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July 23, 2005

Worst Bombings In Egypt In A Decade

Al Qaeda admits guilt.

Someone wrote a while ago that news reports should stop saying a terrorist group "claimed responsibility." That phraseology carries no implication that a crime was committed. The proper way to say it is "admitted guilt," he argued, and I think that's right.

Three points:

1) Contrary to the suggestions sometimes made by anti-terrorists (including myself, when I get sloppy), obviously a lot of Muslims are taken by surprise by this sort of thing too. That has to be kept in mind. They're being murdered too, and directing one's anger at Muslims indiscriminately is both counterproductive and immoral.

2) As far as I know, Egypt doesn't have troops in Iraq, and isn't a big supporter of Israel, so I'm dumbfounded as to why Al Qaeda would attack Egyptians (as well as European tourists, also no fans of our action in Iraq or support for Israel). And yet I'm reliably informed that Al Qaeda is just peeved about Iraq and the Israel/Palestinian conflict, so really, I'm at a loss to explain this.

3) Back to point one. Muslims in Britain (and, I suppose, America and Europe too) are quite upset about what they see as "backlash" against them. Actual "backlash" should be avoided at all costs. No one wants terrorism directed at anyone, including by angry non-Muslims at Muslims.

But Muslims are also being unrealistic and, I think, unreasonable in continuing to insist that no additional police scrutiny be given to Muslims. No minority group wants that sort of interference in their lives, but it's a fact as sad as it is irrefutable that this sort of mega-terrorism is being perpetrated exclusively by radical Muslim jihadists.

Let me ask British Muslims-- if violent backlash did begin, and roving bands of thuggish hooligans were beating and killing Muslims in the streets, would you urge that police give additional scrutiny to non-Muslims caucasians moving through Muslim communities, or would you insist that police attempts to protect Muslims focus on both Muslims and white hooligans equally?

I think the answer is somewhat obvious. So I hope Muslims can understand that the non-Muslim population also wants the police to be on higher alert when it comes to Muslim men between 20 and 40. Especially when they're sweating, acting agited, and carrying backpacks.

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posted by Ace at 03:06 PM

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