Interview with the BBC World Service about an extremist ex-leader of a defunct group called Al-Mujahidin who has been spouting bile attacking Britain and the police for being terrorists and causing the bombs on 7/7.
I think Blair is wrong to say that Iraq has nothing to do with the bombing. It may not be a direct causal link, and it may not be the only contributing factor – but it is a denial of the bleeding obvious to ignore the fact that our involvement in Iraq makes it easier for those attacking us to recruit more supporters. Moreover, the vacuum it leaves in the argument allows ridiculous statements like those made by Al-Mujahidin to ferment in its wake.
I am also concerned that we give (including me going on the program to talk about it) air time to extremists – as the knock on effect can be to heighten the feeling that this may be a view held in the mainstream Muslim community. One good thing about much of the media coverage recently has been the increasing description of the range of beliefs held by people who call themselves Muslims – i.e. an understanding that the extremists are just that and don’t represent all Muslims. This is a time where we need to hold hands across our cultures and our faiths to come together against murderers and criminals who seek to divide and destroy our world.