Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Muslims, speak out! - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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I am inclined to believe, especially in the aftermath of the London bombings a fortnight ago, that British Muslims live on a different island! Indeed the Muslims population in Britain has separated itself, psychologically, culturally, and communally from mainstream society. Typically, a British passport holder watches the television of his home country, adheres the morality of his village, and is unconcerned about developments around him in London , whether positive or negative. Muslim immigrant populations remain on the margins of European societies, especially regarding matters that concern them, in the United Kingdom .

How else can one explain their demonstrations against the war in Iraq and their silence when their national identity as British citizens is put into question? Protest is, after all, a legitimate and effective way to show opposition in London .

The war on terror has reached London . Undoubtedly, its first victim is the Muslim population. Why it then that, unlike the run up to the war in Iraq, no one single soul, not even a British Muslim, has taken to streets in protest against the spread of terrorism in the capital?

Silence is increasingly dangerous. It establishes a link between British Muslims and those who condone terrorism and violence around the world, even if, so far, the latter have spared the capital from their poisonous religious edicts. Incitement, however, does not differentiate between color, race, and geography; some of the victims of Black Thursday 7/7 were Muslim and Arab.

In the last few days, prominent figures in the British Muslim community, form across Britain have come out and condemned terrorism in editorials published in the national press. This is not enough. We expect more from Britain ’s Muslims: those who marched in their thousands against intervention in Iraq ought to march, once more, against violence and terrorism.

Without wishing to stir trouble, I feel it is important to warn against this continued silence that could be understood as an implicit support for extremist voices in the Arab and Muslim Worlds. I write this from London because it is necessary to discuss events where one lives. Sadly, I see others around me ungrateful for the quality of life they enjoy in Britain . Instead, they continue to support, even if tacitly, those who believe they speak exclusively in the name of all Muslims and only bring about destruction.

I call on all British Muslims to speak loudly, and in the language of the adopted country, “No to terrorism, not in our name!”, instead of permitting the imams of the internet and foreign satellite channels, to speak on your behalf. I urge you to follow the media in London because foreign channels, in your native tongues, encourage you to commit suicide and extol the virtues of martyrdom. Think of your present and your future. Do not transform yourselves into a press office for al Qaeda when discussing events in Iraq . The citizens of Baghdad themselves view this breed that cries on behalf with curiosity and say, “With friends like these, who needs enemies?”