Overcast day, overcast soul

22 July, 2005 at 10:59 am 3 comments

It's grey and gloomy and muggy here today. That reflects how I'm feeling. I don't want to live in a country where the Prime Minister – for whom I campaigned and voted in 1997 – gets up and, time and again, tries to silence criticism about Iraq. And does so by pretending that the only reason we have terror on our streets is because terrorists basically run around looking for excuses to blow people up, so that if it wasn't Iraq, it would be something else. What drivel! It's so ridiculous that it's risible. Yet, coming as it does from the Prime Minister, it's sinister. It means that there's not going to be any attempt to get rid of the root causes of terror on our streets. And the danger of not dealing with the real causes, but with made-up ones, is that things fester and get worse.

I don't want to live in a country where bombs go off because young Muslims are becoming radicalised because they're alienated, discriminated against, and because they look at what's happening in Palestine and Iraq and conclude that Britain and the USA are anti-Muslim and pro-Israeli. I don't want to live in a country whose policies contribute proactively to death and terror on the streets of Iraq and Palestine and which cannot then understand young people in this country wanting to do something to change things.

I don't want to live in a country where moderate Muslims have to be called in and paraded before society, both to say "See? Not all Muslims are evil!" and also, in a sense, to give account of themselves. I don't want to live in a society that is suspicious of Muslims rather than of terrorists because it assumes that the two are synonymous. I don't want to live in a country that spends most of its time and effort investigating whether there is something intrinsically wrong about Islam, rather than looking at its own actions in the Muslim world. I don't want to live among people whose working assumption (promoted by the media) is that the bombings show that all Muslims are fanatical, evil, violent fundamentalists, when the IRA never led them to ask the same questions about Christianity.

And I don't want to live in a country where the Daily Telegraph can run a front page showing Ken Livingstone in a line with two radical Muslim clerics under the headline, "These men blame Britain!" (Mind you, it would be nice to be able to live here without the Daily Telegraph!)If we have got to the point where we lump all criticism of the government under the same heading, and assume that critical voices are pro-terror voices, and silence engagement by suggesting publicly that it is the same as associating ones self with voices calling for British deaths, then we are deep, deep, deep in the brown smelly stuff!

I don't want to be told to "Go home, then!", either. I'm not saying I don't want to live here. This is my home. I want it to be a good place, though – a place where the logic of terror makes no sense at all.


Entry filed under: current affairs, terrorism.

Permission to use The Dancing Madonna Holy impatience

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lucy Berry  |  26 July, 2005 at 10:30 am

    Yep. I’d agree with you about the Telegraph. Not thrilled with the Mail or the Express either since they claim that their posturings are opinions.

    But it’s not from those papers or their readers that we’re going to hear dissent from Blair’s perspective/angle/spin on terrorism.

    Where – and I shame-fully include myself in this – are the Indie and Guardian readers? What stops us chaining ourselves to railings and beginning to talk sensibly and articulately about this? I KNOW we care. No decent people with social conscience are ever gathered together at the moment without collectively pondering and condemning Blair’s descent into conveniently muddied – yes sinister – presentation of the issues.

    Perhaps we are nervous (for our own skins) of how far the country has already changed; sliding into a place where maybe we might get inadvertently shot. Whoops!

    Make me a mouthpiece – but not yet, eh?

    And yet I’m frightened that if I/we don’t do it soon it will be too late. (See Niemoeller).

  • 2. Anonymous  |  29 July, 2005 at 12:13 am

    To date the terrorists/murderers have not cited the Iraq war, but rather their violent contempt of the values of the westernworld as inspiration for their deadly attacks. The cry against the Iraqi war has come from those Muslims and others as people who genuinely value life, repect relgious groups and want harmony. Part of the aim of terrorists is to create havoc, to develop a culture of death and to bring down a system of government they despise. In trying to fathom the motives of these terrorists we cite the Iraqi war, and quite understandably so. But war or not—–these terrorists forged and continue to forge ahead.
    Blair is in a tight corner—-the Iraqi war was wrong— his conscience should be pricked irrespective of terrorist attacks now or ten years ago.

  • 3. Wol  |  29 July, 2005 at 9:23 am

    So are you agreeing or diagreeing with me ..?


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