Keep calm and carry on, London!

Faisal J. Abbas
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Terror appeared to have returned to the streets of London on Wednesday for the first time since the dreadful attacks of July 2005, as a man believed to be a British soldier was brutally murdered by suspected Islamists near an army barracks in Woolwich.

According to witnesses, the two men attacked the victim in broad daylight with knives and a gun. What was even more sickening was that the murderers remained at the scene and asked passers-by to photograph and film them.

The attack was described as “appalling” by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who also said the incident appears to be terror-related.

Islamists may very well be convicted on this occasion, given that the perpetrators committed their crime in public, and filmed themselves both prior and after the incident.

As I pray for the victim’s family, and for all of those who were unfortunate enough to witness this horrific act, I also pray for justice to be served as soon as possible.

If the murderers do turn out to be Muslims, then they are guilty of committing genocide, as per the teachings of their own faith, for the Quran clearly states that taking even one human life unjustly equates to the killing of all humanity.

However, this particular verse of the Quran seems to have slipped the attention of these killers. In all cases, the cherry-picking nature of such extremists has never ceased to surprise me, as it now seems even more evident that they choose to interpret religion and recite verses as they see fit to justify their acts of terror.

A sensible and reasonable response

I cannot but raise my hat in admiration of that distinctively British trait of keeping calm and carrying on, for as gruesome as this crime was, both the government and the British people maintained their balance and avoided blaming this incident on Islam as a whole.

Yes, there may have been a few individual hate attacks following the incident, but those who reacted violently resemble only a tiny portion of British society. No matter what a small group such as the English Defence League says or does, it will always remain many miles away from reflecting the thoughts or feelings of mainstream Britain.

In fact, Cameron was both sensible and responsible to have described the acts of these criminals as terror-related, without feeling the need to delve into their religious beliefs.

A similarly refined approach was taken by London’s former police chief Ian Blair directly after the bombings of July 7, 2005. Upon being asked by a reporter at a press conference if he thought ‘Islamic terrorism’ was behind the attacks, Blair said these two words - Islamic and terrorism - should not be linked, for terrorism had nothing to do with Islam.

A load of bollocks!

It is very important to remember these incredible levels of sophistication, tolerance and keenness to safeguard the distinctive diversity of British society, and compare them to the ridiculous statements made by one of the alleged killers.

In a recorded video, he claimed that the British government does not care for its people, and that he committed this crime in retaliation for Muslims are being killed by British soldiers.

This obviously is just a load of bollocks (having been a Londoner for nearly a decade, I cannot think of a better word to describe this absolute nonsense).

If there is anyone killing Muslims, it is Muslims themselves. In fact, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has single-handedly killed tens of thousands of them in just two years.

And if there is any government that cares for its people, it is the British government. Despite all its economic woes, Britain still provides protection, welfare, pensions, free health care, free education, and most importantly, equal rights for all its citizens. Sadly, the same cannot be said for most Muslim states, even the incredibly rich ones.

Furthermore, this great country provides the right to oppose the government, and people are free to protest and ridicule politicians in the media.

While the opposition in Britain is referred to as the shadow government, and is officially called Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, one only has to look at the brutal Syrian example to see how a ‘Muslim’ leader such as Assad can turn peaceful protests into a bloody massacre.

What was most comforting in the Woolwich atrocity was the fact that one of the first locals to lay flowers at the murder scene was Ahmed Jama, a 26-year-old Muslim.

“This has nothing to do with Allah, this has nothing to do with Islam. It’s heartbreaking,” Jama said.

I am sure that the majority of British Muslims share his views, and it is about time they expressed them publicly.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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