Just war against Islamist terrorist

Henry Porter:

On a rare dry evening last week I walked to a meeting in London. The streets were full and the pubs overflowing with drinkers, many of whom are on the pavements because of the smoking ban: people having a good time at the end of an average working day, smiling and joshing each other. Too often we forget that we have built a successful and good-natured society over the last 10 years at the same time as absorbing a million or more people from scores of countries around the world. If you ever wanted to see the accumulated virtue of British culture you might start with the humour, consideration, tolerance, generosity and all-round nous to be found in any mixed gathering anywhere in these islands.

It is on this society that al-Qaeda has declared a particular war. The people having a good time are the ones that al-Qaeda wishes to blow apart and maim and intimidate with its bloody plots and fantasies. The recent failed attacks in Glasgow and London, the guilty verdicts of the 21 July bombers and the statement by bin Laden's deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri promising a precise response to the knighthood for Salman Rushdie make it plain that Britain is the prime target for al-Qaeda in the West. There are 80 extremist groups in the Midlands, 60 in Leeds and Bradford and 35 in London. Some estimates put the number of people who need watching at 3,000. According to the security services, the time in which groups move from radicalism to action is shortening.

A couple of weeks after a man had attempted to blow up hundreds of young women at a London nightclub, it makes you quite proud to see the clubs and pubs in London full of people enjoying themselves. As I watched, a voice at the back of my mind asked: 'What the hell is al-Qaeda on about?' Which is not such a dumb question because most of the standard answers concerning Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan do not explain the terrible level of violence that the four men jailed last week - all of whom had benefited in some way from the Britain's hospitality - planned for their fellow citizens. The Middle East may seem to provide convincing pretexts but we shouldn't for a moment believe that withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq and a settlement in Palestine would stop al-Qaeda. For one thing, there is a devotion to cruelty, a blood lust if you like, among the extremist sects of Islam which seems to go way beyond the desire to gain certain political goals or religious goals. Look at the way Arabs are being killed by al-Qaeda in the Anbar province of Iraq or at the murders of barbers in Basra, or the decision by an Iranian court to order a 43-year-old woman named Mokarrameh Ebrahimi to be stoned to death for adultery, which Amnesty International says 'beggars belief'.

Brutality has come to signify purity of faith among the followers of radicalised sects just as it did for the mass murderers of the Khmer Rouge....

...
It is interesting to see the leftest in the UK come to recognize that al Qaeda and not George Bush or the US is the threat and they are not a threat because of George bush or the US, but because they are religious bigots who want to murder everyone who does not accept their weird religious beliefs. Hopefully the leftest in the US will come to the same conclusion before it is too late.

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