No excuses for revenge terrorism
Today’s Daily Mail carried a letter from Qasim Omar, a former Test cricketer, which mentioned that he had been attacked recently, with stones thrown at him by youths in the street, apparently in response to the terrorist attacks in Glasgow and London. He appealed to the Muslims in the UK not to undertake acts of terrorism because it would give the religion a bad name, and informed us that he was a British citizen and had pledged his total loyalty to the UK. (The same letters page also carried a letter from a half-Libyan, half-English woman who said she had also been attacked in response to terrorism, even though she was personally against it, and was giving up on the UK because of the disgusting behaviour of its people.)
I didn’t buy the paper, so I can’t reproduce the letter word-for-word, but Mr Omar told us that he understood why people would do something like this to him. I find his attitude misguided. The likelihood is that his attackers were of one or two types.
The first is mindless yobs, who would otherwise have attacked someone else, on an equally flimsy pretext - such as that they had looked at their attackers the wrong way.
The second is bigoted morons, whose view of Islam is shaped by reading sensationalised coverage of issues relating to Islam and Muslims in inferior newspapers like the Daily Spew.
If the attackers were of the first type, there would be no question of excusing them. If they are of the second, neither should there be. Why? Because what they are doing is no different from what the terrorists are doing.
They are attacking an innocent person, or innocent people, for the misdeeds of others, carried out with no prompting from those attacked. The average Muslim in the street is no more responsible for the recent attempted car bombings in London and Glasgow than the commuters in London were for the Iraq war. The terrorists for some reason wouldn’t hit the organisation which conducts the Iraq war, nor do so much as wreck a fighter plane like some brave non-Muslim activists did, and probably could not hit the politicians who ordered them to conduct it, because they are behind big concrete blocks and heavy gates with armed guards and taken everywhere in bullet-proof limousines. So they killed, to use Shaikh Nuh Keller’s phrase, generic Britons. Similarly, the morons who have been attacking Muslims since the recent bomb attempts cannot hit the terrorists - because they are either in police custody, or in a far-off country, or unknown to them. So they just hit any Muslim instead.
There are, of course, differences in scale, but the principle behind both types of violence is the same. If a Greek woman is raped by a British tourist on Rhodes, and some crazy Greek decides to go wild with a gun in London, do we “understand”? If a white man is killed by black drug dealers or other criminals in Brixton, do we let his brother throw petrol bombs round nightclubs there? Of course we don’t. In case anyone thinks I’m getting over-hyped here, in the USA people have been killed by idiots who were angry at someone quite else’s terrorism. Recently, a house in Florida was burned by some thugs who sprayed “Kill all Arabs” on the wall (the residents are Bosnian). In Scotland (alone), there have been more than 200 reports of racist incidents arising from the Glasgow bomb incident, one of them involving a truck being driven into an Asian-owned shop and set on fire.
John Major once said that society should condemn a little more and understand a little less, although in this case we “understand” these thugs perfectly. They are nuts with hatred stirred in them by reading crappy newspapers. Now that we understand, we should condemn them outright, much as we do the car bombers and guinea-pig-loving grave-robbers, without making flimsy excuses.
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