man” and the most interesting thing is the people that are generally telling men how to be “real” men are…women.

Awesome, does this apply to "real women" too?

Great, does this apply to “real women” too?

Now let me first make a confession, i have never personally confronted a woman for not being a “real woman” nor have i given her a list of demands of mine that she must tick in order to become a “real woman”. Society would scorn us men, rightfully so- if we told women that “Dressing Modestly” & “Having dinner  ready by 5” constitutes a real woman. Society does not think it is right or fair for men to step in and tell women how they should behave and what attributes and actions suddenly make them “real”.

Yet when it comes to men we see that the opposite is true. Men are often being told how to act and what to do- based on a fabricated societal framework that somehow thinks it has the right to tell a man what makes him “real”. Those memes that flood my Facebook wall make me sick of men being told “A REAL MAN DOES…[insert thought or action that literally means nothing here]. Then if your man does not meet these demands he must be a useless sissy boy with undescended testicles.

Male Suicide rates in most countries are double, triple or quadruple that of women.

Male Suicide rates in most countries are double, triple or quadruple that of women.

The most frightening aspect of this entire topic is that men are so used to be told how to act and what to do that even men themselves subjegate themselves to the myth. We see men writing books about “real men” and we start to see men accuse other men of not being “real men”. The sad truth is these men are programmed into such thoughts and it only further causes a self depreciation amongst men, this time not only accusing themselves- yet accusing others of falling short.

The fact of the matter is the “REAL” man is a mythological creature– he simply does not exist and he is a figment of societies imagination. Usually the imagination of angry women who wish to confine men virtually into a box in a checklist. In my humble opinion and speaking as a man i can tell you right now that a “REAL” man is a male who does exactly what he wants and lives according to his heart and values- whatever they might be. Anything you try to add or take away from him is simply a disturbance of your own expectations and he is under no compulsion to bow down to them.

The 11 Commandments of a "real man" - is there also the female version or...?

The 11 Commandments of a “real man” – is there also the female version or…?

Look, i don’t want to start some gender war here. I love women and accept them for who they are. The fact is generally men do not go around- with the backup of society- telling women what makes them real or not. Imagine what it must feel like for a depressed middle aged man with minimal income, low self esteem, low sexual stamina and little to no looks to hear that he ticks next to no “REAL MAN” boxes. What exactly does that do to his mind? How much does it pull at his heart that he cannot be and never will be a so called real man.

This is partially why vulnerable men end up committing suicide. Men need stronger support systems to protect them from these dire statistics. The first thing to stop this madness is by easing the expectations of society on men and to allow men to explore their own emotions, character and nature. Sure when it comes to women there are all of these superficial expectations like being “thin, young and beautiful” yet when it comes to men all of these expectations turn Real and are not superficial like “Men should speak like this, look like that, pay for this, approach this like this, do things like this“. Yet it doesn’t stop there it also goes on tell you what Real men should NOT do like – “Real men do not hit, real men do not curse, real men do not cheat, real men do not lie etc.etc.”

Hi, my name is Ramey and i am a "real man"! :-)

Hi, my name is Ramey and i am a “real man”! 🙂

Society (and memes) constantly tell me what a REAL man is. Yet the fact is there is no REAL man. There are only Good and Bad men. If a man happens to do the wrong things he is a bad man, yet he is still a MAN. If a man happens to do the right things then he is a good man and indeed he is still a MAN. Yet the only thing about a REAL man that makes him real is that he follows what is within his own character and does not bow down to societies expectations. Men need to start accepting the fact that they do not need to prove to be real, nor do they need to prove to be men– all they have to do is prove to be themselves, it’s as simple as that.

Peace, Ramey.