Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The UK and the Bombings

My last post on the subject had us going into London on July 8. After that, we went to Leeds for a few days, during which the intelligence services initiated searches of several houses there, and found a lot! For me, what was interesting was the media coverage, and it left me very much of two minds.
It seems the murderers were West Yorkshiremen (of Pakistani descent) (and a Jamaican immigrant to Buckinghamshire), and the initial coverage repeated the meme from the neighbours, "We cannot believe it - they showed no signs". Of course, later reporting with more detail showed this to be nonsense - the youngest of the bunch was a wild kid, who went to Pakistan and returned a changed man, newly religious and very well-behaved. The eldest of the bunch had a long reputation locally as a fanatic. So this theme seemed pretty hollow, however much the press liked to play it.
Muslim leaders spoke out against the bombings, saying they were not good things to do. Pretty easy call.
The standard story was "Islam does not sanction the killing of innocents". What was interesting was that nobody in the media followed up on these formulaic comments by asking how the Islam in question defined innocence. I am pretty sure the murderers did not regard even the Muslims around them, co-operating in the social world that had humiliated the Caliphate, as innocents.
Some highlights - occasional moments where even BBC reporters suggested to the usual suspects representing British Islam that, just possibly, Islam played some role in the murderous behaviour of the killers. Of course, this was more than matched by the litany about how young men were feeling alienated. (When I hear the world 'alienated', I want to reach for my ...).
To my pedantic annoyance, numerous reporters wrung their hands asking "What could have driven these young men to want to blow themselves up?" Now my view is that that particular question is uninteresting - had the four of them gone out into a field and blown themselves up, the way the reporter made it sound, I would be fine with that - I might feel sad for them, but that would clearly be their problem. The real issue is not their blowing themselves up, rather blowing up the other hundreds of people who had set off that day unaware that the young man next to them was a vessel of almost pure malice.
A real highlight - Blair. I have never been able to stand his English schoolboy bearing, but in the last few years, when he speaks on the world situation, he is worth hearing. Consider the care and intelligence here. And also consider the analysis here, which I find fascinating.
Another highlight - Irshad Manji popping up all over British television for a few days. She was excellent at making all the various Muslim leaders the BBC and ITV pitted her against seem rather dull and churlish at best, always on the defensive.
Where will this all go? It is an opportunity for the UK, which has provided a seat for the fanning of the flames on this front for years now; the list of Brits who have led the Islamofascist side of the war on terror is impressive; the UK now has a chance not to go down in history as the core of the offensive that conquered Western values and snuffed out the Enlightenment.
I am on my first day back in Canada and waiting to try to read what has happened here. We have done much to try to help export terror to the US over the last couple of decades. I fear we will need to be hit hard at home to come to care.


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