"The Mentality and Hate That Is Here Today"
From the talking heads on Sunday morning tv to the Muslim Public Affairs Committee we hear the same argument: They are mad about Iraq. They angry about Palestine and Afghanistan and Lebanon. They feel they are under seige. Asghar Bukhari of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee said
"It's not hard to comprehend the mind of a Muslim." He said young British Muslims look around the world and "everywhere they are getting bombed," so they increasingly respond by saying, "Don't just sit down and take it -- let's fight them."
Later in the same piece we hear from "a leading voice of the young Muslim community" "The root is foreign policy. Only a half-wit wouldn't understand that this is about British and American policies in the Middle East."
A law student attending a mosque near the house of a suspect in Walthamstow said "It's his (Bush's) wars that have breeded the mentality and hate that is here today. And what we're angry about is that our Prime Minister Tony Blair doesn't represent the beliefs of the people."
Why does a British born guy in a Walthamstow, whose parents came from Pakistan before he was born, care so much about what's happening in Iraq or Palestine or Lebanon? He doesn't share a language. His ancestral homeland is not involved, as combatant or victim. (Kashmir has never been mentioned as a motivating cause in any of the coverage I've read.) He has defined himself, not as British or European or even Pakistani, but as Muslim. The ummah does not recognize the structure of the nation-state system. As Mark Steyn says
That's the issue: Pan-Islamism is the profound challenge to conventional ideas of citizenship and nationhood.
Let's accept the notion that the policies and actions of a Nation-State are inviting a violent reaction from a self-defined People. Those who put forward this idea never seem grasp the implications of that idea. I was being half-sarcastic in this post about the two mosque recently set on fire. But this kind of violence is covered under the same principle. In this case a self-defined People reacted to government policies they feel are against their interests, beliefs and way of life. They reacted by setting fire to two mosques. There are lots of mosques in Britain. If you were an anti-Muslim arsonists it would be a target-rich environment.
The horrifying idea is that the Nation-State may become irrelevant as various Peoples struggle against one another directly. Holland gave us a preview of this in the fall of 2004, with tit-for-tat church and mosque fires and arson attempts. The riots in Crunella last year were another reminder.
It's not just Muslims who are angry. I think there are a lot of people in Britian who paraphrase the Islamists quoted above.
"It's not hard to comprehend the mind of many Brits." He said young Brits look around the world and "everywhere they are getting bombed," so they increasingly respond by saying, "Don't just sit down and take it -- let's fight them." The root is domestic and immigration policy. Only a half-wit wouldn't understand that this is about British policies at home. It's the Muslims attacks that have breeded the mentality and hate that is here today. And what we're angry about is that our Prime Minister Tony Blair doesn't represent the beliefs of the people."