PORTSTEWART, NORTHERN IRELAND -The words heard most often by political leaders, commentators and citizens in the aftermath of the London terrorist bombings were "shocked, but not surprised."
No one should have been surprised because Britain, like the United States, has created a welcoming atmosphere for terrorists and allowed them the fertile soil they need to grow and carry out their murderous acts among us. Just as a lifelong smoker should not be surprised when he is diagnosed with lung cancer, neither should Britain and America be surprised when people who refuse to adopt Western notions of pluralism, tolerance and individual liberty kill and maim innocent people they and their religious masters label "Zionists and crusaders."
In Britain, proposed "hate crimes" laws have sought to forbid even the few clergy still preaching anything worth listening to from saying homosexuality is a sin. No such laws have been proposed to stop radical Islamic Imams from preaching hatred of Jews, Christians and Western values. Leftist lawyers eagerly defend the radicals. They are more concerned about the treatment of killers at Guantanamo Bay and the "atrocities" performed on Abu Ghraib prisoners, who would kill us if they had the chance, than the seething masses eager to strap a bomb to their bodies and end their worthless lives while killing "infidels."
The pattern should be familiar by now. A terrorist act is committed. Western leaders condemn it in the "strongest possible terms." Pledges are made that the killers will not achieve their goals and that our way of life will continue. Muslim leaders issue statements condemning the killing of "innocents." To them, though, innocents are people who are not "Zionists and crusaders," so the sincerity of the condemnation is suspect.
The Times interviewed two young Muslim men in East London, a neighborhood with a large Muslim population. Kadar Duale, 19, said he didn't believe the London bombings were carried out by al-Qaeda, but by "someone more powerful, like the Israelis." Such thinking is not isolated among a few radicals.
Amir Taheri, an Iranian commentator on Middle Eastern affairs, wrote a column for the Times on Friday (July 8) in which he demonstrated the kind of clear thinking which seems to have eluded muddleheaded politicians and other self-deluded people who yammer for the TV camera: ".you are dealing with an enemy that does not want anything specific, and cannot be talked back into reason through anger management or round-table discussions. Or, rather, this enemy does want something specific: to take full control of your lives, dictate every single move you make round the clock and, if you dare resist, he will feel it is his divine duty to kill you."
A Sunday Times survey taken just after 9/11 found that four of 10 British Muslims (there are as many as 2 million of them) believe Osama Bin Laden is justified in his war against America. A similar number said Britons who choose to fight with the Taliban are right to do so. Another 2001 opinion poll for the Asian radio station Sunrise found 98 percent of London Muslims under 45 saying they would not fight for Britain, and 48 percent saying they would take up arms for Bin Laden.
In view of these beliefs and repeated acts of terror, the incitements against all things Western, Jewish and Christian in who knows how many mosques in Britain and the U.S., the teaching of seditious ideas in radical Islamic schools funded by our "friends" the Saudis, and the refusal of most Muslim communities to assimilate and learn the language, history and practices of their host countries, why do Britain and the United States continue to allow such things to exist within their borders? Unless we are prepared to accept continued terrorist attacks as "normal" because of some sick understanding of tolerance and pluralism, we had better do whatever is necessary to root out these radicals and to forbid any more from entering our countries.
Shortly after 9/11, 22-year-old Mohammed Abdullah, an accountant from Luton , was quoted in the Times: "We don't perceive ourselves as British Muslims. We are Muslims who live in Britain. All Muslims in Britain view supporting the jihad as a religious duty."
In the face of such comments and actions like the latest terrorist bombing, Britain and America should consider what Mark Steyn wrote in a Daily Telegraph column on Friday (July 8): "This is the beginning of a long existential struggle, for Britain and the West. It's hard not to be moved by the sight of Londoners calmly going about their business as usual in the face of terrorism. But, if the governing class goes about business as usual, that's not a stiff upper lip but a death wish."
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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