View Full Version : Muslims Brace For Backlash From London Blasts

07-08-2005, 10:43 PM
Muslims brace for backlash from London blasts
Islamic mainstream prays for victims amid deluge of angry messages


(Gold9472: I know it's difficult not to be angry towards the Muslim people, but it was not the entire ethnicity that attacked you yesterday. We're not even sure it was a Jihadist organization.

This is a speech I just transcribed from the only person who gave a dissenting vote for S.J. Resolution 23 which gave President Bush a free hand to attack terrorists anywhere in the world as he saw fit.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D) - September 20th, 2001
"Mr. Speaker, members, I rise today really with a very heavy heart. One that is filled with sorrow for the families and the loved ones who were killed, and injured this week. Only the most foolish, and the most callous would not understand the grief that has really gripped our people, and millions across the world. This unspeakable act on the United States has really forced me, however, to rely on my moral compass, my conscience, and my God for direction.

September 11th changed the world. Our deepest fears now haunt us. Yet, I am convinced that military action will not prevent further acts of international terrorism against the United States. This is a very complex, and complicated matter. Now this resolution will pass, although we all know the President can wage a war even without it, however difficult this vote may be, some of us, must urge the use of restraint. Our country is in a state a mourning. Some of us must say, "let's step back for a moment, let's just pause just for just a minute, and think through the implications from our actions today so that this does not spiral out of control.

Now I have agonized over this vote, but I came to grips with it today, and I came to grips with opposing this resolution. During a very painful, yet very beautiful memorial service, as a member of the clergy so eloquently said, as we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore.")

Updated: 7:01 p.m. ET July 8, 2005

LONDON - Muslims across Britain prayed Friday for the victims of the London bombings blamed on radical Islamists, but many feared an anti-Muslim backlash after a deluge of abusive messages.

The Muslim Council of Britain, which represents the country’s 1.6 million Muslims, said it had received 30,000 messages of hate via e-mail after the attacks and that its computers had been jammed.

“Some people will try to instigate anger against Muslims and try to blame us for what happened,” Mohamed Sawalha, who gave the sermon at Friday prayers at London’s Finsbury Park mosque, told hundreds of worshippers.

“These acts were aimed at destroying the work of Muslims and Muslim groups in Britain. We want to integrate with the (British) community, and not to live like foreigners.”

Faith leaders who met British Home Secretary Charles Clarke on Friday called for a calm response to Thursday’s attacks, which killed more than 50 people.

The Islamic Human Rights Commission warned London Muslims to stay at home because of fears of retaliation. London police chief Ian Blair said the authorities were in touch with Muslim leaders and those of other faiths to protect symbolic buildings.

“We are aware of one or two very minor incidents across the country, but so far, as I would expect, Britain, with its liberal and welcoming approach to people, is taking it in its stride,” he told a news conference.

Prime Minister Tony Blair condemned bombers who “act in the name of Islam” but said the majority of Muslims, both in Britain and abroad, were decent people who opposed terrorism.

Fears of revenge
Many people in London’s Edgware Road — close to one of the underground railway stations that was attacked and an area that is home to a large number of Lebanese, Iraqi and Egyptian businesses — feared acts of revenge.

“The whole world now will point at me and say I am an Arab and Muslim terrorist,” said Zakaria Koubissi, a 29-year-old manager of a Lebanese restaurant. “We expect to be harassed. It is a natural reaction.”

Their concerns echoed fears expressed by Muslims in the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York and Washington blamed on the Islamic militant al-Qaida network.

A previously unknown group, “Secret Group of al-Qaida’s Jihad in Europe,” claimed responsibility for the London attacks on a bus and three underground stations.

Despite the appeal for solidarity from moderate Muslims, Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, a radical Muslim group dedicated to building an Islamic caliphate worldwide, said it would continue to speak out against the West.

“Speaking the truth about the colonization of the Muslim world and the killing, murder and rape of our Ummah (nation) by Western governments is (one) of the highest obligations,” the group said in a leaflet distributed among worshippers.

Response to ‘massacre’
The group that claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attacks said on a Web site it responded to what it described as the “massacre carried out by Great Britain in Iraq and Afghanistan”.

Many Muslims regard the U.S.-led 2003 invasion of Iraq, backed by Britain despite broad public opposition, as a campaign against their faith. They also accuse the West of supporting Israel in the dispute with the Palestinians.

“This was the last Western country that had great respect for Arabs and Muslims,” said Ehab Maged, a 30-year-old Egyptian travel agent. “Now no one knows what will happen.”

But Laith al-Taei, an Iraqi who owns a coffee shop near Edgware Road’s underground station disagreed.

“You kill a snake by chopping its head off, not by hitting the tail,” he said. “The head of terrorism is not (al-Qaida chief) Osama bin Laden, but it is America and Britain’s policies against Arabs and Muslims.” “Change them: Terrorism will end.”

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters.

07-09-2005, 10:23 AM
as we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore

for once someone speaking with heart and mind at the same time. violence only begets violence.... and no i don't know what begetting means.

07-09-2005, 10:28 AM
as we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore

for once someone speaking with heart and mind at the same time. violence only begets violence.... and no i don't know what begetting means.

That's one of my favorite speeches from an elected official.