Friday, July 08, 2005

Like most folks, yesterday's bombings in London has made me reflective. And today I was reading my newspapers and my favourite sources online for responses to the events that were meaningful to me.

Most of the stories I read took a "My! Aren't those Brits stoic" angle that I didn't really feel comfortable with. (I don't think the families that lost someone in the blasts aren't feeling particularly stoic at the moment.) And I didn't particularly resonate with the "we shall not be bullied by terrorists" responses either. (Figures my local paper would manage to hit the two sore points at once with their headline: "Stoic Brits vow 'we'll carry on'")

One article that actually made me rethink and give me pause was a guest column in today's Globe and Mail by Irshad Manji. But because the Globe and Mail charges for online access to their column (even to Globe subscribers) you can't read her comments.

But you can listen to her on NPR with a piece that's similar to her column:
All Things Considered, July 8, 2005 · Commentator Irshad Manji, who is a practicing Muslim, would like Muslims around the world to publicly reject some of the violent messages that she says are inherent in the Koran.
What did I learn from this piece? Well, she reminded me the "Islamic Jihad against Western Civilization" occurred before the US occupation of Iraq. Well, this is something I knew but it beared repeating: The 9-11 attacks were not about Iraq. The attack on the US Cole was not about Iraq. The 2000 attack on the World Trade Centre was not about Iraq. There is something larger here that needs to be dealt with and it means confronting the ugly parts of our organized religions.

The US occupation of Iraq was the US government's response to 9-11. No wonder the response to the London bomb attacks make me more nervous than the attacks themselves. On the topic of "blowback" and the continual reliance on terror to achieve political ends by both governments and terrorists was today's Globe and Mail column by Rick Salutin. Too bad you can't read it.

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