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A nation and Islam

A nation and Islam

It’s five years since bombs rocked London’s transport system. Preoccupied by two wars, has the British government overlooked a poisonous tide of anti-Muslim sentiment developing at home?

July 7, 2010 4:26 by

The cry for blood was sounding again. Another devastating attack, this one in Moscow, met by another vow to mirror aggression with violence where it has long proved counter-productive.

Today’s leaders, it seems, refuse to acknowledge that harnessing the words of warriors in response to attacks on state security is both antiquated and destructive in an age where populations no longer take up their sticks and rush into battle to protect their mud huts at the first hint of foreign aggression.

Yet leaders continue to give inflammatory speeches, whipping the public into a frenzy of racial contempt and tribal finger-pointing in countries that allegedly endorse multiculturalism, equality, and racial harmony.

Following this year’s Moscow attacks, Russia’s leadership wasted no time in pledging their determination to root out attackers and “destroy them all.”

“We know that they are lying low, but it is already a matter of pride for law-enforcement agencies to drag them out of the depths of the sewer,” announced Putin on March 29, following the explosions of two bombs during morning rush hour, which officials say killed 38 people and injured more than 60.

Putin’s words have a familiar ring. So do the future consequences they may have on ethnic communities who shoulder the blame. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on New York in September 2001, American leaders were equally vociferous about their commitment to violence.

Pointing “the full wrath of the United States” at the Taliban, US Secretary of State Colin Powell proclaimed: “You either respond and rip them up, help us rip them up, get rid of them, or you will suffer the consequences.” US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld offered a slightly clearer, but no less vigorous image of a “broad, sustained effort that will have to use our diplomatic, our political, our economic, our financial strength, as well as our military strength.”

Speaking without the tempering influence of advisors a few days after the 9/11 attacks, America’s then-president, George W. Bush, harnessed the words of the ancient warrior to maximum disadvantage when he characterized his response as “this crusade.”

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