The RAF Bomber Command War Memorial and the Animals in War Memorial, both in central London, were covered in red paint. The Metropolitan Police have not yet made any arrests, so the motivation behind the damage remains unclear. The words written on the memorials have been covered up with plastic sheets after being discovered in the early hours of the morning, but it is believed that "Islam" has been written on each of them. The Bomber Command Memorial, which was unveiled by the Queen last summer, remembers the sacrifice and bravery of the 55,573 RAF crew who lost their lives in the Second World War.
British police say the motive here is "unclear." Yes, what an impossible riddle. Britons are still reeling from last week's ghastly attack in which two machete-wielding radicals brutally murdered a solider in broad daylight, shouting "Allahu Akbar." The terrorists were eventually gunned down when they charged police responding to the scene. One of the radicals reportedly had an illegal gun on his person. Even though the terrorists' victim was wearing street clothes when he was targeted, the British military briefly forbade soldiers from wearing uniforms in public -- on their own soil -- as a "precaution" after the attack. Prime Minister Cameron quickly reversed and repudiated the decision, following a public outcry, which included instances of open defiance of the order from soldiers and veterans. British intelligence is still piecing together clues as to whether the attackers were part of a larger Islamist cell. Over the weekend, a French solider was stabbed in the neck in Paris. The assailant was described as wearing a robe and of North African descent. His motive is as much a "mystery" as the British vandals' is. The wounded soldier who survived the attacks "was on patrol as part of a heightened security plan initiated in certain areas following France's intervention in Mali earlier this year," according to the French government. Meanwhile in Sweden, rioting "youths" -- predominantly Muslims -- set fire to cars and buildings in riots that swept across the Scandinavian nation in recent days. The New York Times reports on the political blame game underway in Stockholm in the wake of the unrest:
Sweden’s center-right prime minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, scornfully described the riots as “hooliganism,” while the Swedish Democrats, a far-right party, have seized on the violence to push their anti-immigrant stance and called for the deportation of nonnative Swedes who break the law. “This is not just a police issue,” said Jimmie Akesson, the party’s leader, but “a direct result of an irresponsible immigration policy that has created deep cracks in Swedish society.” The left, which dominated Swedish politics for decades and devised the cradle-to-grave welfare system, has blamed reduced state benefits and a modest shift toward the privatization of public services for the unrest, pointing to an erosion of the country’s tolerant, egalitarian ethos...But Stockholm’s immigrant enclaves, including Tensta and the nearby suburb of Husby, where the riots began May 19 after the police fatally shot a 69-year-old immigrant wielding a knife, show few outward signs of deprivation.
As these ethnic and cultural tensions simmer across Western Europe, some have begun retaliating with attacks on mosques and Islamic centers, fueling the cycle of violence. Despite a series of thwarted and failed terrorist attacks, the Benghazi massacre, and the Boston bombings, Americans' backlash against Muslims has been virtually non-existent.