Opinion: Three Bombing Suspects From Mirpuri Community, History May Explain Why

July 18, 2005

Source: The Guardian


On July 18, 2005 The Guardian ran an opinion piece by Madeleine Bunting on the history of Britain's Mirpur population, seeking to explain why three of the four suspected bombers on July 7 were from this background. Bunting writes, "The room is packed, the discussions go on way beyond the allotted time: this was a meeting of young professional Muslims in London at the weekend. The anguish and self-criticism was unstoppable as they struggled to find answers to how their faith could have nurtured such a perversion as suicide bombers in London... The themes at the core of their discussions were about the failed transmission of Islamic values in Britain and the collapse of Islamic authority - long traditions of respected scholarship and religious leadership were all cast aside on 7/7 by these four young men - why?... First, the families of the three Leeds-based bombers were originally, in all likelihood, from Mirpur, part of Pakistani Kashmir. Mirpuris form 70% of the British [Pakistani] population, and the figure is even higher in northern towns. Just as the dominant role of Saudis in 9/11 led to a spotlight on the religion and politics of Saudi Arabia, so attention will focus on Mirpur." Bunting goes on to describe in detail some historical background of the Mirpuris in Britain.