Terror Attacks 28

The link between the Glasgow and London bombs now appears to be fairly convincing, particularly as much of the confirmation is coming out of Scotland rather than from the discredited Met. What we have this time appears not to be home grown discontent, but more direct blowback from our Middle Eastern policy. I make no apologies for having noted at the start of this series of events that, while this was likely to be terrorism perpetrated by Islamic extremists, there were other possiblities and we should not straightaway jump to that conclusion. Those comments caused outrage among those who like to vilify Muslims at any opportunity, as a kind of sanctioned racism.

Now it does appear that Islamic extremists were indeed responsible for both Glasgow and London.

But my question cui bono? was also helpful in pointing out that these terrorist attacks are not only callous and inhuman, but extraordinarily stupid. Islamic terrorism fills those who hate Muslims with unholy glee. You only have to surf the internet for five minutes to prove that. At the same time it sends those of us who try to improve community relations, and it sends the established Muslim communities in the UK, into deep despair. Those in the security, weapons and mercenary industries who make billions from continued War are rubbing their hands and counting the cash.

How religious faith can lead people into such a mix of depravity and counter-productive stupidity is impossible for the sane to fathom, even acknowledging the depths of despair caused by the carnage our country has caused in Iraq. I can do nothing today but issue the anguished cry of the liberal in a brutal, unlistening World.

The only comfort, and this may be wishful thinking, is that the Brown government seems to be handling this all much more sensibly than Blair and Reid, without pushing the melodrama button or making fatuous comparisons with the Second World War. Which is not to say that we do not face yet another attack on civil liberties, but the attempt to stampede people with the psychology of fear does seem less marked. Or is that a false perception?

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28 thoughts on “Terror Attacks

  • kate

    From news I heard on BBC, the Met were up in Scotland "coordinating" the events in both London and Scotland. Therefore, I think your belief that the Scottish police are in charge may not be the case. Shades of Lockerbie.

  • writeon

    I wonder, could these attacks have been a form of warning? Showing what could have happened and what might happen in the future? The truth is that stopping terrorist attacks is almost impossible, especially if the bombers are willing to sacrifice themselves and commit suicide, become martyrs. The fact that these cells are so small and difficult to recognize is the great tactical advantage the terrorists have.

  • Sabretache

    "…. these terrorist attacks are not only callous and inhuman, but extraordinarily stupid."

    They were also extraordinarily incompetent in that the composition of all three cars could not possibly have exploded – ie caused the type of blast that would propel nails at lethal speed plus all the associated damage from a 'bomb' as properly understood. In other words could never have caused the damage to property and life that is being constantly claimed. The reason? – there was no oxidising agent present, so all the contents could possibly do was burn with the ferocity associated with a fireball and limited by the amount of oxygen sucked in from the surrounding atmosphere.

    I have no doubt that they were INTENDED to explode like a real bomb, which is cause enough for the anger being expressed, but the fact that they are sooo incompetent ought to tell us something about the true extent of their backing and the actual risks to life, limb and property.

    Having said all that it IS certainly disturbing that people should be driven to such lengths. But I disagree with the position implicit in your "How religious faith can lead people into such a mix of depravity and counter-productive stupidity is impossible for the sane to fathom". As I said in an earlier comment. I think religion per se, really is a red herring – though if even you don't see it, then we really are heading for Enoch Powell's 'Rivers of Blood'. The fundamental motivation is what this country (and by extension its citizens) are party to in Iraq and the wider Middle East. It is the kinship felt with the Iraqi people (just as we feel kinship with the inhabitants of the Falklands or a section of the Zimbabwi population for example) that is REALLY behind it.

    As I've indicated before here, if an Arab army were to occupy my little patch of this planet with similar stated aims of 'making the world safe for….. (whatever), then I would have to be regarded as an 'insurgent' by said army; and further, if I just happend to be part of a large English ex-pat minority in said Arab country, my justified anger might lead me to do stupid things too.

    None of that is a justification. It's just telling it how it is.

  • Craig


    My own thinking is that religious fanatacism and Arab nationalism are identifiably separate, though often interlinked, strands. Both have been exacerbated by our criminal Middle East policy, wit the natinalist starin being the more obvious, and to us comprehensible, reaction.

    Certainly most of the resistance in Iraq and Afghanistan is nationalist and in many ways legitimate. My own view is that most of the terrorism in the UK has been more religiusly motivated to date. The signs are that this particular incident may be more nationalist. But deliberate targetting of civilians is never justified – including when we, frequently, do it.

  • George of the Jungle

    In your article you wrote: "…sends those of us who try to improve community relations … into deep despair."

    Why should any true and blue Brit, or European, try to improve community relations with ANY member of the Muslim faith? Craig, you seem to have dropped under the spell of multiculturalism and "do good things" and the old political saw of PCism to say something like that in your writing.

    Don't you realize how very, very dangerous Islam is, and Muslims are, to the West?

    Islam is NOT, repeat NOT, a religion. It is one of the most vicious ideological and political movements to hit the world. Even worse than facism and neo-nationalism.

    Muslims, following the lead of a long-dead pedophile, and ignorant, under-educated Mullahs and so-called clerics (who still live in the 6th Century AD) advocate world domination through Islam and Shariah law.

    Muslims would like to see every country in the world bow to the so-called law of an out-dated, barbaric and repressive political and ideological regime – Islam.

    People in England, in the EU, in Canada, America, Australia, in Malaysia, in the Phillipines, in China, should all wake up to the very real threat from Islam and the call for Sharia law to take over from long-standing and tested Western ways of life, education, security, life, morals, justice, and social justice.

    We should not in any way try to mend any relations with Muslims. The West should wake up and ban Muslims and Islam from their countries and send them back to their own countries where they can poke their aresholes up in the air in praise of a pedophile.

    It has to be said. Ban Islam in the west, and return Muslims to their country of origin or belief. The west cannot pussyfoot around anymore trying to please and placate irresponsible, ignorant and dangerous fanatics.

  • kazbel

    According to today's press this is a big conspiracy of doctors. But how come doctors are so ignorant of science and technically incompetent that they can't produce an effective bomb? I'm getting really worried now – about the state of the NHS.

  • Craig

    George of the Jungle,

    People have a right to believe what they want. Fundamentalist Christians launched the invasion of Iraq. All religions have a capacity to be twisted for evil. In fact Islam, Judaism and Christianity have the majority of their content in common. The overwhelming majority of Muslims don't want the whole World to be Muslim, except in the exact same sense that the vast majority of Christians want the whole world to be Christian.

  • Sabretache


    There is no question that such acts can never be justified; and agreed, our behaviour in Iraq and Afganistan too often fall into a similar category in that the consequences of that behaviour, in terms of innocent casualties, are totally predictable. I am certainly not seeking to justify either, simply to understand what drives people to such barbarity, that's all.

    To say that the motivation of the former is religious (albeit a warped, depraved version of it – which, disturbingly, is Bliar's constant refrain and ought therefore to flash a warning light) is, in my humble opinion, a cop-out. These people are clearly VERY VERY angry about something and it should be pretty clear to anyone with half a brain what that 'something' is. IMHO It is that anger, conflated with religious affiliation, that really motivates them.

    Their actions are an abomination – no dispute; but the question 'is their ANGER justified' (as distinct from their actions)? requires careful consideration. Because, to the extent that it is, we will clearly be faced with similarly motivated action until it isn't.

  • Sabretache

    I've just seen 'George OTJ's comment. It is a classic illustration of the REAL danger we face – that of a fascist inspired breakdown of society where this or that minority is pilloried as the cause of all our woes. There is no doubt in my mind that Enoch Powells fears are thus in grave danger of realisation. Fear of (and anger at) 'terrorism' is constantly being stoked up by government; but the danger is that their abstract 'terrorism' is morphing into the concrete Muslim minority. George's post illustrates the process perfectly.

    It is the INTENT of those 'terrorists' that make George (and millions like him), justifiably, so angry. Whereas it is both the real INTENT and actual consequences of Western interference in the ME that make them so angry. Unfortunately such anger always has consequences and I fear that the consequences for our own society are likely to be very unpleasant indeed because anger at the terrorists is likely to manifest as 'the wrath of the righteous' – which can be really terrifying when directed against a clerly identifiable minority

    But let's get this in proportion; since those three incidents some 35 people have been killed and over 300 seriously injured on our roads; in other words, as a significant risk to life and limb terrorism is (and always has been even at the height of the IRA campaign) insignificant in comparison to many other everyday risks, few of which ever reach the news bulletins.

  • writeon

    I have problems with the concept of 'justification' in relation to violence and attacks on civilian targets. Whether it takes place in Afghanistan, Iraq, Britain or the US.

    I think deliberate terrorists attacks on civilian targets are simply wrong. Would the God the Muslims worship ever sanction the killing of innocent people, people who probably don't even support our wars and are appalled by the death and destruction we've instigated?

    Whilst the Old Testament God is a harsh, and rather frightening War God, and appears to sanction mass murder and violence, the Christian and Muslim God seems far less bloodthirsty and barbaric.

    Generally we perceive these 'Muslim terrorists' as being insane in their beliefs and actions. At least among mainstream politicians and in the media there is very little 'understanding' for their acts of terrorism. They are apparently willing to kill us and maim us, for no reason. They do it because they are mad/evil and they simply hate us for what we are and the way we live.

    I heard Blair just the other day say it again, they are evil people who want to destroy our way of life.

    According to him and most mainstream Western political thought, they hate us because of who we are, not what we do! This is of course a very convenient argument as we don't need to examine our actions or policies. We are dealing with enemies who are fundamentally unstable and irrational. They cannot be argued with – only destroyed.

    But this is of course a very primative form of argument. We cast ourselves in the role of innocent victims of random, irrational acts of evil violence. 'Muslim terrorism' almost turns into something like a natural phenomenon like lighting or an earthquake. Clearly one cannot negotiate with lightning or make peace with an earthquake!

    Basically Muslims are taking on the role of savages and historically Westerners have always turned our enemies in 'savages', especially if they had a different skin colour and an alternative religion to ours.

    But all this risks us slipping down a greasy slope towards barbarism and genocide, another trait of our imperialist and colonial wars. When we start moving towards the dehumanization of our enemies we risk justifying their anihilation.

    Blair and the attitudes he represents are really old-school Victorian imperialism, tarted-up in modern sounding rhetoric. It really is sad that we appear to be moving backwards in time at the same time as we think we're going forward.

  • Sabretache


    I don't think you were getting at me, but let me clarify anyway:

    I also have a really serious problem justifying violence of ANY kind. I served in the armed forces, so I believe that violence IS sometimes justified, self-defence being an obvious case (which I guess is why we like to describe our military spending as 'defence' expenditure). There are clearly also circumstances in which violent attack is the best form of defence, but they stretch the bounds of justification to its limits IMO. The fundamental question however remains: defence and attack against who/whom/what?

    I was not seeking to justify the latest (or any other) 'terrorist' attacks. What I was doing was pointing out that they were the work of some VERY VERY angry people and that it is the anger which is arguable justifiable. In just the same way as our anger at what they did is justifiable.

    The problem is that anger (righteous, self-righteous or just plain mad-as-hell road-rage type anger), whether justified or not, can be very destructive indeed. We should therefore be asking ourselves with as much honesty as we can muster (which in the case of our government is likely to be precious little) what is producing a level of anger that can repeatedly lead to such barbarity?

    OK people like George OTJ take the easy cop-out route and blame Islam; but I suggest the real answer is very different. It is our sanctimonious, two-faced, violent insistance that Middle Eastern countries must see things our way – OR ELSE.

    Our biggest problem is that, in the global stakes, the mass of the population think we are the goodies (With guns in our hands and God on our side and all that) whereas it is we who are doing the invading with extremes of violence and devastation upon innocent civilians that almost beggar belief. How on earth is that to be justified other than by the sickening, sanctimonious moral equivocations that our government persist in propagating?

  • Randal

    Again, this discussion is touching on what I consider to be one of the most crucial foreign policy issues of today – the cause of terrorism. It is crucial mainly because it is so widely misunderstood or misrepresented.

    The key error (as pointed out by Sabretache above) is, I think, represented at its worst by George of the Jungle's comments above, and at the more reasonable end by Craig, when he writes: "How religious faith can lead people into such a mix of depravity and counter-productive stupidity is impossible for the sane to fathom".

    First, it is almost never religious faith per se that leads people to these positions, and even suggesting that it is plays into the hands of those, like GotJ, who wish to promote the "clash of civilisations" or crusading world-view. It is nationalism responding to foreign occupation or ethnic rivalry that almost always leads people to these positions. The religious arguments merely provide the post hoc rationalisation and social legitimisation that all fighters need.

    To the extent that islam is the issue, it is overwhelmingly the quasi-nationalist aspect of islam in providing a group identity, rather than any issues of religious doctrine or belief, as saurabh comments on the "Home Grown Terror" thread here.

    Secondly, in my view, we also need to get away from this facile response to terrorism as "pointless", "counter-productive". In fact, sustained terrorist campaigns only occur because serious people who have given the issue a lot of thought and are willing to stake their lives on their reasoning have concluded that terrorism serves their purposes. (This must emphatically be separated from the rather tenuously linked issue of the ethical aspect.) Far from being pointless, let alone counterproductive, terrorist campaigns have been "successful" in the past, and to deny that fact is merely to deceive oneself.

    Pape ("Dying to Win") addresses this issue directly in the context of suicide bombing campaigns in particular. He writes:

    "…of the thirteen suicide terrorist campaigns that were completed during 1980-2003, seven correlate with significant policy changes by the target state toward the terrorists' major political goals."

    Terrorism is used because it is believed it can work. In the case of non-state terrorism there is often no real alternative (in military terms), because the fighters are up against overwhelmingly superior forces (in material terms, at least).

    Once this has been understood, there are at least two policy responses. The first is to respond with a determination not to let terrorism ever even appear to succeed, in order to discourage it. This is the response that suits those who promote the current "war on terror" strategy, and tends to end in perpetrating ever greater atrocities in the pursuit of atrocious and ever harder to maintain goals. The second is to recognise the unachievable nature of such an ideal and to make damned sure that when you face a terrorist campaign you are careful to remove any injustices that are driving support for it, and only fight when you can be absolutely sure you are in the right.

    The latter is precisely what we are not doing in the "war on terror".

  • Randal

    To turn to the ethical aspect of terrorism, it is vital to be honest with ourselves, for otherwise we will go inevitably into profound error.

    Morally, there are only insignificant differences between strategic bomber or strategic nuclear force crew, on the one hand, and "terrorists" on the other.

    One tends to justify or condemn such people based upon the cause for which they are fighting, but in the end they are all people who fight for a cause and are prepared to destroy innocent lives indiscriminately in order to further that cause.

    I see no reason to regard the crew of the Enola Gay, for instance, as morally superior, overall, to the 9/11 hijackers. We might empathise with the Enola Gay crew because they wore uniforms, were only obeying orders, and were fighting in a war we regard as justified (even though the claim to justice of continuing the war against Japan by strategic slaughter-bombing after Japan was substantively defeated is, in fact, not tenable). Most in the west understand that the Enola Gay crew were "regular guys" with whom we would be happy to share a few beers. They risked their lives for a cause we share. What we don't understand is that, cultural differences aside, the same would probably apply to most of the 9/11 hijackers (certainly most suicide bombers).

    The basic decency of the people concerned (in general) does not remove the absolute horror of the acts they perpetrate. This is the apparent paradox we need to resolve, but it's better to do it honestly, rather than hiding behind childish demonisation of the individuals involved.

    The point is that the underlying moral issue is disguised by cultural assumptions and by relative trivialities such as uniforms, and by subjective issues of "us versus them".

  • writeon

    I think we have a tendancy to define our violence as 'reasonable' and 'rational' – a form of violence that kills vast numbers of people way over there, and in contrast to this; 'Muslim terrorist' violence, that kills far fewer people, here, in our backyard.

    I believe basically we are rascists. We define our use of violence and death, as somehow 'good', whilst their use of violence is 'bad'.

    It reminds me of the Westerns I saw as a child. Whenever the 'indians' won a battle it was a 'massacre', whilst the US cavalry always won great victories against the savage indians.

    I think imperialism and justifications for imprerialism are at their core – rascist. We think we have a right, almost a duty to kill others, but they do not. Our soldiers are defined as 'heroes', their soldiers are 'terrorists'.

  • Randal

    Agreed, writeon.

    And when we were under real military threat and responded by intentionally slaughtering huge numbers of innocent civilians, that was justified because "there was a war on", and we did it wearing uniforms.

    Now that we have all the power and we can afford to pretend we wouldn't dream of resorting to such methods, the fact that others do is evidence they are "mad", "evil", "death-cult" primitives.

    And yet, the real truth is (even leaving aside the real issues involved in "collateral damage"), were we under a fraction of the kind of military pressure our enemies are under we wouldn't hesitate an eyeblink to slaughter babies in megadeath numbers. After all, why else do we maintain a multi-megatonne arsenal of nuclear weapons?

  • George of the Jungle

    Sabretache: you wrote: "OK people like George OTJ take the easy cop-out route and blame Islam; but I suggest the real answer is very different. It is our sanctimonious, two-faced, violent insistance that Middle Eastern countries must see things our way – OR ELSE."

    I have to disagree with you there. That is not the real answer you have given. Look at the Islamic way of life, as dictated to them by their religion (which I personally do not regard as a religion, but as a dangerous ideology – see my post above), and dictated to them by un-educated, living-in-the-past Mullahs and clerics who hand down so-called "interpretations" and rules based on those interpretations. I could go on for pages about this, but let me point out that the "way of life" as demanded and dictated by Islam absolutely excludes democracy, equality (especially of women and children), a rich and broad education, ethics and morality (it has been deemed ok by Islam, just weeks ago, for adults to diddle children as long as no penetration occurs), and many other values that are the core of western civilisation.

    We are not asking the ME to change (well, that moron Bush is demanding change at the point of a gun, but he doesn't really represent western values and civilisation), but we do get angry when these Muslims come over to Europe, the UK, and north America, and find that they cannot tolerate or blend in to western culture, and then start demanding that Sharia law be allowed to rule (where wives are considered mere chattel and can be abused for one example), and demand Mosques, and prayer times, and education programs based on the teachings of the Qu'ran, and many other demands – demands that are completely alien to western civilisation. Demands made only and solely because Islam finds democracy, social equality and justice alien to the way of Islam, and refuse to accept it.

    This is why Islam is dangerous, and this is why all those who profess to follow the teachings of a pedophile should be banned from Europe, banned from the UK, and banned from the western world, and sent back to their countries of origin. Islam will never, never be able to co-exist with a more civilised and open democracy as found in western civilisation. So, why try. It is doomed from the start.

  • ummabdulla

    I do realize that there's no point in trying to reason with you, but I can't just leave your comments…

    George of the Jungle: "let me point out that the 'way of life' as demanded and dictated by Islam absolutely excludes democracy, equality (especially of women and children), a rich and broad education, ethics and morality"

    There's not one thing in the whole statement that's true.

    And I also used to believe that stereotype of an Islamic scholar as thet uneducated mullah in the village, but nothing could be farther from the truth. If you were to look into it with an open mind, you'd find that Islamic scholars – throughout the centuries and up until today – have very advanced levels of education. There are highly developed sciences for the study of Quran (how to pronounce it as well as commentary on it, etc.), hadith (look into how hadiths are collected and classified, how there must be a chain of narrators back to the Prophet, how biographies were collected about each narrator), Islamic law, etc. Many of the scholars today have "Dr." in front of their name; you might not like them or agree with them, but they're not ignorant or uneducated.

    Muslims are encouraged – in fact, required – to acquire knowledge, and not only about Islam. Look at http://www.muslimheritage.com/ sometime.

  • Craig

    I think that it is mistaken completely to ignore the capacity of ill-motivated people to twist religion into an instrument of power, and violence. I should be perfectly clear that I do not think that there is anything inherently wrong – or violent – about Islam. Islam, in regard to its capacity to be twisted and abused, is no different to other religions. In particular, there are many so-called “Christians” who glory in the killings in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    But I do believe that an element – and an important one – in fuelling recent terrorism is the manipulation of faith.

    I also relaise the dangers of saying this. It “plays into the hands” of those who wish to exagerrate the actuarially extremely small terrorist threat here, It “plays into the hands” of those who wish to stir up hatred of Muslims. That is why the additional explanation is important – a false twisting of a decent religion, Christianity and Judaism are subject to the same thing. But the danger of not acknowledging at all that religious faith can be a personal motivation of those committing acts ot violence, is that you can seem to be removed from reality.

  • Randal

    "I think that it is mistaken completely to ignore the capacity of ill-motivated people to twist religion into an instrument of power, and violence."

    I agree that ill-motivated people certainly do twist religions into instruments of power and of violence.

    The question is, what is the cause – the primary motivating factor in the majority of cases – and what is merely one of a number of tools available to facilitate the violent actions consequentially desired? In my view, in the case of terrorism, nationalism and foreign occupation or threat are the former, whereas religion is merely the latter.

    Listen to all the angry people who express support for or sympathy with current middle east-related terrorist actions. You will often hear a jumble of comments about current affairs mixed up with islamic doctrinal issues. It is not, I think, disputed that anger often gives rise to violence, or to sympathy with or support for violence. But is the cause of their anger the suffering of those they see as their compatriots or a vicarious feeling of humiliation, or are they angered by the ideal of a new Caliphate or whether other people worship or live in different ways?

    I see the former, not the latter, in the vast majority of cases. Clearly, others see differently. I am very much in the minority in the west, though I think that can reasonably safely be put down to subjectivity and the convenience of the latter pov to power.

    Fortunately, the actual evidence supports my position rather than the majority/establishment position.

    For instance, the Chicago Project on Suicide Terrorism collected information on individual ideological affiliation for 83% of the 462 suicide attackers between 1980 and 2003. They found 43% were religious while 57% were secular. In a detailed look at the Lebanese Hezbollah suicide attackers, they found that of 38 attackers whose ideological affiliation could be identified, 30 came from communist or socialist groups opposed to islamic fundamentalism (among them 3 Christians), while 8 came from Islamic Jihad. These people were motivated by hatred of what the Israelis were doing to their country and people, not by theology.

    Where the theological tool is not available, other ideologies will be utilised instead to serve the purpose of national resistance. The Tamil Tigers (described by Pape as "the world's leading suicide terrorists") are a secular group within a Hindu society, and yet they managed to recruit "more total suicide attackers than from all of the Palestinian suicide terrorist groups combined".

    And was the recruiting of Irish republican terrorists driven by Roman Catholic ideology, or was the Catholic-Protestant divide merely another fault-line in the nationalisms of that island?

    "But the danger of not acknowledging at all that religious faith can be a personal motivation of those committing acts ot violence, is that you can seem to be removed from reality."

    Well, there is little point in thinking about things if one fears appearing "detached from reality" to those who are attached to the existing received opinion, is there? (Though you put my position a little more extremely than I would – there are always a few religious zealots around in any society, but without popular or elite support they cannot sustain substantial campaigns of terrorism).

    If islam were to vanish, there would still be campaigns of "terrorism" in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. If, on the other hand, western involvement in or support for the occupations of middle eastern countries were to end, so would middle eastern terrorism against western countries.

    The work referenced as "Pape" above, and the Chicago Study data, is taken from Robert Pape's "Dying to Win" (Gibson Square Books Ltd, 2006), which cannot be recommended highly enough to anybody interested in this general topic. It was not idle fancy that made US Congressman Ron Paul include it in his recommended list of 4 books to allow American Fascist Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani to remedy his own ignorance of foreign policy realities. I do not agree with all Pape's arguments and conclusions, but he has gathered a lot of fascinating information and his analysis is always at least thought-provoking, and often insightful.

  • Tonys Akiller

    George of the Jungle

    GotJ, you display narrow-mindedness: what of the native French, Germans, Brits, USans who have embraced Islam. What do you propose be done with them? Lobotomy anyone? I don't see why you have to purposely insult the prophet of Islam. Are you unable to express your views without such spite.

  • Tonys Akiller


    I can't help but disagree with your statement to GotJ, although I half-suspect I might have missed some subtly about your reply.

    You said "The overwhelming majority of Muslims don't want the whole World to be Muslim"

    Actually I do think most Muslims want the world to be Muslim, simply because they sincerely believe to be a Muslim is something good, and they want all people to share this goodness. GotJ, and others, seem to be hung up on the manipulation Islam, and with some justification I may add (although he certainly squanders any good will many would initially grant to him).

    I think Muslims fear to debate crucial aspects of Islam (and therefore any wrongdoings that are done in the name of Islam) because they might think they are being unfaithful/disrespectful to God, or bad Muslims in the eyes of other humans/Muslims, but I propose that the very opposite is true. Islam should be discussed and probed. I believe to do is makes one more God conscious, more God loving. That's MHO. By debating things I think some of the more unsustainable interpretations and possible distortions may be ironed out.

    GotJ sees a Muslim world as being one of tyranny and brutality, but Most Muslims picture the exact opposite and in fact believe the West has already made the world such a place tyranny and brutality.

    I loved the impassioned speech (to a Muslim audience?) you notified us of a few days ago. You bring peace to an otherwise peace less heart. Please. keep it up.

    {P.S. while in 'love-mode' I'd like to give thanks to all the other beautiful minds here.}

  • Sabretache

    I've probably said too much in this post's comments already so I'm a bit hesitant about sounding off yet again. But here goes, briefly:

    I side very much with Randal on this – and his last post is a solid summary of why. But just to add by way of enhanced clarification:

    "I think that it is mistaken completely to ignore the capacity of ill-motivated people to twist religion into an instrument of power, and violence."

    It is indeed; and that's the whole point – ILL-MOTIVATED PEOPLE. So the absolutely fundamental a-priori question must surely be "WHY are they ill-motivated"? The populist, easy, cop-out, dangerous, bitter, angry, rabble-rousing, answer is "because they are Muslims" and, of course you only have to state it to see how ridiculous it is.

    They are clearly ill-motivated for other reasons, most of which have already been well aired here. We go down a very dangerous route indeed if we dilute that proposition, or suggest otherwise, IMHO

  • Tonys Akiller

    Some truly EXCELLENT POSTS on this thread. I am leaping in the air shouting "YES" at most of what I am reading here.

    Craig is a man of truth and seems to attract other persons of truth and reason and compassion.

    My leaps of joy are particularly high at "writeon at July 3, 2007 12:02"'s post. 'Hole in one' stuff mate. Well done.

  • Tonys Akiller

    GotJ, please reference what you say

    "it has been deemed ok by Islam, just weeks ago, for adults to diddle children as long as no penetration occurs"

  • Craig


    I think that's what I said – most Muslims don't want the whole World to be Muslim except in the same sense as most Christians want the world to be Christian, etc.

  • Alien


    I noticed an interesting development today. One of the two men involved in the Glasgow airport attack was in court today, the interesting thing is he's been charged under the 1883 Explosive Substance Act and not the Terrorism Act! He is accused of "conspiracy to cause explosions" according to the BBC.

    I can see till now, although the police say the Glasgow and London incidents were linked, no information about the London incident came to light, and all the people arrested are somehow connected to the Glasgow duo.

    Perhaps charging the man under the explosive act enables the police to keep him for longer than the 28 days until they conclude their investigations and then he will face further charges, but if not, that would be an important twist.

  • MilkMonitor

    Alien: "One of the two men involved in the Glasgow airport attack was in court today, the interesting thing is he's been charged under the 1883 Explosive Substance Act and not the Terrorism Act! He is accused of "conspiracy to cause explosions" according to the BBC."

    Yet, back in June, for the 21/7 failed bombers:

    "A further charge of conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life, previously faced by each man, has now been left off the indictment."

  • Rob

    George OTJ:

    Since you pepper every one of your comments with the standard BNP idiom of the "dead paedophile", perhaps you would like to recall that in Judea and Galilee two thousand years ago, women were normally married to men no later than the age of thirteen. Hence Mary would have been a pre-pubescent teenager when she married Joseph. So by your reckoning, Christians worship the bastard son of a dead paedophile.

    Perhaps you'd like to reconsider your pathetic and repeated attempts to smear all Muslims by applying 21st century standards of sexual morality to 7th century Arabs?

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