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Thursday July 14

Abdul Bari Atwan writes in a front page editorial in al Quds al-Arabi:

“No amount of condemnation from leaders of the Muslim community and from Muslim scholars will have any impact on those who are inclined to acts of terror such as the London bombings, because they are not the kind of people who listen to such messages or who attend those mosques. Violence and terror do not come out of a vacuum, and military and security solutions alone cannot end them. A political solution must be found to address the wrongs that are being committed against Arabs and Muslims and that are a source of humiliation. This is the way to reduce the problem and eventually eliminate it.”

Ibrahim Darwish, in an article in al-Quds al-Arabi about third generation Muslims in Britain, writes:

“What has escaped the notice of those who are upset by the link between Islam and the perpetrators of these attacks is the fact that the young generation of Islamist activists do not need to go to the mosque…or to read the leaflets and pamphlets distributed by Hizb ut-Tahrir or the Muhajireen. All they need is a computer with internet access to enter a world of discussions and chatrooms that present a picture of despair and horror in the Islamic world sufficient to generate the state of anger that led them to act in a way that astonished their community.“

Wednesday July 13

The London-based Arab press on Wednesday devoted a many pages to coverage of the investigation into the London bombings, often giving prominence to stories about the victims, with an emphasis on the fact that they included people of all creeds and colours.

Commentators in the Arab press and on Arabic language web sites, meanwhile, were unequivocal in their condemnation of terrorism, but many expressed the fear that no amount of condemnation would absolve Arab and Muslim societies of blame in the eyes of the rest of the world.

Abdul Wahab Badrakhan in Al-Hayat:

“The British government and political parties have denounced terrorism and deplored the London bombings, as have British Muslims and the extreme right. But this united stance has not prevented some on the right from seeking to exploit the event to incite hatred against Muslims. They are now expecting the worst: harassment, restrictions, possibly assaults…There is no doubt that there will be Muslim detainees too, after Tony Blair said:” We know that those people work in the name of Islam” Although he said he knew that the overwhelming majority of Muslims are law abiding and deplore terrorism, British Muslims’ instincts tell them that the British 7/7 will lead London in the same direction that Washington took after America’s 9/11…People say: condemn terrorism so that we may forgive you. They even say: condemn terrorism ‘very clearly’. But is there a clearer way to condemn terrorism than to become its victim like anyone else?”

Sa’eed Shihabi in al-Quds al-Arabi:

“News about acts of political terrorism is usually confined to the country where the atrocity has taken place, unless, that is, it takes place in a western city like New York or London. Then it becomes an international phenomenon that reverberates in the news media all over the world and is the subject of uninterrupted discussion. What happened last week in London may have been out of the ordinary in the west, but elsewhere it is not so extraordinary. In Iraq, such acts of terror have been going on for two years and in recent weeks the death toll has risen to as many as 70 a day…The US war on terror was intended to confine the phenomenon within the borders of Iraq, but has failed to do this…What can be done? No amount of condemnation by Muslims or others will suffice. The phenomenon of suicide bombing arises out of ignorance and despair among a large numbers of young people throughout the world. If the US and Britain are really serious about uprooting terror from the world, they must pay attention to its troubles and confront social, political and economic oppression with determination.”

Abdel Mun’im Saeed in Asharq al-Awsat, writing about the London bombings and the kidnap and murder of Egypt’s envoy to Iraq:

“Everyone has condemned the crime except the actual perpetrator, who has admitted to kidnapping and murder. He has been pushed aside as if he were a mere detail, rather than the central fact. Although Tony Blair tried to absolve Arabs and Muslims from the London bombings, pointing out that it was carried out by a small and unrepresentative group, the fact remains that it is a cultural phenomenon that is associated with the Arab and Islamic world and no amount of condemnation will change that. Arab and Muslim countries will pay a heavy price and Israel will be the beneficiary. The Arabs have come to occupy the place in people’s imaginations that was once held by the Nazis, the Fascists and the Communists as a threat to international peace and security.”

On Arab web sites:

Osama Mahdi wrote on elaph.com

“The bloody explosions which shook London last Thursday morning did not just kill and maim, they also created a strong barrier in the relations between the children of Islam and the West, and put the Muslim religion in the position of being the first accused. Then, ‘the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades’ - a group with ties to al-Qaeda claimed responsibility. Islamic scholars are saddened by the bloody explosions and have condemned them. They have declared the innocence of the Islamic religion from the bombings, considering the Islamic religion to be a window to the word of God, and human nature, whereas what this group has done has met with no understanding among Muslims and they are, in fact, enemies [of the religion] “

On al-Jazeera.com, an anomymous contributor wrote:

“British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that the government was looking into applying new laws to fight terror in the coming few weeks, after the bloody London bombings, which include a stepped up timetable for urgent measures against those who incite terrorism, in addition to a strengthening of measures for entry into Great Britain.

“In remarks to the British House of Commons, Blair condemned the attacks which had taken place against [British] Muslims and appealed to the British people for calm, asking them to halt the attacks which have targeted a part of British society. Blair also promised a dialogue with the Islamic leadership in Britain in order to combat what he described as an extremist ideology, and evil which has afflicted the Islamic religion.”

Ali al Gharash, wrote on elaph.com

“The head of the Islamic Council in Britain, Iqbal Sacranie, expressed his anger and suffering for the fact that the suicide attackers were Muslims, and said ‘Yes, we believe that a number of our young men have been involved in the terrorist bombing in which innocents were killed.’ He added that British Muslims will make great efforts to co-operate with the police.”

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