I normally would not quote an article from News of the World, but the article by Lord Stevens, former Met Police Commissioner is so spot on.
Lord Stevens is regarded as a man of huge integrity. He rocked the establishment by determining there was collusion between the British Army, the Royal Ulster Constabulary and loyalist terrorists in the murder of Irish nationalists. He is currently heading the investigation into the death of Princess Diana.
In his NOTW article, Lord Stevens lays down a challenge to the British Muslim community:
WHEN will the Muslims of Britain stand up to be counted?
When will they declare, loud and clear, with no qualifications or quibbles about Britain’s foreign policy, that Islamic terrorism is WRONG?
Most of all, when will the Muslim community in this country accept an absolute, undeniable, total truth: that Islamic terrorism is THEIR problem? THEY own it. And it is THEIR duty to face it and eradicate it.
To stop the denial, endless fudging and constant wailing that somehow it is everyone else’s problem and, if Islamic terrorism exists at all, they are somehow the main victims.
Because until that happens the problem will never be resolved. And there will be more 7/7s and, sometime in the future, another airplane plot will succeed with horrific loss of innocent life.
He also lashes out at the reluctance to profile, saying:
I’m a white 62-year-old 6ft 4ins suit-wearing ex-cop—I fly often, but do I really fit the profile of suicide bomber? Does the young mum with three tots? The gay couple, the rugby team, the middle-aged businessman?
No. But they are all getting exactly the same amount and devouring huge resources for no logical reason whatsoever. Yet the truth is Islamic terrorism in the West has been universally carried out by young Muslim men, usually of ethnic appearance, almost always travelling alone or in very small groups. A tiny percentage, I bet, of those delayed today have such characteristics.
He defends charges of racism, saying:
All this would suggest the blindingly obvious—that terrorism is a major problem for the Muslim community of Britain. Of course, there will be instant squealings that this is racism. It’s not. It’s exactly the same as recognising that, during the Northern Ireland troubles that left thousands dead, the IRA were totally based in the Catholic community and the UVF in the Protestant.
And that, most importantly, IRA terrorism only began to draw to a close when that Catholic community it was based in decided as a whole that it was no longer prepared to back violence as the only way forward. Interestingly, it was Catholic revulsion over republican terrorist atrocities such as Enniskillen and Omagh that fuelled that change.
Finally he sets the bar for what is needed:
Well, Muslim terrorism in Britain is based in, has its roots in, and grows in, our Muslim community. The madmen of 7/7 and other suicide bombings didn’t hide among the Hindu communities, worship in the Sikh temples, recruit at Catholic churches, did they? It may be true that events in Iraq have angered sections of the Muslim community. I have no doubts, whatever Tony Blair says, that it was a catalyst. I also think it’s entirely fair for Muslims, if they wish, to vocally oppose Britain’s continuing involvement there.
I can recognise, too, that recent events in Lebanon inflame some people, and they want their voices of protest heard. The absolutely unacceptable problem is that this opposition is used by too many to turn a blind eye to, or excuse, terrorists in their midst.
Blasting a passenger airliner out of the sky, killing hundreds of innocent men, women and children, is NEVER acceptable. Under any circumstances. There is NEVER an excuse.
A terrible tragedy costing Muslim lives in Lebanon or Iraq or Afghanistan is never ever an excuse for terrorism here.
It is totally unacceptable, totally wrong. What one party perceives as a wrong, no matter how strongly they feel, does not, in turn, justify another wrong being done to avenge it.
And until every single member of the Muslim community believes that and preaches that—from an ordinary parent to imam or madrassa teacher—terrorism can’t be beaten.