I have thought long and hard about this post and decided I must speak out.
The terrorists behind the London attacks have now been identified. First and foremost, my heart goes out to the victims and their families. The terror that unfolded on that awful night is unimaginable. Since these attacks, many people have been engrossed in discussions about why these men are driven to attack innocent people in this way. Some cite Islam. Others cite immigration. A few cite drugs. I have another theory.
There is an image in mainstream media which has been circulating depicting one of the terrorist praying in a park alongside others when he was aired on a documentary about extremists. The image has stuck in my mind for two reasons:
- Muslim do not pray to a flag. By placing the flag before them in prayer, these young men are making a POLITICAL statement not a religious or spiritual one. This is not about their connection to God, this is about their political beliefs.
- I have seen this flag before in the home of one of the wives of 7/7 bombers. I was 21 years old at the time. I began to have difficulties with this woman because of her increasingly intolerant views. I visited her home on one occasion and found this flag dominating the decor of their main room.
So what does this flag mean and what does it have to do with terrorism? I am not an expert in what drives young Muslim men to commit acts of terror, but I am an observant tolerant Muslim who has seen my religion hijacked by morons. This flag has been used by members of Hizb ut Tahrir (HT) just like the terrorist I knew who displayed it proudly in his home. I have often wondered why the media have not made the link between terrorists and their political affiliations because for me each time a moron is identified after an attack, their political affiliation is obvious (al muhajiroun, HT or any other variant of these).
We need to stand together and rid ourselves of this extremist political party that calls for an islamic state, justifies suicide bombings and spreads hatred for the West. This party is banned in 13 countries and has been behind attempted coups in a number of countries. https://www.counterextremism.com/threat/hizb-ut-tahrir
The terrorists might happen to be Muslims. But a decade of blaming Islam has not resolved anything. The terrorists might happen to be immigrants. But a decade of a more vigilant immigration has not resolved anything.
Maybe it is their political affiliation? Maybe we need to diagnose this illness correctly before we can treat it.
As Muslims, we need to drive out abhorrent views about the country in which we live. We would not tolerate the National Front asking us to leave the country which we love and are part of. So why do we tolerate a Muslim spreading hate about the country which we love and are part of? It works both ways.
As a society, we need to unite and diagnose this properly. It’s not a Muslim problem. It’s a problem for us all and currently, there is no solution, only blame.