Friday, 5 July 2019

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An Apology to the Muslim Community and People of Colour for My Harmful Review

This post is an acknowledgement and an apology, as I have realised earlier this week, I posted a harmful review.

Yesterday, Vicky of Vicky Who Reads shared a thread on Twitter about how awful reviews of books featuring people of colour about pain that say the stories aren't painful enough. This immediately made me think of my review on Internment by Samira Ahmed, which I then re-read, and realised it's harmful.

I am devastated and ashamed to discover that my review is harmful. While I was discussing what I considered to be plot holes, the way I thought those plot holes should be "fixed" would have resulted in more pain for the Muslim characters of colour. Having read the Twitter thread, I can now see how harmful my review was, but it didn't occur to me at the time because of my privilege. It was not my intention to hurt anyone with my review, but intentions do not matter. What matters is my review as it was may have hurt any Muslims and people of colour who read it, and that is inexcusable.

I want to apologise profusely to the Muslim community and people of colour for my review. I have edited my review, and now the harmful text has been removed so it will no longer hurt anyone, but for purposes of transparency, I have taken a screen cap of the original wording. I am so very, very sorry.

I made a terrible mistake, and I can't tell you how sorry I am. Because of my privilege, it's likely I will make other mistakes. But I promise I will always own up to it when I make mistakes. I am always trying to be better. To educate myself; to listen and to learn.

Thank you to the person who wrote the Twitter thread for educating me, and again, I am so sorry for writing a harmful review, and for hurting anyone who read it.

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