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memri
July 12, 2005 No.
37

Arab and Iranian Media Reactions to the London Bombing – Part II: ‘The Attacks Were Anticipated Due to British Leniency to Extremists Acting in Britain’- ‘Expel Extremism Today’

The following are additional reactions from the Arab and Iranian press to the July 7, 2005 bombings in London. For Part I, see Arab and Iranian Media Reactions to the London Bombing – Part II: ‘The Attacks Were Anticipated Due to British Leniency to Extremists Acting in Britain’- ‘Expel Extremism Today’. For video clips on the reactions from MEMRI TV, visit http://memritv.org/clip/en/67.htm.

"Expel Extremism Today"

Under the title "Expel Extremism Today," Al-Arabiya TV Director-General Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed wrote: " For over 10 years now, I myself and other Arab writers have warned against the dangers of the reckless handling of the extremism that is now spreading like a plague within the British community.

"It was never understood why British authorities gave refuge to suspicious characters previously involved in terrorist activities. Why would Britain grant asylum to Arabs who have been convicted of political crimes or religious extremism, or even sentenced to death? Not only were they admitted to this country, but they were also provided with accommodation, a monthly salary, and free legal advice for those who want to prosecute the British government.

"The answer, I believe, is what... I call 'blind generosity.' This bizarre reasoning stuns individuals such as students who wish to establish careers abroad and whose [applications for British] citizenship are rejected. These people do not have criminal records like the others [to grant them entry].

"Like many other diseases, extremism is a contagious one. A small dose of carriers can spread the infection like wildfire, establishing a community full of destructive thoughts and practices such as the horrific [bombing] in London.

"The reason behind this [British] practice is the recklessness of internal British policies since the 1990s. This irresponsibility has been demonstrated by allowing extremists to enter the country - with the result being Thursday's attacks. [These attacks] were a crime that the majority of us anticipated, since leniency like this, and hatred like this, were bound to converge at some point.

"The British authority's leniency regarding fundamentalist fascism has allowed many, including Arab and Muslim intellectuals and journalists, to adopt ideologies that promote extremism and defend criminals such as bin Laden and Al-Zarqawi. The situation has escalated to the extent that Arab and Muslim intellects fear the repercussions of condemning extremists.

"The battle we face is against the ideology, as opposed to against the terrorists themselves. The terrorist groups make the most of the concept of freedom of speech, as well as of the ability to promote such ideas to gain support. Such tolerance on behalf of the British government has allowed Arab and Muslim extremists to seek refuge in Britain, away from their own countries...

"Within a decade, they have established organizations, promoted their beliefs all over the world, and denounced others as infidels in mosques, schools, and the media, and have publicly called to enjoin battle. They have spread into the city of London, reaching communities that had no previous record or practice of extremism. The results were illustrated last Thursday.

"So why has this happened?

"Until recently, London held the delusion that extremists would not target Britain, but only use it as a base, protecting their freedom as they worked against Arab and Islamic governments. For this reason, Britain was full of convicted [extremists] known for propagating their extremist ideologies.

"The time has come for British authorities to deal harshly with extremism, before complete chaos is unleashed onto British society. In the past, we talked about stopping them. Now, it is time to expel." [1]

Columnist Hamoud Abu Taleb wrote in the Saudi daily Al-Watan: "...There is no escape from telling the British authorities that they are not completely innocent of creating the appropriate atmosphere for the bombings in London - because Britain is nearly the only country that treats terrorists and extremists with exaggerated humanity, even when their crimes are proven…

"Britain has shut its ears [to hearing] the words of people who stood out as extremists; [it has shut its eyes to seeing] that every day they take in more activists, collect large donations, and expose their goals via the media; [and it has avoided seeing how] the papers and the media defend their terrorism. So it was unavoidable that London would, one day, fall victim to this leniency - because these base wild beasts do not differentiate between those who protect them and those who persecute them." [2]

Columnist Hamad bin Hamad Al-Salami wrote in the Saudi daily Al-Jazeerah: "Bin Laden and those who act under his patronage are in caves far from Britain, but his supporters who answer to his authority live in the bosom and patronage of the British, and find media via which they talk freely and never cease to support Al-Qa'ida's terrorist program… The Qatari channel Al-Jazeera is not the first of these, and the [London] newspaper Al-Quds [Al-Arabi] is not the last of these.

"Those [who attacked] Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt, and others have now risen against the country that hosts them and provides them with work and a livelihood. Among them are: [Muhammad] Al-Musa'ari, [Sa'ad] Al-Faqiha, Abu Qatada, Abu Al-Muntazar, [Hani] Al-Siba'i, and [Abd Al-Bari] 'Atwan. They deceive millions when they appear with their robes and tarbooshes, and sometimes with [Islamic] decorations, claiming to possess knowledge in the etiquette and ethics of Islam…" [3]

The Attacks Harm the Muslims More than the British

London daily Al-Hayat columnist Abd Al-Wahab Badrakhan wrote: "Neither the 9/11 terrorists nor the July 7 terrorists gave any thought to the fate of the Arabs and Muslims in the U.S. and Britain... Nor did they consider the situation of the Muslims in Spain [after the March 11, 2004 bombing] and the suffering of the other Muslims in their countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Indonesia.

"In effect, these [terrorists] have abandoned all religions and faiths, and it does not matter that they decorate their writings with Koranic verses and with quotes from the traditions of the Prophet and from commentary by the great [Koran commentators]. Their religion has become [a religion] of murder, and their belief has become [a belief] of hatred for the West, particularly for the U.S. [They have] monopolized Islam to cover for their terrorism and crimes." [4]

The Saudi daily Al-Riyadh wrote in an editorial: "After the massacre in London, Black July 7, many Muslim tourists remained in their homes, and Muslim residents [of Western countries] denied their Arab ties in every conversation with a salesman or a waiter....The Arabs have lost their safe existence in Britain… The politicians' flattery and gentle words will not change this; the Muslim in Europe will become like [the Muslim] in America - undeserving of leniency, and never unobserved by the eyes of the security [apparatuses]." [5]

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat columnist Ahmad Al-Ruba'i wrote: "This week’s attacks have particularly harmed the Islamic presence throughout Europe - especially in Britain, where civil liberties protect supporters of terrorism, even turning a blind eye to celebrations of violence and the presence of Al-Qa'ida operatives. As a result, Tony Blair's government will find it difficult to resist calls by various Arab governments to hand over their citizens who are accused of promoting terrorism on British soil.

"Actually, the one person to benefit from the London attacks is Al-Qa'ida's arch-enemy, PM [Blair]. Tragic events have proven that he was not scaremongering when, during his election campaign, he warned of the threat of an imminent terrorist attack. In addition, terrorism is increasing U.S. President George W. Bush's popularity with the American people, at a time when his ratings were suffering due to mismanagement of the situation in Iraq." [6]

Extremist British Islamist: "The Attacks are Punishment from Allah"

Abu 'Abdallah, who replaced "Supporters of Shari'a" leader Abu Hamza Al-Masri, who is now standing trial in Britain, told the London daily Al-Hayat that the bombing was "a punishment from Allah… because of prostitution and homosexuality." He added: "When the reporters ask me about Muslim involvement [in the attack], I ask them about the two governments, American and British, that in recent years have killed two million Muslims." He also blamed "the Zionist lobby, which learned from Nazi leader Adolf Hitler how to rake in support from the entire public by sowing fear among its ranks." According to Abu 'Abdallah, "[Even] if it is proven that the Muslims are involved in these attacks, the finger will continue to point towards the [British] government and the Zionist lobby." [7]

Saudi Columnist: Al-Qa'ida Had Nothing to Gain by Attacking Britain

Dr. Sami Sa'id Habib, chairman of the Saudi Association for Aviation and Space Sciences, argued that despite the haste in which secret groups took responsibility for the bombings, it was possible to figure out what mind had planned them using the principle of who stood to gain the most. In his view, "Al-Qa'ida really had nothing to gain in carrying out this operation, particularly in timing it after the British Defense Ministry announced its plan to withdraw its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan - after all, they say that Al-Qa'ida's goal is the removal of the Americans and British from Arab lands.

"As a result of these events, the British will be forced to remain in Iraq to fight the international 'terrorism' that struck them in the heart of their country…

"With regard to Israeli involvement in the affair, there are conflicting reports regarding warnings received by Israeli Finance Minister and former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He received the news before he planned to leave the Israeli embassy in London; he then remained in the hotel and did not leave it. Afterwards he stated that Scotland Yard had warned him - without, of course, warning the residents of London - [a statement] that was vehemently denied by Scotland Yard." [8]

Tehran Friday Prayer Leader: Al-Qa'ida is the Illegitimate Son of the U.S. and Israel

Tehran Friday prayer leader Ayatollah Mohammad Emami-Kashani discussed the bombings (to view clip visit http://memritv.org/clip/en/747.htm ): "The Islamic Republic and the [Iranian] Foreign Ministry have expressed their position and condemned [the bombings]. The entire Iranian people condemns this. Massacring women, children, old and young is entirely inappropriate for a human being, and cannot be accepted by anyone with a conscience. Iran has expressed its people's solidarity with the survivors of these incidents in London.

"You speak of terror and Al-Qa'ida. Have you forgotten who the mother and father of Al-Qa'ida are? America is its father, and Israel its mother. It is the illegitimate child of these powers. You yourselves have brought it into being..."

At this point the crowd responded by chanting: "Allah Akbar. Allah Akbar. Allah Akbar. Khamenei is the leader. Death to those who reject the rule of the jurisprudent. Death to America. Death to England. Death to the hypocrites (Mojahedin-e Khalq) and Saddam. Death to Israel."

Emami-Kashani then said: "You yourselves have brought it into being, and you have done so in the name of Islam. Thus, the child, whose father is the arrogance of the White House, and whose mother is the executioners of Israel, and who you have named 'Islam' - is known to all. The reason he was named this way is clear, as is your true nature. You brought [Al-Qa'ida] into being in order to bring calamity to our lives, but, thank God, it has brought calamity to yours."

"You created this group in order to remove the life in it… Aren't the explosions [in London] one of the results of the battle led by America?… America cultivates state terrorism, but if it hopes to succeed in its war against terrorism, it must first of all abandon its terrorist measures in occupied Palestine." [9]

Conservative Iranian Daily: U.S. and Israeli Espionage Behind London Bombings

In an editorial, the conservative Persian-language daily Joumhour-ye Eslami stated: "…There is no doubt that this group is the protégé of America. America uses Al-Qa'ida anytime, anywhere, for the sake of its goals - even for changing British public opinion in order to make [the British] stop opposing the British government's marching with America.

"It would appear that behind the scenes of the explosions in London stand the espionage services of America and the Zionist regime. They want to paint a more violent image of the terror, so that the British public will experience it for real and thus stop opposing Britain's military presence in Iraq.

"This is the secret policy that started on September 11, 2001, with the explosion of the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, and that continued to London's city buses and underground trains." [10]

Syrian Government Daily: The Bombings - a Response to American Policy

Syrian columnist 'Izz Al-Din Al-Darwish wrote in the Syrian government daily Teshreen: "How is it possible to convince the Arab and Muslim peoples of the justness of the war on terror while Israeli terror is categorized as 'self-defense?' And how is it possible for the situation to return to normal if the U.S. and Western governments turn a blind eye to Israeli terror, and even justify it? In addition to this, there is a general sense that Islam and the Arabs are [targeted] in the war on terror." [11]

Saudi Mufti: The Bombings are Prohibited by Islam

Saudi Mufti Sheikh Abd Al-'Aziz bin Abdallah bin Muhammad Aal Al-Sheikh issued a communiqué condemning the bombing: "Explosions and damage to the property and lives of peaceful people are forbidden by Islam… Islam is a religion of justice and reconciliation, which brought humanity from darkness to light… Islam brought [to humanity] the honoring of agreements and the prohibition on violating them… Islam brought just treatment [even] of an enemy… Esteemed Muslim clerics in this era have already condemned these abhorrent acts, and have repeatedly announced that the attacks have nothing to do with Islam." [12]


Saudi Newspaper Cartoon

On July 9, 2005, the Saudi daily Al-Yawm published the following cartoon:



[1] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), July 9, 2005.

[2] Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), July 10, 2004.

[3] Al-Jazeerah (Saudi Arabia), July 10, 2005.

[4] Al-Hayat (London), July 9, 2005.

[5] Al-Riyadh (London), July 9, 2005.

[6] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), July 9, 2005.

[7] Al-Hayat (London), July 10, 2005.

[8] Al-Madina (Saudi Arabia), July 7.

[9] Friday sermon in Tehran, July 8, 2005, http://memritv.org/clip_transcript/en/747.htm.

[10] Jomhouri-ye Eslami (Iran), July 9, 2005.

[11] Teshreen (Syria), July 10, 2005.

[12] https://www.islah400.org/vboard/showthread.php?t=125604, July 8, 2005.