Leaving Islam



Terrorists' frontal assault on London's transport system making Brits life topsy-turvy  

A.H. Jaffor Ullah


Global terrorists have struck again and this time, the central business district of London was the bull’s eye.  This morning, hours after the attack, we heard the news in all the networks.  The Internet news site Yahoo had also posted several articles.  The news of July 7 attack spread in the cyber space a la wild fire.  Needless to say, the news of the assault overshadowed all the other news especially the G-8 conference taking place in Gleneagles, Scotland where George Bush, Vladimir Putin, and other world leaders are meeting to discuss world economy including world trade, debt relief for poorer African nations, global warming, and myriad other issues.  

The terrorists targeted three “tube” (subway) stations and one quintessential double-decker bus while detonating bombs, which killed 37 people and sent over 700 people to hospitals.  To inflict a maximum casualty the terrorists chose the morning rush hour when tens and thousands of commuters crisscross London’s heart of the business district.  According to Associated Press, this was “the deadliest attack on the city since the blitz in World War II.”   

Within hours of the attack, the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, blamed Islamic extremists and said the bombings were designed to coincide with the inauguration of G-8 summit of the world's most powerful leaders.  British Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, indicated that the bombings — which came the day after London won the bid to host the 2012 Olympics — have all the “hallmarks of an al-Qaida-related attack.”  

As usual, prior to the attack there had been no warning and that the blasts at three subway stations went off within 26 minutes, starting at 8:51 a.m.  The first attack came in a subway train near the financial district.  This is most definitively a sign of al-Qaeda attack.  On September 11, 2001, the same terrorist group blew up the twin tower, which located near the perimeter of New York's financial district in the morning hours.  The authorities first thought that the blast was caused by a power surge but later realized that it was a terror attack when they learned that a double-decker bus was partially blown away near the British Museum at 9:47 a.m. — less than an hour after the first explosion. 

Within hours of the deadly attacks in London a little known website affiliated with al-Qaeda had claimed the responsibility of the assault on the city’s transport system.  Many intelligence experts in England had long feared, following the Sept. 11, 2001, strikes in New York, Washington, and Britain’s subsequent alliance with U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq that Osama bin Laden’s terror organization may strike at the heartland of Great Britain.  Nevertheless, al-Qaeda’s attention was focused on Spain where they bombed four commuter trains in Madrid on March 11, 2004 in which 191 commuters were killed.   

The terrorists had singled out Great Britain because at this time all eyes are on Gleneagles, Scotland where G-8 nations leader have assembled.  The terror organization al-Qaeda has penchant for publicity.  They know that any attack done against Britons while G-8 meeting is in progress would generate a maximum publicity.  That is what exactly happened.  In America, the news of the attack dominated the prime time TV.  Many Americans could empathize with the Britons because they have gone through the ordeal on September 11, 2001.  

There is a general sense in the West that al-Qaeda had targeted England because Prime Minister Mr. Tony Blair had wholeheartedly supported President George Bush in the Iraq War.  Britain had not only gave a moral support to America in their effort to declare war against global terrorism, but sent troops to the Southern part of Iraq dominated by Shiites.   

Why is it that many experts in the West think this assault on British public transport system is the work of al-Qaeda?  Osama’s terror organization loves the transport system of the West.  Osama’s men know that the West is vulnerable when it comes to the mass transit system.  Tens and thousands of commuters use the underground tube system and above ground buses to go to work.  Furthermore, it is humanely not possible to guard all the trains and buses from terrorist attack.  The terrorists therefore took advantage of the situation.  They attacked simultaneously three subway cars and one above ground bus to inflict a heavy damage.  An open society such as Great Britain will always be vulnerable to terrorist attack because the city dwellers depend so heavily on mass transit.   

Will there be a white backlash against Muslim immigrants in Great Britain?  In the aftermath of 9-11, there were some unfortunate incidences in many American cities.  Knowing how heavily populated some cities in England are with Muslim expatriates, the communal element such as skinheads could rough up South Asians and Arabs?  London’s Reagent Park mosque and Finchbury Park mosque had earned enough bad reputation because in the aftermath of 9-11 some clerics had spewed venom through their sermon.  Thus, if racial harmony breaks down and some minorities suffer, consequently, we cannot blame the British society.  Osama bin Laden’s terror organization does not see things through the eyes of a normal human being.  They have declared jihad against the West; therefore, if some brown people suffer for their terror attack, they could care less.  

This day (July 7, 2005) will be mired in infamy in the minds of Britons.  From now on, this day will go down in the annals of modern history as 7-7, which will be equivalent to 9-11 of America.  The terror attack done in British soil is a seminal event that will mark a new beginning for millions of Britons.   

Osama bin Laden’s ardent followers will never know the negative impact these terrible episodes of bombings bring on Muslim immigrants those who live in the West.  I have gone through some agonizing days in the wake of 9-11 in America.  Many British immigrants and citizens who are of Muslim descent will experience some rough weather.  It comes with the territory.  The action of a few wayward Muslims will be causing a great deal consternation amongst Muslim Diasporas in England and other European nation.  Mr. bin Laden and his lieutenants probably gives a damn about it.  For, they are men of actions.  Until and unless blood flows in the West because of their periodic action, they could hardly get excited.  Inflicting wounds is their game and it seems as if they are getting better at that.  The West is awestruck for they have the slightest clue how to put the jinni of jihad back into a bottle.    


Dr. A.H. Jaffor Ullah, a researcher and columnist, writes from New Orleans, USA






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