I noted recently in "[Nepal and France:] Two Opposite Responses to Terrorism" the supine reaction of the French government when two of its citizens were abducted in Iraq, specifically the fact that for a while during this episode, "Islamic organizations effectively took charge of the country's foreign policy."
Not surprisingly, the abduction of a British citizen in Iraq, the engineer Kenneth Bigley, led the Blair government to go even further down the road toward servility and dhimmitude. It rounded up two Islamists, Daud Abdullah and Musharraf Hussain and, in the description of the Times (London), frantically rushed them to Baghdad on Sept. 24. There, they enjoyed the protection of their government, "ferried to meetings outside the relative safety of the American-protected green zone by the British Embassy, wearing bullet-proof jackets and protected by armed British guards."
Abdullah and Hussain then spoke at a televised press conference. And what did they have to say?
They addressed the Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of the Tawhid wal-Jihad group and someone described by the Times as "the mastermind behind scores of suicide car bombings that have killed hundreds of Iraqis as well, as the beheading of several foreign hostages." Abdullah declared that by releasing Bigley, "You will not only be rewarded by Allah, but your sins will be covered up and you will be forgiven for all your wrongdoings." He proceeded to attack his own government and sponsor: "Whatever the mistakes, errors, sins or crimes the British Government committed, we do not believe a British national should be held responsible."
For good measure, the delegation brought a letter from Yusuf Islam, the former Cat Stevens recently deported from the United States for his support of terrorism; Islam called for Bigley's release "in the name of Allah."
Fortunately, one British Muslim leader spoke out against this nonsense, that being Labour peer Baroness Uddin. "I hope that we have arrived at a juncture in grown-up politics where we do not have to rely on futile gestures like this, or a stunt like this, to demonstrate how seriously the Muslim community abhors the actions of such terrorists and how they are truly British citizens." (September 27, 2004)