Friday, July 08, 2005

The events of yesterday morning brought back memories of that Thursday night in Birmingham in November 1974 when the IRA blew up two pubs in Birmingham City Centre. We had no mobile phones back then, and a shudder went through everyone wondering if one of their family members or friends had gone into Brum for a drink. Expressions of sympathy for the victims of this indiscriminate act of murder go without saying, but before the dust from the exposions settle, today’s papers not only report the events but start to speculate on the why and who.

Galloway is savaged for linking the attacks to the war in Iraq within hours of the bombings. It seems strange that Galloway is condemned as despicable, despite the fact that other commentators are equally quick to pronounce and attach the bombings to their own bandwagons.

Robin Cook in The Guardian proclaims that military means will not defeat ‘terrorism’. Whilst I agree with the sentiments, Cook fails to make mention of his role as Foreign Secretary, when the bombing of Iraq was carried out routinely on a daily basis. Gerard Baker in The Times writes..... "above all, I felt a surge of pride at the resilience and defiance of Londoners. They showed once again that fierce solidarity we have seen so many times when they have been tested; a determination to face down nihilistic terror and intimidation." Do these people think Iraqi parents don't grieve for their loved ones? Don't they understand that if the result of bombs exploding in London is resiliance and pride and defiance the same can be said of Iraqis too?

Johann Hari uses the bombings as justification for this crass piece of nonsense: Does anyone need greater evidence that these Islamic fundamentalists despise Muslims who choose to live in free societies, and they would enslave Muslims everywhere if they were given the opportunity?

As someone who remembers the blind anti-Irish backlash in Birmingham in 1974, when Irish people were attacked on the factory floor and ordinary working class Irish families had bricks thrown threw their windows, I fear for muslims who may be subjected to the same lynch mob mentality from those who don't need much excuse in the first place.