|Office of Research||Issue Focus||Foreign Media Reaction|
July 19, 2005
TERRORISM IN EUROPE: FACING 'THE ENEMY WITHIN'
** British "born and bred" suicide bombers are "Britain's worst nightmare."
** While some blame the Iraq war, others term it a "pretext" for "fanatical ideologues."
** Muslim leaders must ''rout out the evil in their midst."
The 'arrival of jihad in Britain'-- The "horrific realization" that London's suicide bombers were "home-grown kamikazes" came as a "particularly harsh" awakening, according to Euro dailies. "How could a non-problematic young man 'British, born and bred' take a backpack with explosives and decide to murder his co-citizens?" asked the Czech Republic's mainstream MF Dnes. Said Hungary's financial Vilaggazdasag: "We have tried to make ourselves believe that this new type of terrorism is very...alien to our European culture." Asserting that "Pakistan was and remains the breeding ground of jihadis," Indian papers argued it "should come as no surprise" that three of the bombers were of Pakistani origin; it is "disingenuous" to concentrate on their British nationality. Israel's conservative Jerusalem Post called "facing up to the presence of an enemy fifth column" in one's midst "most difficult" for democratic societies, but failing to do so is "to engage in the politics of denial."
'Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind'-- Some media placed the blame for the bombings squarely on the war in Iraq. "What they did was not 'home grown', but driven by a worldwide anger" over Iraq, contended Britain's left-of-center Guardian. Others stated that the war "is an excuse" and that the bombers' "fanaticism is religious" and "completely indifferent to the suffering of the world’s outcasts." A Romanian commentator wrote that jihadism "recognizes no borders and is everywhere and nowhere." The UK's tabloid Daily Mail railed against the "malign impact of multiculturalism and political correctness" that resulted in "inward-looking communities that eschew British values"; extremist clerics "preach a gospel of hate" to "impressionable young men" who "heed their words and act." The populist Irish Independent maintained that "the more an ethnic or religious minority feels a part of the wider community" the less likely its members are to subscribe to al-Qaida's "fanatical ideology."
'Tolerance has limits'-- In the wake of the attacks, Japan's liberal Asahi forecast "stricter anti-terror measures" and predicted difficulty "developing effective anti-terrorism measures while protecting the human rights of Muslim citizens." German and Austrian writers called for the surveillance of mosques. "Fear of Islamist terrorism...should not be misused," Germany's right-of-center Ostsee-Zeitung held, but democracies need "security measures that are appropriate to the threat." Papers throughout Europe admonished Muslim leaders "to more directly confront the extremism in their midst." Several Italian dailies complained that "France is taking a giant step backward" by suspending the Schengen Agreement which allows unrestricted travel among 13 European countries. A Turkish writer feared that a UK call for British Muslims to cooperate with authorities to root out extremists would divide the country "into 'us' and 'them'" and hold "all Muslims" responsible for "the terrorists among them."
Prepared by Media Reaction Branch (202) 203-7888, email@example.com
EDITOR: Steven Wangsness
EDITOR'S NOTE: Media Reaction reporting conveys the spectrum of foreign press sentiment. Posts select commentary to provide a representative picture of local editorial opinion. Some commentary is taken directly from the Internet. This report summarizes and interprets foreign editorial opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government. This analysis was based on 70 reports from 27 countries July 13-19, 2005. Editorial excerpts are listed from the most recent date.
BRITAIN: "The Damaging Legacy Of An Ill-Advised Invasion"
The center-left Independent had this to say (7/19): "Britain would certainly have been a target for fanatical Islamic terrorists even if we had refused to cooperate with the invasion of Iraq. Our support for the anti-terrorist operation in Afghanistan, which deposed the Taliban regime would have been enough to guarantee that. But this is something quite separate from arguing that the invasion of Iraq has made us safer. The effect of the U.S.-led operation has been to stoke terrorism around the world."
"An Insult To The Dead To Deny Link With Iraq"
Seumas Milne opined in the left-of-center Guardian (7/14): "We can't of course be sure of the exact balance of motivations that drove four young suicide bombers to strike last Thursday, but we can be certain that the bloodbath unleashed by Bush and Blair in Iraq--where a 7/7 takes place every day--was at the very least one of them. What they did was not 'home grown', but driven by a worldwide anger at U.S.-led domination and occupation of Muslim countries."
"Having Created These Fundamentalists..."
Johann Hari commented in the center-left Independent (7/13): "So Islamism is more a response to the decisions of Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt than of Bush and Blair. Last Thursday was not the price of decades of trading oil for tyranny without any regard to the consequences. These recent wars may have been useful propaganda tools for the jihadists, but saying they were their primary motivations does not match the evidence."
"Fundamental Challenges Ahead"
The conservative tabloid Daily Mail editorialized (7/13): "The foreign media are awash with references to 'londonistan', describing how this country has become a safe haven for Islamic extremists--'a crossroads for terror' according to the New York Times. They also voice incredulity that the malign impact of multiculturalism and political correctness has for years seen Britain segregated into inward-looking communities that eschew British values while the forces of law and order walk on eggshells, desperate not to offend. The Americans have a point. As extremist clerics preach a gospel of hate, we wring our hands but do nothing. Should we then be surprised when impressionable young men heed their words and act, with horrific results?"
FRANCE: "The Macabre Dance"
Jean-Paul Pierot concluded in communist l'Humanité (7/18): "The men who are behind these attacks...should in no case be considered as being resisters to the American occupation. But they do use the feeling of anger brought on by the war and the occupation to fuel hatred and recruit new members willing to commit attacks anywhere: in Baghdad or in London.... The theory put forward by Tony Blair--that there is no connection between the war in Iraq and terrorism--is not a credible one in the eyes of the English who were massively opposed to the military intervention and their country’s role, alongside the U.S., in Iraq. Not because they feared terrorist reprisals, but because this war violated international law and was based on lies, which is something that they have not forgotten."
"The Rise Of Civilization"
Dominique Gerbaud took this view in Catholic La Croix (7/18): "There is no question, for Tony Blair, to confuse the issues and refer to the 'axis of evil,' that geopolitical hodgepodge invented by George Bush to characterize the enemies of the U.S. Blair is much more subtle in his analysis and this will enable him to do more and go further in the fight against terrorism.... He is right, the war on terror is first and foremost a war of ideas.... We will win this war if we do not confuse an axis of evil with an ideology of evil and further still if we do not confuse ideology with religion."
Left-of-center Le Monde editorialized (7/15): "The image of youths leaving their homes to blow themselves up in suicide attacks has unfortunately become a familiar one in the Middle East but it is a first in Europe. In the Middle East we try to explain their acts using geopolitical reasons such as the occupation of their country by a foreign power, repression, poverty, etc. ... But the shock is that much greater in Greater Britain since the kamikazes in question are homegrown.... The British tended to believe that their model of integration based on the co-existence of different communities, protected them from extremism. The awakening is particularly harsh."
"The British Model In Danger"
Pierre Rousselin wrote in right-of-center Le Figaro (7/14): "The kamikazes are easy to recruit and easy to replace.... In this great apocalyptic sect that is al-Qaida...the sacrifice of the four terrorists in London will be used as a recruitment tool.... Today the British model of integration has collapsed faced with Islamic extremism.... The awakening will be as brutal for the British as it was for the Dutch after the murder of Theo Van Gogh.... Tony Blair is right to call for the preservation of the British way of life.... Anti-Muslim acts are exactly what the terrorists are hoping for."
"Al-Qaida: A Banner"
Jacques Amalric commented in left-of-center Liberation (7/14): "The attack in London confirms that al-Qaida is not a pyramidal structure but a banner around which fanatic ideologues can rally.... The terrorists no longer infiltrate a country, as was the case on September 11...now they are born and reside in the country. The new twist to the London attacks is that the terrorists were suicide bombers. This novelty is paradoxically terrible and reassuring at once.... Reassuring because it means that security measures have prevented massive attacks on the scale of September 11.... To justify the war in Iraq, George W. Bush used to claim that it is better to fight terrorism abroad rather than at home.... But the day will come when Americans will come to the realization that the fight against terrorism is not a war and that it will not be won on some far-off battlefield. It is a long drawn-out job involving police cooperation, the respect for fundamental rights (undeniably trampled at Guantánamo, in Baghdad or in countries where prisoners are handed over by Washington to be tortured). It involves patience, resolve and courage because we will have to deal with Islamic terrorism for a long time to come."
GERMANY: "The I Word"
Peter Sturm observed in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (7/19): "The study of the research institute Chatham House said that the Iraq war fueled international terrorism. We might doubt whether this is also true in regard of the ideological motivation of the jihadists. However, Iraq is more suitable as a training ground than the far-off Afghanistan. It also appears to be a fact that London could not distinctively influence the decision-making of its American ally although it supported it. The policy of the British government is unclear. On the one side it stands by its Iraq commitment, but on the other side it desperately tries to hide it. It would make sense to face the result of the researchers. They also write that the British authorities have ignored the danger of militant Islamists for too long. The acceptance of many preachers from Islamist countries could be seen as an attempt to get their approval. That has gone totally wrong."
"The Wrong Picture"
Center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine editorialized (7/19): "It is right that the video surveillance in London's tube helped the British police detail its records on the movements of the terrorists from July 7. That is the background for the Berlin authorities' consideration to step up the video surveillance at the city's stations. However, some of those who favor these stricter measures praise them as panacea against terrorism. London does not give us any reason to believe that. Scotland Yard's quick success was not possible due to the video monitoring, but because the family of one of the terrorists called the police and because investigators did a good job. The camera only provides us pictures of it. It is right for Berlin to consider new measures, but populist and legally suspicious actions only pretend to increase security."
Gernot Facius commented in right-of-center Die Welt of Berlin (7/18): "The suspicion that Islamists pave the way for parallel Muslim worlds on the back of the Basic Law cannot be dismissed by forming a Muslim umbrella organization that can serve as a interlocutor and partner of the government. The suspicion can only be dismissed by a clear acceptance of the pluralistic and democratic order of the country. As long as Muslim leaders talk differently in TV shows than in mosques, their vows to fight extremists are worth little. Many Muslims understand integration as a way to include parts of the Sharia in our life. With that, we have reached the limits of an honest dialogue. The state, which has to guarantee the freedom of all people, cannot accept a religious group that strives for implementing its own legal beliefs."
Right-of-center Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung editorialized (7/18): "It may be that terrorists feel very powerful in the moment of the attack, but the power of the counter-movement, which is currently coming into being across Europe, will be much stronger. Without making much noise, London, Paris and Berlin have gotten very close in recent days."
Jasper von Altenbockum commented in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (7/15): "The horrific realization that 'homemade' suicide bombers committed the attacks in Britain has turned the problem of Islamist terrorism in Europe into a domestic phenomenon. Jihad is not just a matter for countries in which modernization deficits create Islamic or Islamist movements. It has developed into an anti-Western crusade against the integration efforts of countries, which often give Muslims youths the cultural shock that turns them into tools of Islamist arsonists. The hatred of the fanatics has also become a threat to Muslim organizations in the West, which have been too quiet for a long time. They now realize that they belong to the innocent who are threatened by terrorists as much as non-believers. They have been hit twice, because they must now reply to the question of whether their claims for liberalism and religious freedom are concealing the causes of extremism and hostility rather than fighting them. This is not about knowing what happens inside of mosques.... It is about Islamic associations in Germany which pretend that they could remain silent on Islamists when the talk about Muslims."
"The Muslim, An Unknown Creature"
Heribert Prantl opined in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (7/15): "Tolerance has limits. It can only exist in clearly defined borders. If those are not set and watched, the generosity turns into a plague. Of course, within these borders multiculturalism can thrive. Tolerance allows everybody to pursue his or her religion and way of life, but it also requires that the holy books, may it be the Bible or the Koran, are not seen superior to the secular rule of law. Integration also has its requirements. It demands a lot--also from Muslims."
"With Our Own Eyes"
Gerd Nowakowski observed in centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin (7/15): "Calling for a comprehensive surveillance of mosques does not create confidence among German Muslims, who already see themselves under a general suspicion. Those who speak like that promote exclusion and not the desire for inclusion. But the demand is not completely wrong. What happens behind the walls of German mosques must not remain a secret. We can only hope that the intelligence services investigate hints concerning Islamists, but we can actually assume that the security authorities are not aware of what is going on in Islamist groups inside and outside of mosques.... Citizens have a democratic right to know more about their enemies as well as the tools the government uses to monitor them."
Peter Nonnenmacher asserted in left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau (7/15): "This was a concerted attack by malicious global forces and domestic allies hardly possible to be uncovered before. The truth is bitter for the families of the victims and the perpetrators, for British Muslims and their fellow citizens. The whole of London and Britain is looking into a abyss of a dangerous development."
Right-of-center Ostsee-Zeitung of Rostock editorialized (7/15): "After the attacks on London, fear of Islamist terrorism is also rising in Germany, but this fear should not be misused. Democracy cannot win a political competition for the toughest and quickest lawmaker who creates the most comprehensive surveillance system. If every corner of public life is filmed on videos, it only creates security on the surface, not to speak of the flood of data that nobody can handle. However, a democracy needs security measures that are appropriate to the threat. We should not have cameras on every corner, but on particularly endangered streets and places, in skyscrapers and shopping malls."
Guido Heinen noted in right-of-center Die Welt of Berlin (7/14): "Britain is a model for failing to integrate immigrants into Western societies. Its tolerance and openness are the reasons for the ignorance that leads to the destruction of social peace. The phrase 'parallel communities' was created on this island, but no one should look away any longer. The state must not place the important concern for freedom and tolerance over the even more important concern for the security of its citizens."
ITALY: "An Alternative To Absolute Hatred"
Prominent Middle East commentator Igor Man commented in centrist, influential daily La Stampa (7/19): "September 11, the Madrid massacre, and the London attacks introduce a technological aspect to suicide terrorism.... In the terrorists' disjointed claims of responsibility...the tragedy of the Palestinian people is cited in passing...revealing itself for what it is: a mere pretext. Osama bin Ladin...does not care about the Palestinian cause. The Sheik of death is driven by hatred. First, by the hatred of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and secondly by the hatred of the United States and its 'satellites.'"
"Suicide Bombers Are Not Sons Of Marginalization"
Cesare de Carlo observed in conservative La Nazione and sister publications (7/16): "The biographies of the London suicide attackers are surprising only to those with a short or tainted memory. They were educated youngsters, middle class, intelligent and serious.... What does this mean? That these suicide terrorists did not experience the poverty and marginalization of their fathers, first generation immigrants. They are the product of an incitement for hatred. They are not recruited among the world’s oppressed, but motivated by the sermons on the part of those who preach holy war and revenge on a civilization that...has nailed down Islam’s cultural underdevelopment. Their fanaticism is religious, not social. It is completely indifferent to the suffering of the world’s outcasts.... Iraq is an excuse, a pretext, an opportunity. It is the consequence of terrorism, not the cause. And no matter the errors Bush made, the invasion was not due to oil interests, rather the suspicion (founded) that there were al-Qaida bases and (unfounded) that there were chemical and bacteriological weapons. One of the causes, however, is the attempt to export democracy. This is indeed a deadly danger for any fundamentalism and one that must be foiled with every means, including with children’s bloodshed."
"The Silence Beyond The Borders"
Aldo Rizzo noted in centrist, influential La Stampa (7/15): "For two long minutes...yesterday Europe came to a standstill...(giving) the awareness that we are all potential hostages of terrorist violence, which threatens our free and tolerant civilization and the determination not to give up. For a moment one could feel the presence of a European people, which was not influenced either positively or negatively by national politics. This is why the decision on the part of the French government to erect barriers along the borders by suspending the Schengen Agreement...was particularly ironic.... The Schengen Agreement does not mean total freedom of movement for real or potential terrorists.... Its real significance is relative, as can be seen by the fact that 13 out of 25 EU countries adhere to it, and Great Britain is not among them. It evidently did not help them."
"The European Ideal Should Return Among The People"
Ernesto Galli Della Loggia opined in centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera (7/15): "What else needs to happen--a war between Belgium and Luxembourg?...before we notice the serious crisis which is slowly and relentlessly undermining European construction? The suspension of the Schengen Agreement on the part of France (which Holland is tempted to imitate) is a serious symptom.... The European governments that are traditionally considered EU defenders--like Paris...seem to be the ones that are inclined to consider a crucial political issue like security in national rather than European terms."
"A Lesson Off Style From London"
Prominent commentator Sergio Romano observed in leading centrist newsweekly Panorama (7/21 edition): "Blair tried to give the Islamic world the image of a hospitable, liberal, tolerant and multicultural Great Britain. No other European country has as many Islamic centers, cultural institutes, banks, magazines and papers. Blair knew that such freedom would have offered fundamentalists the opportunity to engage in propaganda and recruit followers. But intelligence services probably thought that this inconvenience would have been largely compensated by the possibility to more readily identify the fomenters and to reconstruct the network of their operations. This double-track policy evidently did not produce the desired results. London’s multiculturalism seduced moderate Islam and procured for the city the Olympic Games of 2012. But it did not hinder the terrorists...from building a consensus and complicity which is crucial to all terrorist actions. It is likely that the alliance with Bush, British involvement in the Iraqi war and the presence of British troops in Iraq are the basic issues that affected the credibility and effectiveness of Blair’s politics."
"True Security And Rhetoric"
Former Italian Representative to the European Central Bank Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa wrote in centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera (7/14): "It is false to suggest that we would be more secure without the Schengen Agreement. We are reminded of this in a tragic and sad way by the fact that terrorism just struck a country, Great Britain, that does not adhere to the Schengen Agreement."
"Enemies From Next Door"
Salvatore Scarpino had this to say in pro-government, leading center-right daily Il Giornale (7/14): "France is taking a giant step backward (by deciding)...to suspend the Schengen Agreement. It is an alarming signal: the Europe that eliminated internal border divisions is now visibly splitting...in the name of security, or rather out of fear that Islamic terrorism is spreading in the confused and disunited West."
RUSSIA: "Pogroms Are Not For British"
Maria King-Koroleva reported from London for reformist Novyye Izvestiya (7/19): "Tolerance has always been characteristic the British people are proud of. Based on sporadic fires at mosques and a score of threatening letters, you can’t really speak of a flare-up of anti-Islamic sentiment in the country. If the London bombings do have consequences, they are likely to be those least expected by the terrorists, leading to greater cohesion among differing cultures."
"Inequality Breeds Violence"
Vasiliy Mikhaylovskiy stated in neo-communist Slovo (7/15): "British authorities must have enough common sense to realize now that blasts and hostage taking, be it in London or Moscow, go together. You can’t fight terrorism by invading a sovereign country. You can’t pretend to bring democracy to Iraq, with the invasion killing tens of thousands of people, far more than 'bloody' dictator Saddam’s regime killed throughout his presidency. You can’t tear apart Yugoslavia, help Islamists set up a hornet’s nest in the Balkans, and stage a worldwide memorial for Serbian soldiers’ victims in Srebrenica. Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind. Modern terrorism suggests the idea of a war of civilizations, of course. You can’t build a European or American oasis of prosperity in the contemporary world and feel safe behind its walls, relying on arms alone. Disparity between the rich and poor will forever breed violence. Suicide bombers know no fear. No big city can shield itself from those who are willing to give their lives to a cause they consider righteous."
AUSTRIA: "Consequences Of Indifference"
Viktor Hermann wrote in independent Salzburger Nachrichten (7/19): "The religious edict (fatwa) issued by leading Sunni Muslims in Britain to the effect that there is no justification for murder and suicide and that the culprit will be condemned, is an important signal for Muslims in Europe and throughout the world. With this fatwa, the Muslims' legal experts have also signaled their acknowledgment of the need to integrate themselves into European societies.... What is oppressive, however, is the way British intelligence services apparently ignored obvious dangers. Radical Muslims were held to be relatively harmless even when they openly preached hatred, when they more or less openly voiced their sympathy for politically motivated violence. After all, these people were thought to pose no immediate threat to national security. MI-5 seemed to think that those preaching hatred against America would be too busy to become active in England."
"Europe's Shield And Its Values"
Foreign affairs writer Margaretha Kopeinig wrote in mass-circulation Kurier (7/15): "In view of the EU's enlargement plans and its close proximity to Muslim-dominated states, Europe has to define the significance and value of its own culture. Or is Europe just a 'beautiful idea,' as the Dutch Prime Minister Balkenende dismissively stated? This should give the EU food for thought: these questions are not being discussed in the Union, but in the U.S.--in renowned newspapers, think tanks and universities. Islam and the changing European identity are common topics of discussion on the other side of the Atlantic. We should demand a discussion in Europe as well--now, that increased security is a key factor. To know what the European Union is and what its goals are reinforces the internal security and cultural diversity of a secular Europe--and that is what makes the Union a place for Muslims. The combination of economic capacity, political stability, and liberal constitution is what makes Europe attractive to many people. This must not be gambled away--not even by the terror of a totalitarian Islam."
"The Error Of Integration"
Livia Klingl opined in mass-circulation Kurier (7/15): "Societies produce individuals whose world picture becomes deranged at some point--in other words, politically motivated criminals.... Since Bosnia, there have been wars in Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Iraq that many Muslims perceive as crusades against themselves. These wars produced the 'professional' jihads that fight against the Western lifestyle and produce wars, Islamist police states, and refugees. Among them are also persons who preach hatred--in the Western mosques, they promise a better afterlife and get more and more followers. The only short-term strategy in the Western fight against this threat lies in surveillance of these mosques. Those who preach hatred must be stopped. However, in order to avoid the frequently evoked clash of civilizations, the hate sermons of Western politicians must also cease."
BELGIUM: "Every European A Londoner"
Foreign editor Paul De Bruyn argued in conservative Christian-Democrat Gazet van Antwerpen (7/19): "After 7/7 (in London) every European has become a Londoner. Everyone knows that terror may strike any day in any other capital. That has not only yielded solidarity with the British, but also spread the awareness that there is much more that keeps us together than that divides us.... That new solidarity is good news for Europe. It is what the EU needs the most. Yet, virtually every day it appears that that cooperation is not ideal yet.... The fact that German Justice feels compelled to release terrorist suspect Mamoun Darkanzali because, allegedly, the European arrest warrant is in violation of the German Constitution is the umpteenth example. The issue is not Darkanzali’s possible guilt, but European cooperation.... A number of crucial conditions for the war against terror--like the extradition of suspects--were written in the European Constitution. If the French and the Dutch had approved that Constitution, the joint approach would probably have been one step further already. Today, things are going slowly--and the EU cannot afford that.... There is no alternative: cooperation is an absolute necessity."
"At The Holy War School"
Christophe Lamfalussy wrote in independent La Libre Belgique (7/19): "Three of the four kamikaze terrorists who committed the July 7 attacks in London spent several months in Pakistan last year. What they did there is not clear but there is a strong suspicion that they attended radical Koranic schools.... What is disturbing is the fact that young Brits felt the need to go back to their roots and to return to the country where their parents came from. One is not sure whether this was, indeed, just a simple need to go back to their roots or a failure of their integration in British society. The ideological leaders of al-Qaida and of the jihad are exploiting these young Muslims who are torn apart between two cultures. They try to bring them back into an archaic Islam in order to use them politically and turn them into kamikaze bombers. This insidious undermining work began many years ago.... The occupation of Iraq by the U.S. Army has legitimized many theories of these fundamentalists. But it is not the cause of the terrorist attacks that have been shaking the world since 9/11. These attacks are the result of a totalitarian ideology, which is based on hatred, propaganda, and disinformation."
CZECH REPUBLIC: "To Be A Muslim In The CR"
Tomas Nemecek noted in business daily Hospodarske noviny (7/15): "Although our paper in the past days published several commentaries calling upon Muslims to deal with terrorism and the fundamentalist positions of their believers...this approach for some people can be only a step away from stereotypes such as 'Muslim aliens want to rape our white women.'... It is not possible to write about people without distinguishing among them as if they were guinea pigs. When the next attacks come, it will need all our courage, resolve and wit. Didn’t the American president after 9/11 take off his shoes and enter a mosque?"
"Peace-Loving Terror Made In GB"
Daniel Anyz fumed in the mainstream MF Dnes (7/14): "The only good thing about the identification of the terrorists is that they are dead. All the rest is mind boggling.... How could a non-problematic young man 'British, born and bred' take a backpack with explosives and decide to murder his co-citizens? He was not trained in 'the art of terrorism' in Afghanistan.... He was only in contact with the local Muslim community...portrayed repeatedly as the epitome of peace-loving society that strictly condemns any killing of innocent people. There must be something wrong here! It is not the custom in Britain to point a finger at someone, but they will have to do it now. They must come out against the radical clerics who view the tolerance of the society as its weakness. They will have to call on the Muslim community to switch from words denouncing extremists and fundamentalist imams to active resistance. If the 'silent' Muslim majority does not do so, then the rest of the society might be forced to do it instead of them. That would, however, be the end of everything, and that is exactly what the extremists aim for."
GREECE: "Who Bolsters Islamic Terrorism"
John Loulis contended in political-economic, pro-PASOK Imerissia (7/16): "There is only one policy that bolsters Islamic policy: the policy of current American President Bush (abetted by Tony Blair's, who is otherwise a noteworthy politician).... Bush has been the wrong politician, with the wrong ideas, at the wrong moment. After 9/11 he evaporated completely the sympathy America had enjoyed. He has bolstered bin Ladin. Bush declines to focus on the roots of Islamic terrorism. He started a deadlocked and illegal 'war'...while U.S. policy has identified itself with the neocons.... Therefore, the terrorist attack against London, like Madrid, was a product of an irrational policy that boosts extreme Islamists. The roots of Islamic terrorism are: humiliations of the Arabs; the Palestinian issue; the Iraqi invasion; the extreme 'ideology' of a Christian fundamentalist American president; the complete identification of the American policy not only with Israel, but with the nationalist Likud party; the support of dictatorships in the Middle East, of monarchies, of military. Americans tremble with fear should moderate Islamists carry elections. Yet, moderate Islamists are the best shield against bin Ladin.... The irrational policy the superpower exercises provokes the Muslims, and serves as a harbinger that no happy end awaits us all."
Top-circulation, left-of-center Ta Nea editorialized (7/14): "The disclosure that the four Islamist terrorists were born and bred in London shows how vain it is to expect that you can use police measures to deal with people who live among us and are ready to die.... They were well off and educated.... Contemporary terrorists openly dispute the values of the open democratic society we live in and we take for granted in Europe. In this sense, the means to deal with these people must be only political. Democracies ought to win over the millions of young Muslims who grow up in Europe and in the end become its fanatical foes."
HUNGARY: "Answers After London"
European commissioner Benita Ferrero-Walder opines in liberal-leaning Magyar Hirlap (7/15): "We have to take more intensive joint efforts in our own society and in our relations with other countries to deal with the reasons behind terrorism. As far as foreign policy is concerned the EU especially has to contribute to this. It is possible that we would never be able to destroy the root and all branches of terrorism but if we deal with the poverty of the world, help reforms in 'fallen' states, improve the living standards of developing countries, create of new workplaces, facilitate good and responsible governance, and bridge cultural differences, we can eliminate the hinterland of terrorism and we can disarm the recruiters of young people who are susceptible to becoming extremists and killing other people, sometimes even by giving their own life.... The bombings in London have to make us remember that we need each other and that people can directly or indirectly benefit from the EU."
"Self-Examination After London"
Security expert Peter Talas had this to say in financial daily Vilaggazdasag (7/14): "We have tried to make ourselves believe that this new type of terrorism is very far away and alien from our European culture. Now it turns out that the terrorists unfortunately live right in our neighborhood, among us, they are our fellow-countrymen.... If a state and a society are not able to hinder the attraction to extreme ideals and [those ideals] are stronger than the loyalty binding citizens to their own country, then...such a state and society (are) in the category of a malfunctioning state and society.... European self-examination is unavoidable.... Finally, we have to think...very seriously, whether we ourselves are not contributing to the spread of this new type of terrorism.... Only by making ourselves believe that the losers of globalization and those sympathizing with them are very far away from us, and that their problems do not affect us."
IRELAND: "Shannon Security -- Al-Qaida Threat Can't Be Ignored"
The left-of-center Irish Examiner editorialized (7/19): "Defense Minister Willie O’Dea’s demand for an urgent review of security at Shannon (airport) will be welcomed by all who believe the movement of U.S. troops through the airport makes Ireland a target for al-Qaida.... On the twisted landscape of Islamic fundamentalism, the concept of guilt by association is a real factor. Hot on the heels of last week’s suicide bombings in London, an analysis of security and terrorism in Britain has warned of gaps in emergency resources in dealing with terrorist threats outside the British capital. This lends even greater urgency to the threat posed to Shannon where serious deficiencies came to light in checks last May.... While the government continues to play down the al-Qaida threat, this country’s profile as a target for bombers has undoubtedly been heightened by the sharp escalation in the number of U.S. troops going through Shannon en route to Iraq.... In light of this, (Prime Minister) Bertie Ahern is flying in the face of reality when he claims Shannon is not a terrorist target."
"The Enemy Within"
The center-right, populist Irish Independent editorialized (7/16): "The relative ease with which would-be terrorists can acquire the knowledge to fashion explosives was well illustrated yesterday with the arrest in Egypt of a man who had trained in chemistry at Leeds University.... Furthermore, it shows how easily an individual can slip beneath the radar of the security services. This adds to the worrying picture that has been built up this past week of individuals who are able to blend in with their surroundings and not show up as terrorist suspects. This highlights two great challenges. The first is to find a way of preventing young Muslim men from being converted to the fanatical ideology of al-Qaida and its associated organizations in the first place. The second is to find a way of better enlisting the Muslim community in this effort. The Muslim community must begin to act as a sort of early-warning system in detecting those who are turning to extremism, and then to bring them to the attention of the relevant authorities. The key to meeting both of these challenges is integration. The more an ethnic or religious minority feels a part of the wider community, the less likely it is that members of it will become murderous fanatics. Ireland so far appears to have a good track record on this score with its Muslim community. Clearly Britain, in common with other European countries such as France and Holland, has not been as successful as it would like in integrating Muslims into the wider community and in creating a strong sense of identification with Britain and the things of Britain. Achieving this sense of identification is the challenge facing British society. The challenge before the Muslim communities of Britain and elsewhere is to more directly confront the extremism in their midst."
The center-left Irish Times editorialized (7/14): "The prime minister's political instinct to protect Britain's Muslim communities from public anger and concentrate attention on the extreme ideology and organizations involved is well judged.... Britain's large Muslim community is diverse in its ethnic and geographical origins. By and large the story of migration, settlement and cultural accommodation over the last two generations has been a positive one.... There is an established pattern of alienated extremism among a small minority of second- and third-generation youth. It is driven by religious prejudice, extremist ideologies and the sustenance they find from Western interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Chechnya. These horrifying events show how easily disguised such extremism can be among apparently normal and well-adapted youth. In the wake of the bombings Mr. Blair has spoken of the necessity to address its causes as well as its effects. He is right to harness the great majority of moderate Muslim leaders to this cause and refuse a hearing to those who advocate a war of civilizations based on the premise that Islam is an inherently extremist religion. It should be nothing of the sort--though it could be made more so by misconceived policies of repression and cultural hostility. Among the proximate political causes of such alienated extremism the war in Iraq must be included."
NORWAY: "Dark Forces"
Independent newspaper VG commented (7/16): "The largest investigation in British history is yielding results.... The investigators say the ties [of the London bombers] to the al-Qaida network are becoming more and more obvious.... The great and so-far unanswered question is what dark forces drove the terrorists. Why did four seemingly normal men choose to face death and to bring down as many as possible with them? What measures of power are the men behind the terrorism in possession of? These are the questions that both the police and the common Brit want answered. Today it is plainly incomprehensible."
ROMANIA: "The EU And The Fight Against Terrorism"
Lieselotte Millitz-Stoica wrote in independent Romania Libera (7/19): "Nothing seems to have been done so far, except for big talk and an adequate media campaign from the European leaders who were all gathered in front of the flags at half staff at the European Commission headquarters, in order to show their most serious faces to the cameras.... The only adopted decision seems to be that there are enough regulations governing the fight against terrorism..... Consequently, European unity in the face of terrorism is found only in the organization of a couple of minutes of silence in memory of the victims!"
"Jihadism -- A Centrifugal Force"
Razvan Scaesteanu wrote in independent Romania Libera (7/15): "Right now, the world is confronted with a centrifugal terrorist force, called jihadism--better known as al-Qaida--which recognizes no borders and is everywhere and nowhere.... The most dangerous thing is that most jihadists are men or young men, probably socially marginalized, with great ambitions for their afterlife who are seeking refuge in religion. When their expectations are not met by the mosque 'around the corner', they start to look for 'help' on the websites of extremist Islamists or to imams known for their radical sermons, who then introduce them into a 'religious centrifuge' by promising them Allah’s eternal gratitude if they fight against the 'unfaithful'.... This theory is proven by the London attacks, carried out by British Islamic young men, i.e., by the 'next door neighbor'.... Through the years, 'the old continent' has turned the welcoming of immigrants from North Africa and Central Asia into a tradition. Once they become citizens of Western countries, these immigrants no longer need visas to move from one country to another."
"Message From London Survivor"
Traian Ungureanu commented in the intellectual weekly Revista 2 (7/13): "Apparently, London was struck by lightning that it provoked.... The infrastructure of Islamic terrorism is growing under the umbrella of political correctness in Britain, which guarantees the suppression of counter-attacks and the immobilization of its victims."
SPAIN: "Dreams Of An Anti-Terrorist Fight"
Independent El Mundo remarked (7/19): "It seems that at last the London massacre has made European leaders aware of the vulnerability of our societies in front of Islamic terrorism.... The foreign ministers of the EU met yesterday in Brussels and promised to put all of its energies into fighting this threat.... The EU has a colossal challenge ahead of it and cannot be granted the luxury of escaping potential terrorists, on the contrary, the fight against the Islamic threat should offer a new impulse to start a more cohesive, strong, and efficient union. What happens depends on the success of a battle that is seen as a long and difficult."
"Europe, United In The Face Of Terrorism"
Business daily Expansión commented (7/15): "As long as Europe does not become aware of the grave threat of Islamic terrorism, it will not be able to fight it.... Public opinion should understand that sometimes it is necessary to sacrifice part of the welfare, that restrictions and controls are unavoidable in order to fight the murderous instinct of terrorists and preserve collective security.... The establishment of a European cross-border order for obtaining evidence, the blocking of the funding of terrorist groups, the exchange of information, the control over the doctrine preached by imams in the mosques, the impermeability of borders to immigration...and judicial, law enforcement, and intelligence cooperation should also be part of the relaunching of an ambitious European counterterrorist agenda, which allows to offer an effective common response to terrorists."
SWEDEN: "Europe's Own Terrorists"
Conservative Svenska Dagbladet commented (7/14): "The question is why these evil extremists can be recruited in Europe--a continent that supposedly bears the stamp of tolerance, democracy and freedom of speech.... Terrorist actions must never be placed in a greater context. They are evil and must be unreservedly condemned. But unequivocal condemnation does not mean that social and political analysis should be dismissed down. The breeding ground for Mideast terrorism is lack of political freedom. We must not allow alienation and discrimination to become fertile soil for European domestic terrorism."
"Deadly Backyard Plants"
South Sweden’s major liberal Malmo-based Sydsvenskan commented (7/14): "Tony Blair must ask the questions why young people who have been raised in a democratic country--like Great Britain--choose to join a terrorist network, whose goal is to establish a medieval hierarchy? Why are they prepared to kill innocent civilians by blowing themselves to pieces in a subway train? These questions are of concern also to other European leaders. The deadly plant that has rooted in Blair’s own backyard may spread."
TURKEY: "Concerns About Terrorist Activities"
Mustafa Balbay commented in the leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet (7/15): "Yesterday, people all over in Europe stood in silence for two minutes to pay respects to the victims of the London bombings.... Each country is searching for measures to protect itself. Recently, France announced that it has suspended participation in the Schengen Agreement. If France exercises this right to protect itself, then what about other EU countries? Since they all have terrorism problems, couldn’t the EU find a joint solution to this problem? But France is demonstrating a disturbing selfishness in taking its own precautions. Britain is still in shock after the terrorist attacks, and is also planning to apply new measures. One of those measures is rather worrying. The UK is urging all Muslims in the country not to shelter radical Islamists, and to cooperate with the authorities to root out radical groups. This means the country will be divided into 'us' and 'them,' and all Muslims will be held responsible for the terrorists among them. This is a very wrong kind of discrimination."
ISRAEL: "The Beginning Of The Reckoning"
Deputy managing editor and extreme right-wing columnist Caroline B. Glick wrote in conservative, independent Jerusalem Post (7/15): "One of the most difficult challenges for a democratic society is facing up to the presence of an enemy fifth column in its midst. Aside from this, the fact of the matter is that the global economy is fueled by oil, which is controlled by the same forces that stand at the foundations of the current war against the Jews and Western civilization. Much easier than contending with these realities is to engage in the politics of denial.... It is the duty of the State of Israel (much ignored by its own leadership today) to point out this inconvenient reality to the rest of the world. And it is the duty and responsibility of all who treasure freedom and the right to live without fear to accept this reality in spite of its convenience. Refusing to do so is not simply a matter of cowardice. It is a recipe for suicide."
IRAQ: "Victims Of London And Baghdad"
Muhammad Darwish Ali opined in independent Al-Mada (7/19): "Terrorism...has no goal but violence and horror. The London bombings and the recent rash of car bomb attacks in Iraq are both terrorist operations. Everyone who wants peace has the right and the duty to condemn these operations. After the London bombings, a group of Jordanians gathered in front of the Jordanian embassy (in London) to demonstrate their condemnation of those attacks. However, our Arab brother said nothing. Our Arab brothers support terrorist operations in Iraq. It has been very sad during the last two years to see a neighboring Arab country stay silent about the terrorist attacks in Iraq. Terrorism has failed three times. First, it failed when it conducted its ugly crime in New York. Second, it failed in Iraq and third, it failed in London. Every time is fails terrorism looks for another place to do its work. Terrorism will always fail because the people of the world love life and they want to live in peace. Thus, they will not let a group of terrorists control their destiny. Terrorists want the world to move backwards but nations must continue moving forward in order to end terrorism."
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
AUSTRALIA: "Innocents Under Fire In Iraq And Britain"
The national conservative Australian stated (7/19): "The Western self-blamers have talked about the London bombings as blowback for the thousands of civilian deaths in Iraq since April 2003, but their macabre calculus overlooks a simple point: coalition troops are not behind the slaughter in Iraq. The attacks on soldiers and, increasingly, civilians are being perpetrated by the same people--loosely speaking, Islamist fanatics opposed to the spread of democracy and enlightenment--who organized and executed the London bombings.... This is an insurgency by Saddamite holdouts, jihadist ring-ins, al-Qaida franchisees and sections of the Sunni minority embittered by their loss of privileges; it is a direct assault on the idea of an Iraq governed by majority will and the rule of law.... Amid all the wild claims of the self-blamers, it must never be forgotten that Iraq has a legitimate, democratically elected government that welcomes the toppling of Saddam and has called on coalition troops to stay put."
"Fear Thy Neighbor"
The liberal Sydney Morning Herald editorialized (7/15): "We liked to think it was us against them in the war on terrorism.... The London bombings, however, are us against us.... Terrorism experts have long worried about Europe's growing 'threat from within'.... The face of jihad Europe is not that of the poor Muslim immigrant.... Rather, it is that of the well educated with the linguistic and technical skills to render them a potent threat.... Generations of post-war migrants have formed mainly poor, and poorly integrated, Muslim minorities which sit uneasily within the heart of Europe...and European nationalist movements have made clear their distaste for these enclaves.... Social alienation fuels extremism, so Muslim communities must be brought in from the cold.... The U.S. criticizes European civil liberties, claiming they have been exploited by a handful of firebrand imams preaching hate.... The majority of Europe's 20 million Muslims have no links with terrorism. However, while many Muslims remain psychologically outside the European 'us', Europe will continue to face a real threat from within."
The popular tabloid Herald Sun of Melbourne editorialized (7/14): "Britain is living its worse nightmare after the London bombings that killed and injured so many.... But it is the bombers' unmasking that has caused a new wave of revulsion and fear.... The nightmare for Britain is that the bombers almost certainly never met either of the world's most wanted men, but were inspired to mass murder by their rantings.... It is also a bad dream for Australia. There is the possibility that we too may have home-grown terrorist cells plotting within our major cities."
JAPAN: "What's Behind London Terror Bombings?"
The moderate Tokyo Shimbun concluded (7/15): "London police have identified four suicide bombers as young Britons of Pakistani descent. What prompted these four youths to carry out the terror attacks?... Unlike the 9/11 attacks in the U.S. and the 2004 Madrid train bombing, both of which were carried out by foreign terrorists, the fact that Britons committed the London attacks has sent shockwaves through British society. Unlike Americans following 9/11, the British people are reportedly reacting rather calmly to last week's terror bombings. Although Prime Minister Blair has indicated plans to strengthen counterterrorism measures, we hope that British society will not intensify oppression or discrimination against Islamic residents. Although leaders at the Gleneagles G-8 summit called for new measures to clamp down on terrorists around the world, we urge the Bush administration to become more conciliatory to the Arab/Islamic world through dialogue and exchanges.... As seen in Iraq at present, the use of force alone cannot eradicate the roots of terrorism."
"Shock Of Terrorist Attack By 'Neighbors'"
Liberal Asahi editorialized (7/14): "Muslims in the UK seem to have experienced enormous shock upon learning that young Muslims were involved in the incident. The suspected connection between Muslim residents in their country and the bombings in their capital must be a serious blow to non-Muslim citizens in Great Britain as well. The British people have made great efforts to create a society free from racial and religious discrimination. However, their dedication to establishing a tolerant society appears to have been undermined. The UK now faces the new challenge of protecting its people from acts of terrorism at home, with suicide bombings a serious threat to its people. Calls for stricter anti-terror measures may emerge around the world. Members of the international community will likely face a difficult challenge in developing effective anti-terrorism measures while protecting the human rights of Muslim citizens."
SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA
INDIA: "Dig Up The Roots"
The nationalist Hindustan Times held (7/19): "Two days after the London bombings British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that it was crucial to address terrorism's 'underlying causes'.... 'Root causes' appear to be a cop-out of sorts enabling those who advocate attention to it to postpone decisions, or evade responsibility for them.... The London bombings have revealed the extent to which Pakistan remains a fountainhead of global terrorism and of Gen. Musharraf 's failure or lack of desire to seriously tackle the issue. The roots of terrorism do not lie in poverty, illiteracy or alienation. Neither do they do so in any specific ideology, religion or group, but in a totalitarian and sectarian cancer that attacks these movements..... Because it is essentially an ideological trend, most terrorist leaders are middle or upper-middle class individuals who are invariably well educated. The other alleged 'root causes'--sub national grievances, alienation, poverty, illiteracy--only serve to provide the foot soldiers, who actually perpetrate terrorist acts. So while it is vital to deny cannon fodder to these movements by removing specific grievances, there must be uncompromising battle with their nihilist ideological mentors who think nothing of taking innocent lives for their 'cause.' Modern terrorism is a well-organized and financed activity, there is no reason why it cannot be rooted out, provided nations learn to cooperate and apply discriminate force."
The centrist Indian Express had this to say (7/15): "The context is a fraught one: the alleged suicide bombers have been identified to be Britain’s own--young men born and brought up and radicalized on British soil. But even as Prime Minister Tony Blair invites British Muslim community leaders to talk to him to find ways of uprooting 'this evil ideology', he sets out the more urgent measures: new anti-terror laws aimed at tackling incitement to terrorism and stricter ways of keeping people who incite hatred out of Britain, while making it easier for those in the country to be deported. Note the lack of waffle in government response. With terrorism becoming a common scourge, here’s an unflattering comparison. In India, unlike in Britain, the government has been sending out pretty irresolute messages. The problem stems from inadequate acknowledgment of the unique gravity of the problem. Terrorism is an unusual threat; it justifies abnormal means.... There is a lesson for us in Britain’s response to the outrage it suffered. The fight against terrorism must be clear-sighted and uncompromising. We politicize it, or communalize it, at our own peril."
The pro-BJP right-of-center Pioneer opined (7/15): "It did not require either great intelligence or extensive sleuthing to establish that the bomb explosions which rocked (London)...marked the arrival of jihad in Britain.... What is of interest and larger import is the revelation that the four suicide bombers were of Pakistani origin and that at least two of them had recently returned from Pakistan. It also transpires that their leader is a Pakistani who entered the UK in June and left for a foreign destination a day before the bombers struck. Those who are politically correct and refuse to acknowledge the root cause of Islamic fanaticism and Islamist terrorism will be prompt in pointing out that the fact that the bombers were of Pakistani origin is subsumed by their identity as British citizens. But such disingenuous arguments need not deflect attention from a harsh reality: Pakistan was and remains the breeding ground of jihadis who are driven by the ideology of hate that is drilled into them at terror schools run by organizations dedicated to the destruction of the civilized parts of the world."
"Jihad In Englistan"
Balbir Punj wrote in the pro-BJP right-of-center Pioneer (7/15): "The immigrant Muslim community in England is predominantly from South Asia as against the predominantly Arab in France or Turkish in Germany.... By the late 1990s, the Islamists were already raising slogans of 'Londonistan' and 'Islam as the future of Britain'. The British establishment underplayed the gravity of such threats. After all, Asians constituted three percent of the population and not all of them were Muslims. However, it is also true that immigrants who are mostly Muslims are growing at an alarming rate, which was 15 times higher than that of the British natives.... It may be recalled how in May 2003 two British Muslim students acted as human bombs in Israel. The policy of accommodation and assimilation has clearly failed to buy peace with Muslim fundamentalists. It is true that in the wake of 7/7 Britain's leading Islamic scholars are mulling over issuing a fatwa against terrorists.... But this seems more like a countervailing strategy against a possible backlash than genuine desire for peace."
PAKISTAN: "Is Pakistan Still A Launch-Pad For Terrorism?"
The Lahore-based liberal English Daily Times editorialized (7/18): "Unfortunately, in this account, Pakistan steadily featured in the background as some kind of global launching pad for al-Qaida’s projects. The three bombers who visited Pakistan seem to have followed a set route. One thought that the terror highway of Pakistan had been closed effectively after President Musharraf revamped the ISI and closed down the camps where jihad and terrorism had exploded in terrible chemistry during the 1990s. That is why there is bound to be public resentment at the way the world will pry into the Islamist interstices of an 'enlightened and moderate' Pakistan. But that is also why it is in Pakistan’s own national interest to clean up the 'facilitating' organizations that pretend that their project is spiritual when in fact it is mercenary."
"Deadline For The Elimination Of Extremism"
The center-right Urdu Pakistan observed (7/17): "President Musharraf has directed law enforcement and other government departments to cleanse the country of extremism by year-end.... It is strange that the explosions took place in London; all the major perpetrators were British citizens, yet it has become obligatory for us to start targeting deeni Madarassa just because one of those responsible for the attack visited Pakistan. Does this make it necessary for us to put every bearded person under a microscope and target every religious group? The President's directive will give law enforcement authorities and the administration an open license to target anyone.... As far as the allegation that...Madarassas produce terrorists and extremists, this charge can be leveled against colleges and universities also. It is the educated class in Pakistan and elsewhere that is involved in heinous crimes.... A criminal is only a criminal, he is not known--and indeed should not be known--by his religion or educational institution. Pakistan should reform the society based on its own need, not due to any pressure from the U.S. or Britain. Pakistan faced terrorism even when there was no 9/11 or 7/7. Bomb blasts took place in this country, explosions were destroying mosques and imam bargahs, target killings were taking place and so on. We need to review the attitude and reasons that cause these incidents."
"West’s Cat Has Again Come Out Of The Bag"
The Karachi-based, right-wing, pro-Islamic unity Urdu Jasarat had this to say (7/18): "British Prime Minister Tony Blair has openly declared war against Islam. Addressing the Labor Party conference in London he said that war against the 'Islamic extremism' would have to be won at every cost. This comment of the British prime minister not only is reflective of his severe hatred towards Islam but is also expression of his mental bankruptcy. Till now the Western world had dedicated the terminology of ‘fundamentalism,’ ‘extremism,’ and ‘Talibanization’ for the Muslims but it is now for the first time that Tony Blair has removed this label from the Muslims and put it on Islam on the whole. Tony Blair has also claimed that the London blasts have nothing to do with Iraq situation. He should explain why any such incident did not take place in his country before the Anglo-American naked aggression in Iraq?"
CANADA: "A Religion Of Peace vs. Apologists For Reform"
Harvey Enchin observed in the left-of-center Vancouver Sun (7/15): "The widespread delusion that the West, under the influence of Jews, is somehow responsible for the Islamic world's decline and decay is reinforced daily in the news media, music videos, television programs and school textbooks throughout the Arab world and other Muslim countries.... They are taught that Islam is not only a religion but a universal ideology, a complete legal system and an infallible guide that will provide solutions to all problems of human life. In this theology, there is no pluralism, no accommodation, no mercy for the infidels. The war on terror will never end unless moderate Muslims all over the world confront it.... The terrorists despise the West because it is there, because its principles of religious freedom, democracy and equality are anathema to them. So moderate Muslim leaders have to do more than grudgingly concede that blowing up innocent people on a subway train is bad. They have to rout out the evil in their midst.... Most Muslims are not terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims. There is no place in civil society for an ideology that celebrates mass murder or deems suicide bombing a sacred act. Moderate Muslim leaders must take aggressive steps to ensure that Islam proves to be what they keep telling everybody it is--a religion of tolerance and peace."
BRAZIL: "Internal Threat"
Liberal Folha de S. Paulo editorialized (7/14): "The British are seeing their worst fears becoming reality. They have found out that the ignoble attack against London’s public transportation system was carried out by suicide bombers and, worse, that they were British citizens of Islamic origin. This creates the hypothesis of internal threat. The consequences are not trivial.... Violence against the UK's Muslim community will not be a surprise. Several bills to fight terrorism after Sept. 11 were rejected both by the Parliament and the British justice system. It is very likely that resistance will diminish after last week’s attacks.... Asking for more effective measures against terrorism is a natural and correct reaction. The level of liberty and individual rights that a society is inclined to grant to its members is defined by the level of threat to which the society is submitted. The risk is to make the scale lean too much to the security side to the point of irremediably jeopardizing civil rights. In such a case, the terrorists will have succeeded in transforming open societies into closed ones."
"Bankruptcy Of The New Left"
Political analyst Demetrio Magnoli opined in liberal Folha de S. Paulo (7/14) "The London that was hit was not the City, but that of common citizens of all creeds and colors who share a global metropolis. The bombs that destroyed the subway a week ago are powerful arguments in the speeches of those who, in the name of security, want to restrict 'civil liberties' and divide Londoners according to religious faith and skin color. That program, which is being fully applied in the U.S. but is still an embryo in Europe, follows the strategy of the 'clash of civilizations' conducted by George Bush and Osama bin Ladin."
MEXICO: "Terrorist Attacks In London Fuel Racism"
The far-left La Jornada maintained (7/15): "The nations that proclaim themselves leaders of democracy and of individual freedoms are taking advantage of the situation to increase the already exaggerated police controls over common citizens. Prime Minister Blair has called for tougher security measures, and Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff announced stricter immigration norms that would include taking all the fingerprints of first-time visitors to the U.S.--which usually would only apply to criminals.... It is obvious that greater police surveillance of all citizens and restrictions to human rights and free transit, among other measures, will not suffice to stop future criminal actions. The Spanish government reinforced security measures after 9/11 but it was unable to prevent the March 11, 2003 attacks.... The U.S. and the European countries that joined Washington in the criminal war against Iraq cannot expect that after having destroyed that nation their own territories would be free of violence."
CHILE: "Intolerance Helps Terrorism"
Center-left Diario Siete editorialized (7/18): "There are those who believe that one cannot fight terrorism without fighting Islam...and that the global threat of Islam to Europe and the West must be answered globally.... This view seems to represent a strong stand against terrorism, but actually supports the logic of terrorism.... Prime Minister Tony Blair is trying to define a policy to strike the intellectual and material authors of the attacks...and stressed that this is not a clash of civilizations because all peoples are civilized regardless of their beliefs.... He has insisted that the fight against terrorism is global, because it is a battle of hearts and minds that demands winning support in the Islamic world. Blair has correctly drawn a dividing line on this matter but has not done too well in denying the connection between the Iraq war...and the London attacks.... To present a solid front against the terrorist threat, Great Britain must show it upholds individual freedom and opposes indiscriminate violence in Baghdad just as in London; that it rejects all forms of terrorism--not just those that affect Britain. It is becoming increasingly evident that the fanatics behind the London bombings cannot be confronted with other types of fanaticism. They must be faced with a strong commitment to human rights, freedom, and pluralism."
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