Muslim terror doesn’t require a Muslim solution, but it would be far preferable

The other day Tom Friedman said this:

[T]he most important aspect of the London bombings is this: When jihadist-style bombings happen in Riyadh, that is a Muslim-Muslim problem. That is a police problem for Saudi Arabia. But when Al-Qaeda-like bombings come to the London Underground, that becomes a civilizational problem. Every Muslim living in a Western society suddenly becomes a suspect, becomes a potential walking bomb. And when that happens, it means Western countries are going to be tempted to crack down even harder on their own Muslim populations.

Friedman goes on to worry that Western repression in the wake of such attacks would breed lots of little Osamas. But of course the end game would not be that the leaderless Brown Shirts would take over the UK. Rather, society’s power and the rule of law would win; there would just be a lot of truly pointless suffering in the interim.

Thus it is somewhat heartening to read that some influential voices in the Islamic world appear to be lifting their voices, via the Washington Times:

The editor of the world’s leading Arab newspaper has launched a scathing attack on Muslims in Britain for turning a blind eye to terrorist fundraising activities on their own doorstep. Writing in the wake of Thursday’s bombings, Tariq Al-Humayd, editor-in-chief of London-based Al-Sharq Al Awsat (The Middle East), claimed that collections were frequently solicited in London’s Arab neighborhoods for terrorist causes in the guise of charities. In a strongly worded editorial, he said that those enjoying the freedom of life in Britain had a “responsibility” to scrutinize such collections carefully, and if necessary prevent them from taking place.

“In London, we have seen, and are seeing, the money being collected in the streets, and the conventions under various titles, and everyone is inciting jihad in our Arab countries and cursing the land of unbelief in which they live,” he wrote. “When you express amazement [at this], they tell you that this is freedom. Has freedom no responsibility? No one answers.” Mr. Al-Humayd added: “When you tell them, ‘Stop being so tolerant of the incitement that comes from your own country, from your skies, and from your Internet’ … they turn away. And what happened? The terror struck London, indiscriminately. … For the sake of freedom of all of us, stop the ones who are attacking our freedom.”

Al-Sharq Al Awsat, founded 27 years ago, is regarded as the premiere pan-Arab daily, and is distributed in 19 Arab countries in addition to Europe and the United States.

When they say “Penny for the old guy?” in some London neighborhoods, it’s Arafat they have in mind, not Guy Fawkes.

We are pretty skeptical in general. So when we read this from Fareed Zakaria: “More striking have been the condemnations from radical groups like Hamas, Hizbullah and Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, all of which have denounced the bombings” — we think that Palestinian thugs are worried about their big EU meal ticket and not much more. However, we also have the sense that Jack Kelly might be correct in his assessment:

With the conspicuous exception of Madrid, since 9/11 al-Qaida has been getting its brains beaten out. Showing those of waning enthusiasm that it is still strong enough to strike in the citadels of the infidel likely is worth more to al-Qaida’s leaders than the negative consequences a stiffening of Western spines might bring.

The London bombings overshadowed another act of violence Thursday that is likely to have greater strategic consequences. This was the murder of Ihab Sherif, Egypt’s ambassador-designate to Iraq.

Sherif’s murder will deepen the fissures between the ex-Baathists and al-Qaida. Sunni Muslim groups known to support the insurgency have condemned it. Expect more “red on red” violence, and a sharp dimunition of al-Qaida’s influence in Iraq, and throughout the Arab world.

Let’s hope so — it is by far the victory which entails the least pointless suffering.

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