It’s not just about Iraq

its-not-iraq123Johann Hari is a noted British journalist and columnist for The Independent. In a column entitled “The attacks on London—and the battles to come”, Hari makes an excellent observation, that the attacks in London, Madrid, Bali and elsewhere are misunderstood if they are seen only as a response to the war in Iraq.

There is a civil war raging within Islam against a more moderate, progressive, western-friendly approach to faith. It is a war by hard-liners against all westerners, including more moderate Muslims.

Here is how Hari expresses it:

I headed for the East London Mosque—a few minutes’ walk away from the bomb in Aldgate—to watch afternoon prayers. In the stark white prayer hall, there are three hundred Muslim men, some wearing traditional white robes, others in leather jackets and jeans. Chairman Mohammed Bari reaches the podium and says, “Only yesterday, we celebrated getting the Olympics for our city and our country. But a terrible thing happened in our country this morning… Whoever has done this is a friend of no-one and certainly not a friend of Muslims. The whole world will be watching us now. We must give a message of peace.”

As everybody mills outside the mosque, there are groups forming to go and give blood at the Royal London Hospital up the road. Many people make a point of smiling at me, an obvious non-Muslim in their midst. There is an awareness here—although not yet in the rest of the country—that the Bin Ladenists who planned these massacres despise democratic, non-violent Muslims who choose to live in the West as much as they despise the rest of us. (emphasis mine) Anybody who tells you these bombers are fighting for the rights of Muslims in Iraq, occupied Palestine or Chechnya should look at the places they chose to bomb. Aldgate? The poorest and most Muslim part of the country. Edgware Road? The centre of Muslim and Arab life in London and, arguably, Europe.

This is not a fight between Muslims and the rest of us. It is a civil war within Islam, between democratic Muslims and Wahhabi fundamentalists who want to enslave or kill them. Yassin Dijali, 31, says, “It could have been our children on those trains too. This is where we belong. These people are insane.”

Read the whole post. It is worth remembering that many Muslim are moving to Europe and the US because they want to live and practice their faith in freedom, away from the tyranny of radical clerics in the Middle East.

(Thanks to: Get Religion)

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  1. I agree with this Charlie. At the same time – re: the London bombings – 3-4 million people ride the tubes every morning and pass through a number of stops. It may have been easier for the bombers to blend in and plant bombs at those stops, but they weren’t necessarily targeting the areas because they were muslim. My sister doesn’t live in those areas but her trian was on that line that morning – she’s ok though.

    But yes, it is terrorism against both westerners and moderate muslims. That’s part of the insurgency problem in Iraq, and the way they kill other muslims.

    As usual a good though provoking post from you!