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On 8 Jul 2005, at 13:20, Robert Stensrud wrote:

> Related to this point, please read the Thomas Friedman editorial in
> Today's New York Times regarding the terrorist attack in London.

Whilst the link between this editorial and the original topic of
discussion seems tenuous at best, I feel that since it's been
mentioned, it should be challenged.

Firstly, terrorist action in England has been an occasional feature of
life for a long time, largely as a result of IRA action. It's terribly
sad that people have died and been injured (and yesterday was stressful
for those of us who have friends in the capital), but today we're back
to business as usual. The odd explosion in London won't cause us to
lose our freedoms. How we react to such explosions might, however.

Secondly, it still isn't clear who was responsible for the bombings.
Someone has put up a rant in arabic on a website claiming
responsibility, but that doesn't prove anything. It may yet prove to be
the work of Al-Qaeda, but we don't know that yet.

Thirdly, to glibly connect Al-Qaeda with Islam serves to further the
alienation some Muslims feel in our society. There is no room for the
blowing up of innocents in Islam.

Fourthly, the assertion that "The Muslim village has been derelict in
condeming the madness of jihadist attacks" is simply incorrect. British
Muslim leaders have been lining up to condemn the attacks in the
clearest possible tones, and to suggest otherwise is slapdash

London will defeat the madmen who are responsible for these attacks by
uniting as a community, not by alienating the Muslim population who are
already fed up of people claiming atrocities are "Islamic" in origin.



Matthew Vernon MA VetMB LGSM MRCVS
Farm Animal Epidemiology and Informatics Unit
Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge

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