Four pathetic young bombers
It is now clear that there is something constructive that the politicians can do. Forget the mourning, and tear into those Muslim ghettos instead. Force them to open up. Make the imams answer. Tell them to let their women speak, as they have been prevented from doing until now. We have done softly, softly. We have pandered to fears about religious hatred. We have listened with utmost sympathy to their concerns.
No one should stigmatise any community, the police said yesterday. But those bombers have stigmatised the communities that made them, and we should spare a thought for the devastation wrought on those communities; but then we should insist that they cannot continue in a state of alienation from the rest of society. That is a challenge for them, and for all of us. They, too, must become ordinary.
In other words, the choice is this: we take actions which may increase the immediate problem or, in the long term, we suffer total defeat.
Given such a choice, the only morally viable position is to fight terror with all the means at our disposal. There is no doubt that chronic American mistakes in failing adequately to respond to the nature and scale of the battle in Iraq have exacerbated the problem of Muslims flocking to the cause.
But to say that the fight against religious fascism should not be fought because it turns those who are fighting it into a target is a bit like complaining that the only reason London endured the Blitz was because Britain had declared war on Germany.
Now as then, appeasing aggression means cultural suicide. We are in for the long haul — but we must no longer flinch from the truth, and from the means we must use to defeat the horror that we all face.
Mary Madigan examines the UK’s “Covenant of Security”, and what it has wrought.