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July 09, 2005


This morning's New York Times reported it, but you heard it from me first. The Times article said this:

LONDON, July 8 - Investigators have concluded that the bombs that ripped through three subway trains and a bus on Thursday were relatively crude devices containing less than 10 pounds of explosives each. That finding supports a theory gaining momentum among the authorities that the plot was carried out by a sleeper cell of homegrown extremists rather than highly trained terrorists exported to Britain.
The British, assuming this theory pans out, are going to have to do a lot of soul-searching about the best way to handle domestic terrorists.

The Times also had a wonderful article on the new "moderate" leadership of a mosque in London formerly given to radicalism. The article reports that London Muslims are relieved that the former imam, Abu Hamza al-Masri, who is "now detained and facing extradition to the United States to face terrorism-related charges," is gone. But "moderate" is only a relative term.
For many Muslims here, condemning terrorism does not mean condoning American or British policies.

"It is correct to say Islam forbids the killing of civilians, but we need to have a larger discussion about why these actions happened," said Imran Waheed, spokesman for the British branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a global Islamist party working for the return of an Islamic caliphate, whose activists handed out leaflets outside the Finsbury Park mosque as people left Friday Prayer. "What we want is equity or parity between the life of a Briton in the suburbs of London and a farmer in Iraq," he said.

Opposition to Britain's role in Iraq has turned the area's Muslim community away from the governing Labor Party and toward the upstart Respect Party of George Galloway, who issued a statement Thursday saying that his party had warned that the war in Afghanistan and Iraq would increase the threat of terrorist attack in Britain.

Massoud Shadjareh, chairman of Britain's Islamic Human Rights Commission, argued that injustice lends legitimacy to extremist discourse.

"There needs to be a separation between those who are committing those atrocities and those who are passionate about injustice," he said, adding that dismissing extremists outright only isolates them and makes them more likely to turn to violence. "We need to encourage that passion and give them avenues within the civil society to deal with injustices."

"We have far greater experience as victims of terror than as perpetrators of terror," said Mr. Waheed of Hizb ut-Tahrir, saying that the community's reaction to the killing of Muslims in Afghanistan and the Middle East has been "remarkably restrained."

"People need to understand the feeling on the Muslim street," he said. "People hate the foreign policy of Britain and the United States, and the West needs to consider whether constant interference in the Muslim world is productive."
"Constant interference in the Muslim world?" Here's the recent track record up until September 11:
America conducted three wars in the 1990s. The Gulf War saved the Kuwaiti people from Saddam. American intervention in the Balkans saved Bosnia. And then we saved Kosovo from Serbia. What do these three military campaigns have in common? In every one we saved a Muslim people.
The motto of the "moderate" Muslim leadership may be this: We despise you, but we won't (personally) try to kill you. Not bad, huh?