Thursday, July 07, 2005

On today's terrorist attacks in London

As I arrived to work this morning, and went online for my usual tour of newspapers and media outlets, I discovered, to my horror, that the London subway has been the target of terrorist attacks. In the words of Ken Livingstone, mayor of London: "This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty or the powerful, it is not aimed at presidents or prime ministers, it was aimed at ordinary working-class Londoners," he told reporters. "Black and white, Muslim and Christian, Hindus and Jews, young and old," he said. It was an "indiscriminate attempt to slaughter irrespective of any considerations for age, class, religion -- whatever."

In these sad moments, my thoughts and prayers go to the victims and their families.

Today's cowardly attacks show one more time the ugly face of ignorance combined with religious fanaticism. Let's face it: muslims today are in a state of deep moral crisis, and the large majority of them do not even know it. The day the muslim ummah will realize how much the religious discourse of certain currents within it has deviated from Islam's ideals of humanity and justice, we will have gone a long way toward eradicating this evil among us.

5 comments:

Jallal said...

I don’t know what to say. To my dismay, I observe that the terrorists are still able to organize and perpetrate deadly bombings on the day or on the eve of a major event. They did it in Madrid just before the elections. They did it now at the same time the G8 summit is being held. At this very moment, I just think of the casualties and their families. It could have been anyone of us. And it still can be anyone of us today or tomorrow…

Jawad said...

Look, I have said this before and I will say it again - so it is not some emotional response to today's massacre - anybody who underestimates the capabilities and strength of global terror networks should be fired from government immediately. Those who believe that the absence of attacks at any given time is proof that “terrorists are being defeated” is at best incompetent. These criminals are very entrepreneurial about their enterprise - terrorism. They are extremely patient, very smart, immensely committed, and outrageously brutal. Here is the thing: THEY DO NOT NEED TO WIN. On the other hand, we do. See, there in lies the problem. They have to have a “cause” to call “a Jihad” so that they continue their criminal enterprise and they feed off our responses. They want us locked in a vicious circle because that’s where they thrive – and most importantly that’s where they find their “cause”, their “Jihad”.

Jallal said...

Yes, they do not need to win, and besides, they don’t have any time constraints. If they feel security is tightened up, they have the freedom to wait years before striking again. That’s indeed what makes them powerful. It makes me think that unless Muslims throughout the world are deeply and much more involved (and this involvement cannot be that important without sincere intentions from all parts) in the struggle against terrorism, any other endeavor would be doomed to failure.

Jawad said...

Thomas Friedman wrote a column today echoing some of what you're saying Jallal. I agree that we, Muslims, have to fight the cockroaches in our midst. We are the only ones who can actually defeat them. But, I think Friedman in his column misses an important point when he was calling for condemnations by "village elders". He, in my opinion, is not aware that there is a generation gap in the equation that complicates the story. The 'Zarqawis' of the world do not care one bit about what Tantaoui or other scholars say or do. The new generation of Muslims generally does not revere their elders as was once the case. So, whether the elders issued Fatwas or condemnations or whatever, they would have minimal impact on this new breed of murderers. We can hit them hard when we blast holes is in their ability to recruit and when we choke their ideological and logistical lines - A process that will take time. We need to deny them "a cause" - and that's what we need to figure out. But, you are right Jallal, it is us and only us Muslims who can do it.

Jallal said...

Yes, Jawad, choking their ideological lines, this is what I meant, among others, when I spoke about this meeting in Jordan. I think much more debate among Islamic scholars and experts should take place in the Arab world. What we are witnessing, currently, is more monologues and fewer debates, more general and reactive statements and less explicit confrontations on ideological grounds. A mere passive condemnation as you said won’t be efficient. In spite of this point, for once, I agree with the general lines of T. Friedman’s column.