The Muslim response to Woolwich has been a quick and unstinting condemnation of the atrocity perpetrated by two Muslim youths.
The Muslim Council of Britain, within hours of the attack, said: “This is a truly barbaric act that has no basis in Islam and we condemn this unreservedly. Our thoughts are with the victim and his family.” They went on to point out that British Muslims have long served in the Armed forces and that “this attack on a member of the Armed Forces is dishonourable, and no cause justifies this murder.”
The significance of these words cannot be overestimated: they prove that Muslim spokesmen are not tacitly supporting jihadists in our midst; and that the Council has learned from its past mistakes.
Contrast this heartfelt condemnation with the extraordinary statement released by the Muslim Council of Britain, following the 7 July bombings in London.
“We do naturally feel deeply for the sufferings, injustices and oppression the world over. Yet we also remind ourselves of the verse of the Qur’an, “O you who believe! Be steadfast witnesses for Allah in equity and let not abhorrence of any people make you swerve from justice. Deal justly, that is nearer to God-fearing. Fear Allah. Allah is aware of what you do.” (Al Maidah, 5:8) We also call on the international community to work towards just and lasting peace settlements in the world’s areas of conflict and help eliminate the grievances that seem to nurture a spiral of violence.”
What a difference from that response to the post-Woolwich one. Muslims have had to embark on this learning curve without any help from the media. In fact, if anything, the broadcasters have been keen to keep the Islamist swivel-eyed loons at the forefront of the agenda – as a furious Baroness Warsi has quite rightly pointed out.