A British soldier who lost his leg in Iraq has posted a powerful message to people “expecting racism” from him just because he “got blown up”.
Chris Herbert was just 19 when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in Basra, Iraq which killed his friend, injured another and left him facing the prospect of living the rest of his life without his right leg.
In the weeks after the Paris atrocities, the former serviceman said he has been troubled by the number of people who have expected him to be Islamophobic just because a “Muslim man blew me up”.
In a powerful Facebook message, which has been shared tens of thousands of times, Herbert goes on to list the Muslims who have helped him – including the Muslim surgeon who performed the surgery that saved his life.
Herbert, who lives in Portsmouth, also speaks about the “white Brits” who have done unpleasant things to him in his life.
“If you want to hate an entire race of men and women for the actions of a few d***heads feel free, but don’t push your views on me, thinking I am an easy target because one d******** decided it was my day to die,” he wrote.
“Blaming all Muslims for the actions of groups like Daeshe and the Taliban, is like blaming all Christians for the actions of the KKK or Westboro Baptist Church.
“Get a grip of your lives, hug your family and get back to work.”
His message – just a day after Donald Trump sparked outrage when he called for all Muslims to be banned from entering the US – has won praise across social media.
“You’re a wonderful person you are,” Heather Hills said.
Calum John said: “One of the best things I’ve ever read on Facebook this!”
“Amazing words,” Richard Egan wrote.
ITV News has approached Chris Herbert for further comment but in the meantime, here’s his Facebook post in full: