A year on from the
The key questions remain. To what extent was the bombing about “Islam”? The fact that 1 in 8 British Muslims apparently think of the bombers as “martyrs”, the fact that hundreds of young Muslims protested the Danish cartoons with placards promising Europe more carnage, means that the suicide bombers cannot be described as a couple of misguided young men who “misinterpreted their religion”, as the Anglican priest wheeled on to BBC Radio 4 this morning claimed. But the fact that most Muslims were as disgusted as other British people by the bombs means that – contra Melanie Phillips et al – Islam as a whole is clearly not to blame.
Or to what extent was the bombing about the war in
Secondly, what can we do about this “home grown threat”, as our official opinion formers constantly – and banally – call it? There is a strong call – from New Labour and points right – for a more assertive policy of assimilation. Yet on one level the “home grown” bombers were all too assimilated. Where their parents and grandparents were positioned as guests in
Others call for a renewal of multiculturalism, for more “understanding”, for tolerance and interfaith dialogue. Good-hearted though this call may be, surely the notion that
And, finally, what of the policing and intelligence failures that allowed 7/7 to happen? It is the nature of this sort of terrorism that it is impossible to perfectly police. As the old Nihilist slogan went, the state has to be lucky all of the time; the terrorist just has to be lucky once. What is clear, though, is that the state should be transparent and honest about what they did and didn’t know and about what might have gone wrong. In the absence of honesty and transparency, the conspiracy theories that breed in our digital age fester and spread.
My July 2005 bombing archive:
- London Under Attack, Freedom and democracy under attack
- The Day After
- Leadership Under Attack
- My London
- Islamism: A Doctrine of Revenge
- Chickens coming home to roost
- More chickens coming home to roost
- London: In defence of the multicultural
- Not Afraid?
- London versus the terrorists
- Community of Believers
- Terrorists and 'Terrorists'
- Another Day After
- Blair's fault?
- East London and Stockwell
- Fascists? Shrill tone
- Useful Idiots
Trackback: Michael Weiss at Slate