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Here we go again!

Reader comment on item: Piggybacking on Terror

Submitted by Sword of Islam and The Babies of Beslan (United Kingdom), Aug 29, 2006 at 18:12

I think that the reaction that this 'pressure' received is more illuminating than the rather naive conclusions drawn by the article. The same press that denounced this laughable 'pressure' are the same press that were considerably more sympathetic to these Muslim representatives just months ago. I think that we should welcome such counter-productive veiled threats as they only serve to harden public opinion.

In the past it has been far more difficult for our media to attack mainstream Islam as the only comment that one could elicit from it's leaders was the tired old 'party line' that 'Islam is a religion of peace'. Nothing more. They exercise absolutely no power over our government and any PR exercises by the British government in 'listening' to such grievances is hardly the same as creating legislation based on said grievances. I personally welcome such hamhanded overtures from the Muslim community and hope to see many more. It is the same rope that they will hopefully swing from at some point in the not-too-distant future if they go too far.

It should also be noted that Muslims represent under 3% of our population in the UK. Despite the disproportionate public platform that they acquired after 9/11 that's pretty far from being an occupying force. It also represents half the number that reside in France despite virtually identical population sizes. As a percentage of population it is only marginally higher that that of the US. The French may appear to be 'tougher' on Muslims, if certain articles are to be believed, but then they are tougher on everybody given the fact that it is much more of a police state than the UK is. It should also be noted that the French have historically had far more domestic trouble with Arabs that the US and UK combined owing to it's colonial misadventures in that part of the world and, in particular, decades of trouble with Algerian terrorist cells. They've been 'hit' many more times than the UK so one has to question their success rates in dealing with such menaces.

The quote that 72% of people now accept the Islamist view that Mr. Blair's "backing for action in Iraq and Afghanistan" has made Britain more of a target for terrorists seems like rather an underestimate. It is ridiculous. It should be patently obvious that this is a fact. The London tube bombings prove this. The timing was hardly a coincidence. Did this act do any more than provide 24 hours of inconvenience on a couple of tube routes? No. It certainly didn't affect government policy. Unless the aim of the Muslims was to increase British troop numbers in Iraq and Afghanistan! If they sought to elicit the same cowardice from the Brits as that of the Spanish who hurriedly pulled out their tiny contingent of troops from Iraq then they clearly died in vain.

To state that this logical observation that London is at increased risk is an 'Islamic' view seems rather dishonest distortion of the picture. A more important benchmark would be to ask whether, or not, this increased risk has weakened our resolve. I've yet to see any indication that this is indeed the case. People are generally wary of bombs. This is not a particularly Islamic view. In fact, one might say it is completely opposite given the Arab fondness for wearing them! However it has yet to affect, nor is it ever likely to effect, British foreign policy.

Therefore I completely agree that Muslim aggression is ultimately self-defeating in the court of public opinion but we've yet to be hit hard enough or often enough to see a real backlash in this country. Hence the self-recrimination that is left-over baggage from the days of colonialism and wondering if we can possibly be on the 'side of the angels' when bombarded with images of US servicemen and women abusing Iraqi prisoners, and detainees in orange jump-suits being detained in shackles for years without due process or charge, rendition of prisoners, US presidential election scandals, the appalling treatment of New Orleans and the utter absence of WMD. On a domestic level British police officers adopting a 'shoot first, ask questions later' policy against an innocent man also adds further mud to the waters. The good guys don't wear white hats anymore.

Appeasing such Muslim rhetoric with action would justifiably make for a disturbing story but the appeasement of such demands with further empty words rather than any change to government policy or legislation ranks of scaremongering. There's no story there. Just more cause for alarm among those who don't know any better. And if the persistent inaccurate labelling of London as a Muslim enclave helps alienate British public opinion yet further and results in a collapse of the 'coalition of the willing' then I am sure that the Arab media will be quick to send congratulatory telegrams thanking you for doing their work for them. And George W. will look even less credible than he already does without Tony B. there to translate for him!

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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