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Sleeping with the Enemy - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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I crossed the streets of London on my way to work and watched the

Metropolitan Police in some of the street crossings. Crowds were everywhere, people’s faces were full of bewilderment, and I thought to myself London you’ve been sleeping with the enemy for far too long.

Am I being rash? Am I just guessing? No! In London we saw, and still see, money collected on street corners, conferences held under different headings all calling for jihad! Where? In our Arab countries and they curse the homelands of the “infidel” which is where they live. When one expresses astonishment at this, we”re told this is freedom. However, isn”t freedom a responsibility? No one answers.

Instigation is palpable in London, read and seen all in the name of freedom.

Today London will start reorganizing her plans. It will reopen its old files and reread them following the example of countries that used to stickle and say that they were far from terrorism. Some of the countries have the opinion that as long as no bomb has gone off, no shot has been fired; that they”re safe from the evils of terrorism.

The concealed truth is that terrorism can be a mere word as much as a

gunshot. Violence is an articulation as much as an action. My little girl cried in panic after I picked her and her brother from school asking me to stay home and saying &#34this time is not like every time, dad… it is in London… in front of our eyes&#34. This time their school was on a day trip and close to the site of one of the bombings. My reply is that there is no difference; the events of London are like the events of Riyadh, New York, Morocco, Qatar, Kuwait and many other capitals and countries.

If you switch on a TV channel in a far away island or read a newspaper article, or heard a clergyman on a podium instigating terrorism while you are in Alaska, repeat with me there is no difference. Instigation is terrorism!

London has long slept with the enemy for groundless excuses. Today,

Injustice will be done to the compulsively banished and the unwillingly expatriated. The innocent and the guilty will be equaled, why? It is because London woke up unaware. She woke up to the echo of bombings and not to singing birds. In London, they talk to you about the absence of freedom in the Arab world, oppression, and security tensions in Arab states giving many justifications. However, when you tell them to stop being tolerant with terrorism supporters coming from their land, their satellites, and internet; when you tell them that those same people who deprive me of my freedom today and accuse me of infidelity for unjustified reasons, will deny you that freedom tomorrow, which is what happened today? Terrorism hit London with no exceptions to the young or old.

In America people were killed and terrorized by planes, in London the buses and subways, in Morocco a nightclub, and residential compounds in Riyadh. Terrorism aims at harming the largest number of victims and spreading panic. This is what we saw in London today, terrorism has delivered its message.

Those who fight in the name of Islam have tarnished its name. Others who defend them in the name of freedom have victimized humans. For the sake of all our freedoms, please stop those assaulting our freedom. The simplest notion of freedom is that your freedom ends where mine is violated and vice

versa.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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