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The London Blasts


The London Blasts: Media Review

DAY TWO: 9 July 2005 Introduction

A brief review of the reaction of the serious press in Britain to the atrocities in London. On this page: 'Key Quotes Today' and an 'Overview'


Part 1: 'This is not "a war on freedom" '


Part 2: 'The link to Iraq'


Part 3: 'The Perception of Islam'



Key Quotes Today:


Letter from Ahmad Sabah ul Haq Khan in the Independent:

'Sir: The Koran, regarding those who kill indiscriminately, equates the innocent killing of one person as though "it shall be as if he killed all mankind; and whoso saved a life, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind" (Ch5. v. 33). Surely, those British emergency service men and women who saved lives in the midst of Thursday's atrocity are those whom the Koran describes as having "saved all of mankind", whilst the terrorists are condemned by the Koran as "having killed all of mankind". My thoughts and prayers are with my fellow citizens of Britain.'


Rupert Cornwell in the Independent:

'The reality is they want Britain out of Afghanistan and out of Iraq.' (page 49, or you can pay for access here)


Paul Bailey in the Independent:

'I believe, along with millions of my countrymen, that the Bush-inspired war on terror is bound to insprire more terrorism. If you declare war, you get the same back in spades. We should never have invaded Iraq.' (page 31, or paid-for access here)


Former Labour government adviser David Clark, in the Guardian:

'... everything that has followed the fall of Kabul has been ruinous to the task of winning over moderate Muslim opinion and isolating the terrorists within their own communities... 'In Iraq we allowed America to rip up the rule book of counter-insurgency with a military adventure that was dishonestly conceived and incompetently executed. Tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis have been killed by US troops uninterested in distinguishing between combatant and noncombatant, or even counting the dead... Bin Laden can hardly believe his luck... 'The political dimensions of this problem mean that there can be no hope of defeating terrorism until we are ready to take legitimate Arab grievances seriously.'




Media Overview

Yesterday we identified four kinds of reaction to the attacks: denying that al Qaeda has any political objectives (and therefore that nothing political can or should be done to bring these bombings to a halt); admitting that al Qaeda does have specific foreign policy objectives (and grievances), but doing so in a way that is thoroughly confusing; urging that we seek the 'roots of terrorism', but in a non-specific fashion which leaves people none the wiser; and, finally, just telling the truth about what is motivating the people who carry out these kinds of atrocities.


Onto Part 1

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The London Blasts