Opinion: Violence Can Lie Within All Ideologies; Islam Needs to Address Violent Elements Within

July 17, 2005

Source: The Observer


On July 17, 2005 The Observer ran an opinion piece by Jason Burke on the July 7 London bombings and the association of Islam with terrorism. Burke writes, "Such ludicrous conspiracy theories [that America or 'the Jews' were responsible for terrorist acts] surfaced after 11 September and, on the evidence of the letters pages of many newspapers in the Middle East and south-west Asia, have once again... [S]uch ideas are rooted in a simple evasion. The unpleasant truth is that there are considerable elements within Islam that are very useful to violent militants. As a result, Islam is an integral part of the threat we now face. This is difficult for a non-Muslim to state, and leaves me open to accusations of Islamophobia, but is true. And it needs to be admitted and discussed, not swept under a carpet by a politically correct broom... Identity issues, frustration, anger, a sense of injustice, alienation ... all may have motivated the four bombers. But it was resources within Islam that underpinned their sense that their acts were justified. Yet before we embark on a round of religious finger-pointing, we should note that all major faiths are the same. They can all offer help for different needs and agendas."