Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

London: When hell froze over | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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This week, I was planning to continue writing on the Syrian matter, however, the terrorist attacks of the 7 July against the beautiful city of London with its open-minded, just and patient people, changed my plans. Instead, I have decided to resume my writing about the issue of the violation of human rights for devilish purposes. That week was a bizarre one, in that Wednesday witnessed great joy for all citizens of London due to the news of London”s victory on hosting the 2012 Olympics, I even recall telling one of my friends how lucky we are to live in this city where every moment is appreciated and history is cherished. A city gave us the privilege to enjoy real happiness, freedom, the respecting of others” opinion and intense appreciation and respect of people regardless of their color, race, nationality and religion. Simply, it is the city that granted us what our original homes refused us.

However, on Thursday, the story was completely different. A survivor from one of the underground blasts said, &#34It”s that day that heaven disappeared, hell froze over and revealed its fires.&#34 This is what terrorists, who lack the spirit of enjoying happiness and beauty, prefer to spread and allow the city to indulge in blasts of envy to diminish every success and future aspiration. The major crisis that these terrorists suffer from is that they fear the light and prefer to spend their life in the dark. They chose the dark tunnels of the underground in which to strike their cowardly blasts on alleged claims that terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan or Palestine justifies their attacks, completely forgetting that London hosted the demonstration of one million people who protested against war on Iraq. These justifications are all excuses as what else can we call the bombers who plant explosives for the sake of killing people but assassins.

Amid all the rage that has overwhelmed us over the lack of gratitude that was practiced against London, the so-called European Al-Qaeda and Abu Hafs website provided details of the London &#34conquest&#34 and alleged claims such as &#34Enacting God”s will&#34. Also, last Monday, the trial of Moroccan Mohamed Bouyeri, the murderer of Dutch director Theo Van Gogh took place. Bouyeri went into court carrying a copy of the holy Koran and murmured some ambiguous words, telling the judges that he is &#34God”s tool&#34. On the same day, in our newspaper ”Asharq Al Awsat”, Syrian minister Bothayna Shaaban wrote an invalid article. Her article focused on &#34Demonstrators who expressed themselves in ideological or musical terms against the G8 summit and about the African continent.&#34 The main theme of the article was incorrect as the rock concerts were prepared to encourage leaders of industrial countries to cancel the debts of a number of African countries. The Syrian minister added that, &#34Leaders of the summit discussed means of dominating lands of prophecies in the Middle East, and introducing western global ideologies. Also they discussed the concepts of which prophets failed to notice, of which it is now their responsibility to introduce to Arab states, totally forgetting that these countries were chosen by God to guide all humanity through their culture, religion and peaceful existence.&#34 The minister completely forgot to denounce the terrorist attacks that took place in London while the summit was being held. The perpetrators of the attacks have not been completely recognized, with doubts shed upon Syrian citizen Mustafa Set Mariam Nassar, who is also accused of involvement in Madrid attacks which claimed the lives of 200 innocent persons. Perhaps it was his attempt to reform humanity, but the minister reported that the &#34advanced west&#34 causes segregation between Arab states especially Lebanon and Syria, aiming at impeding on the commercial interaction between them.

She seems to have forgotten that her country, Syria, has been responsible for blocking the borders to hinder Lebanese commercial trucks heading for Jordan, Iraq and Turkey, with the aim of punishing Lebanon and dominating its people. She literally adds, &#34This specific area was chosen by God so that descendants of this region would open the gates of love, harmony and peaceful coexistence amongst all humanity. God had chosen Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Mecca, not Paris and New York to be a compass for the world. God had chosen the prophets (PBUT) Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mohamed and others from this region.&#34

Two weeks ago, this very same minister wrote that the Syrians are enjoying a life of luxury of which almost all people of the western-supported countries envy. We merely wish and hope that the minister would read the statements of terrorist attacks that occurred in London, Madrid, Casablanca, Riyadh, Khobar or Sinai. Such statements are signed by figures who claim that their target is to convey culture to all humanity. This is not to forget the murder of the Egyptian envoy, Ihab El Sherif who was killed by Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi.

If we really want to discuss the topic of culture mediators, we should speak of the victim diplomat. He is a graduate of Sorbonne University and a travel writer. The ex-ambassador for London, Dr. Mohamed Shaker told us about the brilliance of El Sharif, his cultural background, his thorough study of countries and how great his loss is to both Egypt and Iraq. He said that the books written by El Sharif about India and Sweden were two of the most interesting. He also wrote a book about Palestine and Israel. However we do not hear of anybody enjoying any written contributions by Al-Zarqawi or his terrorist colleague Mostafa Nasser.

British people were extremely opposed to the war on Iraq as we can see from the free British policy that allows its politicians to analyze the rights and wrongs of the government. These are the very same people who reelected Tony Blair for a third term. Blair did not make any specialized effort to find a solution to the Palestinian issue, and when Arab states were afraid of the suspicions that could be cast upon them with regards to any links to the Hamas movement, envoy Alistair Crooke was around the negotiation table with Hamas leaders. Actually, Al-Qaeda threats began with the 9/11 attacks. A Pakistani politician once told me that had it not been for the Arabs and Osama Bin Laden, Afghanistan would not have suffered to such an extent. The major mistake made by the Taliban was that that they trusted Arabs, as prior to that, they had negotiated with the American state department with regards to oil and gas pumps that crossed their land. Since 2001, British security forces work as some would call it, &#34A Goal keeper who has successfully fended off all kicks but this one strike unfortunately penetrated our goal net. And it was more than enough.&#34

This actually means that London could be prone to more attacks because the perpetrators realized that their threats against London had not achieved its goals. London had kept its society a liberal one but terrorists believed that they could actually transform London into &#34Londonstan&#34 having no consideration for the Muslim community living in Britain. This in fact stems from a belief that Britain only regards its Muslim minority as a small part of the grand global image that only London can embrace.

On the other hand, some people justify hatred towards Britain on a historical basis. Britain is regarded as responsible for the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Some of them note that Bin Laden had mentioned Andalusia in one of his speeches and so Madrid and London”s bombings correlate in &#34Having same strategic goals, which are correcting the faults practiced against Islamic nations and to reestablish the Islamic caliphate.&#34

Let us just think about who can rule this caliphate. What is more important is that innocent Muslims living in Europe should not have to pay the price of some terrorists” crimes; this is because British security forces orientations will be on the topic of extended European debate that will tackle the issue of the immigration of Muslim and its cultural and security dangers upon European communities.