Opinion: London's Attacks Close to Home; British Muslims Drop Politics and Express Unequivocal Condemnation

July 9, 2005

Source: The Telegraph


On July 9, 2005 The Telegraph ran an editorial commenting on the July 7 bombings in London and the Muslim community's response to these attacks. The editorial staff writes, "This time, the disgust of the Islamic organisations has been palpable and uncomplicated. In the past, Muslim spokesmen have sometimes felt the need to tack political observations on to their statements of condemnation. Although they were clear in their opposition to the New York, Bali and Madrid bombers, they often went on to add that they saw the occupations of Palestine and Iraq as underlying causes of the violence... On Thursday, however, ...no one tried to make cleverdick points about foreign policy... All of us feel an irrational sense of identity with 'our' people, even when their actions repel us. It is what psychologists call 'in-group identification'. It makes us support 'our' sports teams, whatever the qualities of their players. It makes a number of church-going Irish Catholics hold back from total condemnation of republican terrorists. And, until now, it has made some British Muslims want to temper their repudiation of the bombers with understanding. This time, though, the fanatics have over-reached themselves. After years of slaughtering Muslim civilians in Algeria and Iraq, they have brought their horrors to us, leaving Muslim Londoners in no doubt as to who their 'in-group' is... The bombers are on their own."