Update 2 on the plot uncovered in Britain today. All the news channels are covering this story now. Apparently, the plot was hatched by Al Qaeda in Pakistan and tactically developed and almost implemented in Britain.The accused, or at least some of them, reportedly trained in Pakistan.
President Bush today talked about how the United States was at war now with what he called “Islamic Fascists”. Immediately, muslim community leaders went up in arms about using that terminology – about how it painted the whole muslim community with a broad brush.
Now, I dont agree with President Bush on most counts. But I think, the time has come to call a spade a spade. When was the last time we saw a non-muslim terrorist? Carlos the Jackal? For god’s sake – the problem is Islamic fundamentalism – even greater, the problem is a lot of regular non radical muslim absolutely refuse to look at the problem as a religious issue that it is – and that is implicit compliance to the terrorists. Yes, there would be embarassment or even shame at the terrorists and their methods – but a vast number would try to “understand” the motivations behind that act.
And that is the central problem. Because if even a very tiny minority of these implicit supporters get radicalized, we will have people like these 21 arrested at periodic recurrence.
There comes a time at human history when a society or a people need to look into themselves. If the Germans had the fortitude to do that in the early 1930’s, the world would be an entirely different place. They did not. My fear is that the intellectuals in the Muslim world, or atleast a critical sizeable majority, will also choose not to. And God only knows where it will take us.
Here’s hoping for the best. And sanity.