Britons Joining Israeli Army as Bad as Fighting for Hamas, Says London Mayor
By M. Ghazali Khan
At a time when British
Muslim organisations and individuals, despite their unreserved
condemnation of London blasts - now known as 7/7 - are facing intense
pressure from all corners to share (read accept) the blame of the tragedy,
one of the most sane voices among politicians, Mayor of London Ken
Livingstone, replying to a question on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme said
that the intervention by Western governments might have been the
motivating factor behind these attacks. “I think you've just had 80
years of western intervention into predominantly Arab lands because of the
western need for oil….
"We've propped up unsavoury governments, we've overthrown ones we
didn't consider sympathetic.
"And I think the particular problem we have at the moment is that in
the 1980s... the Americans recruited and trained Osama Bin Laden, taught
him how to kill, to make bombs, and set him off to kill the Russians and
drive them out of Afghanistan.
"They didn't give any thought to the fact that once he'd done that he
might turn on his creators."
Mr Livingstone also denounced "those governments which use
indiscriminate slaughter to advance their foreign policy, as we have
occasionally seen with the Israeli government bombing areas from which a
terrorist group will have come, irrespective of the casualties it
inflicts, women, children and men".
He went on, "Under foreign occupation and denied the right to vote,
denied the right to run your own affairs, often denied the right to work
for three generations, I suspect that if it had happened here in England,
we would have produced a lot of suicide bombers ourselves."
This is not the first time that Mr Livingstone has expressed such clear
and fair views. In the past he has come under attack by pro Zionist lobby
for his vocal criticism of Israel and for welcoming Egyptian scholar Yusuf
Al-Qaradawi in London Assembly. In response to a question in an
another programme on Channel4 News programme Mr Livingstone went as far as
saying that if a Briton went to Israel, joined the army and killed the
Palestinians it is never reported but if a Muslim went to fight against
Israel it is widely reported by the media. The Mayor condemned both of
Implying the undue coverage given to Hizb-ut-Tahrir
Mr Livingstone criticised a section of the media for giving too much
publicity to certain figures who, he said, were "totally
unrepresentative" of British Muslims. Muslims in Britain are
sceptical about genuineness of these two groups. The general perception is
that over the years extremists who propagated hatred worked with impunity
while several innocent Muslims have been questioned. (See Milli
Gazette 16- 31 May 2004)
Apart from Ken Livingstone, many other politicians, including the known
anti-war MP George Galloway, have linked London bombing with Britain’s
foreign policy, an argument rejected by Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Calling it a “twisted logic” Mr Blair said that terrorists "will
always have their reasons for acting". He said that before Iraq it
was Afghanistan, before Afghanistan it was Palestine. Borrowing George
Bush’s phrases he said that it was an attack, “On our way of life”.
However the fact that no sooner the news of 7/7 was flashed than the Prime
Minister blamed Muslims for the tragedy is a clear indication that
somewhere in his heart he admits that his foreign policy has contributed
in strengthening the fringe elements in attracting new recruits in their
so called jihad.
Since 7/7 a number of attacks on Muslims and mosques have been reported
including a 48 year old man of Pakistani descent being beaten by a white
The alleged perpetrators of 7/7, three of them of Pakistani descent, are
reported to have led normal lives and were not known to have any
association with any extremist groups. Their family members, friends and
colleagues find it hard to believe that they would have been involved in
such acts. They are said to have travelled last year to Karachi and it is
being alleged that they were indoctrinated there.
While they are being referred to as suicide bombers, police has refused to
confirm that this was a case of suicide bombing. The fact that the bombers
had bought return tickets and that they had paid for parking their cars
before departing for London has raised suspicions on suicide bombing
theory. In the meanwhile several conspiracy theories are spreading.
Muslim leaders who met with Prime Minister Tony Blair on Wednesday have
demanded an enquiry into what might have motivated the bombers. Until any
truth comes out and until a definite proof is revealed, second attempt to
repeat 7/7 on 23 July has created even more confusion and has brought
Muslim community under greater pressure notwithstanding the fact that
Muslim scholars in UK have asked Muslims not to regard the bombers as
martyrs, “in any sense” while another section of u’lema has said
that the bombers will go to hell.
Whatever the truth there are clear indications that in days ahead UK,
especially London, is going to become a police state and thanks to fringe
elements, Muslims will remain to be the target of these draconian laws.
As these lines are being written news has arrived that Police has shot
dead an Asian looking man at Stockwell tube station in south London. «
:: "Muslim Community is the Double
Victim," Rabi Hershl Glick
:: London Bombing: Hackney Muslims to Set up Task Force with partners
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