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In contrast to the reaction of American Muslims after 9/11, when organizations like CAIR spent far more time declaring themselves as victims rather than working constructively to fight terrorism, London's Muslims wasted no time yesterday decrying the bloody attacks on Britain's civilian transportation systems:
Muslim leaders in Britain yesterday were swift to condemn a series of deadly bomb blasts in London and they appealed to Britons not to single out their community for reprisals.
The leaders also made an unprecedented appeal to the estimated 1.7 million Muslims living in Britain to tip off the police about who had carried out the bombings.
"These evil deeds makes victims of us all," the Muslim Council of Britain said.
"The evil people who planned and carried out these series of explosions in London want to demoralize us as a nation and divide us as a people.
"All of us must unite in helping the police to capture these murderers."
That same appeal was made by the leadership of Europe's largest mosque and cultural center.
"We call on the Muslim community to be fully cooperative in this situation, so we may all live in peace and harmony and continue to make London the vibrant, tolerant and peaceful city it is," concluded a statement from the London Central Mosque, whose golden dome rises above one of London's major landmarks, Regent's Park.
The British Muslims may sing a different tune for a couple of reasons. First, London has always welcomed Muslims due to its extensive colonial experience with them, and their numbers give them a significant role in British politics. Four Member of Parliament are Muslims from London. Also, one of the stations attacked yesterday (Aldgate) serves a primarily Muslim community. The al-Qaeda attack either didn't take that into account or it simply didn't matter to the terrorists, a revelation that some Muslims might take to heart.
However, many Muslims in Britain will now look for an inevitable "backlash" against Muslims. Some in the Washington Times article get quoted as warning people of it already. They want to head that reaction off before it picks up steam and forces Britain to start massive deportation efforts for those Muslims that have not established legal residency in the UK. In the aftermath of the 7/7 attacks, one can be certain that Parliament will entertain that as a security solution, and they want to pre-emptively act against it.
The key here is the call to cooperate with law enforcement by supplying tips pointing to the bombers. That message never clearly came out from Muslim groups in America, which seemed much more concerned about fighting law-enforcement and intelligence agencies and loudly proclaiming every perceived slight to their rights after 9/11. It sounds as if their British cousins have a better grasp on how to act as citizens in the aftermath of terrorist attacks.Sphere It View blog reactions
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