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WHY LONDON SUFFERED
by Robert Edwards

Sir Iqbal Sacranie OBE is the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain. He was also often in conference with Blair’s government, sending messages back to Britain’s Muslim community. Mr Sacranie has so much influence in higher places that he has also served on the Advisory Council of four Home Secretaries.
Although he was also active in the anti-war demonstrations that marked a sizeable dissatisfaction with Blair’s illegal war in the Gulf, he remains an Establishment figure and was willing to bolster Blair’s PR shortcomings.
The suicide bombers that struck at the heart of London, blowing off the top of a London bus and causing explosions in the Underground system, were allegedly motivated by religion. As it stands, suicide is proscribed by Islam ... a principle that seems to concern many Muslims in Britain.
Sacranie has been wheeled out on several occasions to put the “moderate” Muslim point of view but in an atmosphere of tension and suspicion, heightened by increased security measures, there seems little room for moderation at the present time.
We condemn terrorism and we condemn the murder of innocent people. The suicide bombers were criminals, however misguided, and those involved in a second attempt are beyond redemption if guilty. The fifth man arrested in Italy claimed he was not motivated by religion but by watching videos of the ill-treatment of Iraqis by Coalition forces. This is probably much nearer the truth than suicide bombers blowing themselves and others to pieces in order to get their hands on a gaggle of virgins in the after-life. Suicide is a high price to pay for sexual gratification.
If the government seriously wants to defeat terrorism then it means it must understand the nature of this terrorism and what motivates it. It must get to the root of the problem and address the issues.
Mr Sacranie also supports the Palestinian people in their long tragedy. Surely he would have made these feelings known to Tony Blair and previous Home Secretaries in his capacity as an advisor to the government. We can assume that Blair is fully aware of Muslim feeling towards the violation of the rights of Arabs under Coalition occupation and those under the brutal oppression of the Israelis.
But Blair was a prisoner of his own ill-doings in partnership with George W. Bush and could not extricate himself from the evil he had perpetrated. He justified the unjustifiable and lies through his grinning teeth. The advice from Sacranie could only be viewed in the light of his own inextricable position.
We have sizeable Muslim communities in Britain and within those communities is dissatisfaction among Muslim Asian youth. This is focused mainly on British and American foreign policy, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan. No matter that the invasions of these countries were illegal; it is the continued presence of the infidel invader further humiliating the population, often in atrocious ways. These lands, including Palestine, are regarded as sacred soil to many Muslim youths and so, in a world of empty materialism, they identify with their Muslim brothers in common cause.
It is not so much passages from the Koran as the more prosaic facts of human rights abuses inflicted upon their fellow Muslims that motivates the suicide bomber. It is the same in Palestine.
A disturbing consequence of the London attacks is the eagerness of the government to push through security measures in the form of draconian legislation. The latest proposition is that suspects could be kept locked up for questioning by the police without charge or trial for months on end. We know that this kind of legislation can be used as a catch-all for any type of “suspect”, including those members of the far-right groups who have been the victims of a drawn-out campaign of persecution by the government and Special Branch, continuing to this day.
Is it a coincidence that the IRA has declared an end to its paramilitary terrorist activities just as Blair kick-starts a heavy clamp-down on another kind of terrorism? Was a deal struck in order to give the British government a free hand elsewhere, bearing in mind that there were more British troops in Northern Ireland than there are in Iraq?
The reality is that Blair must take a great deal of responsibility for the carnage in London. His failure to recognise this or, worse, to ignore the advice that people like Sacranie have given him, makes him beneath contempt.
It is a wise principle not to give in to terrorist demands ... but these suicide bombers had not made demands and this difference between the IRA’s call for a united Ireland and the Muslim bomber who attacks without explanation is the real root of the confusion.
We do not persecute minorities and we do not point the finger at all Muslims for this entire hullabaloo concerning Washington’s war on terrorism and, as others perceive it to be, a “clash of civilisations”. It is nothing of the kind. The demonisation of Islam clouds the issues which are more to do with a superpower wishing to take what it wants from where it wants and by any means open to it. It has more to do with a growing resentment amongst a generation that feels it has nothing to lose in an entire world seemingly against them. In Palestine, in Afghanistan and in Iraq ... the call is the same.
Would the London bombings not occurred if we had not participated in the illegal invasion of Iraq or the occupation of Afghanistan? Probably not, because the core problem remains as Palestine where the oppressor is Israel and the American taxpayer is the unwitting and generous paymaster.
Like many of these issues the roots of evil go far back into the past, so far back that we tend to forget them and prefer to invent completely knew reasons at our peril.