Sunday, July 10, 2005

London Bus Bombing

It was quite a waker upper to turn on the TV early Thursday morning to news of the bombing atrocity on the London subway. I had an hour before I stepped on the Washington Metro subway to work. Would there be a bomb waiting for me in DC? While the local news told of many security measures taken, the only ones I saw were a couple motorcycle cops parked outside my Metro station. I took a long look around the subway car and my fellow passengers and their bags before I opened my Washington Post and settled in for the ride. Welcome to life in the target zone.

The death toll in London to date stands at forty-nine dead, seven hundred wounded. However, more dead may be yet to be pulled up from the subway tunnel. There is a problem in counting the remains. While the police have recovered many torsos of passengers, there may be more under the wreckage of the subway cars, blown out in front of the train and then run over. The cars themselves remain full of body parts. According to a London police official, "You have hands, you have feet, you have legs, you have organs, and until we can match A with B you're not certain." So the reason why the names of the dead have not been released is that they are too mutilated to be easily identified.

The terrorists were only partially successful. Their attack on three subway trains succeeded, the blasts occurring within a fifty second span. However, a follow on attack an hour later on a bus was apparently premature. When the police rerouted the No. 30 bus due to the subway attack, a man on the top of the double-decker bus was seen nervously fidgeting with his bag immediately before the detonation. He may have blown himself up by accident. There is a report that the Brits are reassembling him. There are conflicting reports that two other bombs were found unexploded on other buses or that they were found to be harmless packages.

Meanwhile, Adil Salahi of the Arab News from Saudi Arabia, is puzzled, really puzzled why people would jump to conclusions and think Muslims to blame. Adil strikes a moral pose:

It must be stated in the clearest of terms that Islam views such acts as crimes of the worst type, because they are aimed at defenseless civilians, causing indiscriminate killing irrespective of nationality, race, color, sex or age. Islam condemns such an operation without hesitation.
But that's not what the Wahhabis teach young Saudi kids in school, what they print in the Arab press, nor what they broadcast on their internal TV. But that's what I like about the Saudis: They serve their hypocrisy straight, no ice, no lime salt around the rim, please.

The silver-tongued Adil goes on to identify the problem as not Al Qaeda, but Islamaphobia:

Why is it that the first reaction always moves in the direction of blaming Islam and Muslims? Western media immediately speak about Muslim involvement, and some politicians are quick to toe this line. ... This is merely the result of Islamophobia, a phenomenon that has been nurtured over many years and has now taken root in many Western societies, with the result that Islam is instinctively associated with practically every terrorist attack anywhere in the world.
At last we have found the root cause for the Sep 11 attacks: Islamaphobia! The Madrid bombings? More Islamaphobia! The Bali bombings? You guessed it, Islamaphobia again! Let me extend my profuse thanks to the Saudis, our "allies in the war against terror," for explaining all this away.

I may have been led astray in blaming Muslims for such atrocities by evidence like this slickly made instructional video for suicide bombers attacking buses, narrated in Arabic. Probably a product of Palestine, the production values are excellent, like a corporate video. In twenty-six minutes, it gives detailed directions about how to pack a suicide belt with shrapnel and high explosives and where to position yourself to kill the most passengers. As music plays in the background, the narrator helpfully explains:

When the person who will be wearing this explosive vest goes on the bus, and wants to blow himself up, he must be facing the front with his back toward the back. There is a possibility that the two seats on his right and his left might not be hit with the shrapnel. However, the explosion will surely kill the passengers in those seats.
This video is all over the radical Islamist websites. They must be Islamaphobic, too.

Then again, maybe the finger of blame hovers around the Muslim head because of threats of future attacks on London from the likes of Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad of the al Muhajiroun group, who also applaud the September 11 attacks on the United States. Quoted in lexpress.mu, he predicted a large attack against London last year in lexpress.mu:

It’s inevitable. Because several attacks are being prepared by several groups ... I know that they are ready to launch a big operation. ... We don’t make a distinction between civilians and non-civilians, innocents and non-innocents. Only between Muslims and unbelievers. And the life of an unbeliever has no value. It has no sanctity. ... The British also are terrorists, in Iraq...Terrorism is the law of the 21st century. It's legitimate.
Sheikh Omar had famously remarked earlier that he wanted to conquer England for Islam, to fly the banner of Islam at 10 Downing Street. Asked to comment on that, the Sheikh replied:
Yes, it’s my dream. I believe one day that is going to happen. Because this is my country, I like living here.
It's enough to give you Islamaphobia.

2 Comments:

Blogger Abu Sinan said...

Give you Islamophobia Steve? You have had it long before this attack, and long before 9/11 I suspect. For people like you there is nothing that Muslims could say to make things better. You hate Muslims, you hate Arabs, the only ones you tolerate are those so Westernised as to be unrecognisable and who refuse to practice their religion.

You are the typical ugly American and are a good example of why the conflict is set to stretch into decades. Of course, you dont mind, your blood isnt being spilt. Just like the other chicken hawks in DC.

Mon Jul 11, 07:58:00 AM 2005  
Anonymous Abu Joseph said...

Abu Sinan, your comments are steeped in misunderstanding and prejudice. Remember that America was attacked first. They have a right to hate their enemies - enemies that want to kill them and the ones they love - and especially an enemy that cowardly attacks innocent people as the terroist Wahabbi's have demonstrated time and time again - Not only in the US but in other countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Spain, France, England, etc. Anyone that supports these terrorists and their actions should be hated as well.

Your reply reeks of hate and intolerance. It is this same intolerance and lack of understanding you and others display that only fuels the hatred further.

Your profile states you are a white American Islam convert. What an amazing gift this country gave you: religious freedom and free speech. Most Arab countries wouldn't allow you to voice your opinion, yet you hate those who's voice differs from your own. Start realizing the hippocrite you are and appreciate all that you are lucky enough to have. Your argument and emotions should be focused on those that terroize in the name of Islam as they are the cause of your issues and concerns.

Everything else is a reaction to these terrorists and their actions. So you must choose to either support the terrorists or the freedoms that have allowed you to become the person you are right now. I hope you make the right choice.

Mon Jul 11, 11:28:00 AM 2005  

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