A commenter on the guardian news blog said this in relation to the newspaper coverage of the bomb attacks –
“The media is being foolish and dangerous in terming these terrorists as “Islamists” – will further aggravate feelings between followers of Islam and the rest, the former feeling they are unfairly and stereotypically being classified as murderous maniacs and the latter associating terror with the basic religion.”
And certainly questions are raised about the way such things are portrayed. Have people ever talked about the IRA as ‘Christian Exremists’? Do crazy cult leaders like David Koresh and Jim Jones get labelled as Christian? I wonder if they do in those parts of the world where Christianity isn’t the dominant (though nominal) faith.
Clearly, the behaviour of terrorists is completely out of step with the basic beliefs of Islam, just as running weird death-cults and murdering for the IRA is fundementally anti-christian, and the suggestion that what drives these people to commit attrocities like this a true understanding of their faith is very misguided.
As reported in the Guardian today, The Muslim Association of Great Britain have condemned the attacks,
“Sir Iqbal Sacranie, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: ‘Our faith of Islam calls upon us to be upholders of justice. The day after London was bloodied by terrorists finds us determined to help secure this justice for the innocent victims of yesterday’s carnage.’ “
The rubbish part of this for British Muslims is that the sickos who perpetrated the bombings have stolen the arguments about Israeli occupation in Palestine and US occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan away from them. Any Muslim now who sticks their head over the parapet and talks about those issues is going to be labelled by a certain section of the British populus as terrorist sympathisers.
It’s more important than ever that we make Muslims feel particularly welcome in England, that we make it known that there’s no way in which we hold Islam responsible for inspiring these dreadful killings, and that we won’t allow discussions over the geopolitical mess in the middle east to be made taboo by these murderers.by