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Making excuses for Terrorism - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Efforts to link the bombs in London to Britain ’s involvement in Iraq are worthless and a badly timed justification. Egypt , a country which did not send any soldiers to fight in Iraq and has always opposed the war, has also been the victim of terrorism in Sharm al Sheikh. Claiming the London explosions are a consequence of the British government’s participation in the war in Iraq lacks is devoid of any historical knowledge. After all, the ideology of al Qaeda and its affiliates is denouncing people as infidels and killing innocent civilians.

Whether Britain had taken part in the war in Iraq or not, the country would still be a target for al Qaeda. The British Isles have been chosen by the extremists as a safe house where they can expand, raise their children and recruit more followers to spread their ideology.

If this prove anything, it is that Britain is one of the most generous host countries in Europe, to the extent that is has allowed its territories to be filled with deadly scorpions who are waiting for the appropriate time to leave their nests and sting their hosts. The latest attacks in London are a direct result of the government’s recklessness and its lenient attitude toward extremists it has refrained from deporting in the last fifty years.

Let me remind the reader of the reactions in some sections of the media to terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia . Many alleged the bombings were a reaction to the presence of US military forces in the region, after the first Gulf War. Yet, an analysis of events in the last few years clearly demonstrates that the number of attacks rose after US forces withdrew from the Kingdom, thereby contradicting these claims. Terrorists never attacks US forces stationed in nearby Qatar , who sent its soldiers to fight in Iraq .

It was inevitable that Britain will get attacked. The question was not if, but when. Terrorists and their sympathizers decided to abuse the government’s lax attitude and its open door policy for extremists. Certainly, the Iraq war provided the impetus and helped with funding and propaganda. It also meant different groups joined forces and more individuals fell pray to extremism.

However, the truth of the matter is, terrorism began in Afghanistan and was exported to Iraq, the Persian Gulf region, and Egypt, even affecting countries that have not taken part in the war, such as Yemen, Indonesia, and the Netherlands.

Justifying the London attacks and arguing events in Iraq are to blame only serves to perpetuate lies. In reality, terrorism is an ideological disease we need to get rid of. The most recent bombings in the resort town herald a new round in the war on terror that require a comprehensive understanding of the causes of the attack. London and Sharm al Sheikh are the latest pieces in the big puzzle that is terrorism, currently spreading its wings around the world. They are not internal problems but part of a wider global conflict that must be confronted socially and collectively.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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