Friday, July 08, 2005

You Are Either For Us
Or Against Us

Over at the excellent blog, Mystery Achievement, Someguy cites sources which indicate that yesterdays London bombing may have been targeting the Muslim population centers of London, specifically:

News reports are in about the location of the Tube bombs, and the stations picked for the horrific rush-hour assaults are especially chilling. These attacks were not just attacks on our closest ally, but on the very idea of Arab and Muslim integration into the West. Among the targets in the worst attack on London since World War II was the Edgware Road station, located in the heart of wealthy, assimilated Arab London. Edgware Road is Arab London's main street.

Though we have no idea yet whether the stations or train lines that were bombed were specifically targeted, it's hard to imagine that whatever terrorist organization or cell was behind the attacks failed to consider the symbolic power of an attack on Edgware Road. And Al-Qaeda has a history of engaging in symbolically significant attacks against financial centers, banks, military installations, and government buildings. Why not against Arab allies of the West, as well?

In recent months we've seen Islamic jihadists increasingly going after targets in the Arab and Muslim world who have allied themselves with the west. The victims of the bombing attacks and terrorist incidents in Iraq are overwhelmingly Arab Muslims. Al-Qaeda in Iraq has just claimed that it killed the Egyptian envoy to Iraq, after condemning him as "the ambassador of the infidels." When the casualty count is in, I suspect some fraction of the victims of today's henious attacks will be Arab or Muslim, as well.

Christianity Today brings us the same speculation:

A leading British Arab Muslim, Anas Altikriti, told me that he noted that two stations where bombs exploded were Edgeware Road, toward the west of the city, and Aldgate East, in the East End. The former is home to London's Arab community, the latter to the mainly Bangladeshi Muslim community. Al Qaeda often regards Western Muslims as apostates, and Bin Laden stated after 9/11 that Shari'ah forbids permanent residence in the land of the infidel. These bombs seem to have been as much directed at British Arabs and Muslims as the rest of us.

If Al Qaeda thinks this will divide us from our Arab and Muslim fellow Britons, they have grossly misread our national character.

My response to this news over at Mystery Achievement was to comment:

If the Islamofascists have shifted the focus of their attacks to target fellow Muslims, then that would seem to indicate that in some sense they are in retreat mode. But, we definately have to learn more. It doesn't seem like there is much sense attacking fellow-Muslims in Western countires. The only reason I could think of for such an attack would be to motivate Muslims to leave Britain. But, I think there would have been a verbal warning first.

Frequent Front Page Magazine contributor Joseph D'Hippolito saw my comment and raised it a bucks:

If the attacks were focused against Muslims living in Britain, it could suggest that jihadism as a whole is in retreat. Donald Sensing's blog has a link to a story in which Zarqawi is criticising Arab women for not allowing their men to volunteer for jihad. we...women_are_.html
The London attacks could well be the Jihadist equivalent of Hitler's order to destroy all German infrastructure as the Reich collapsed in the face of advancing Allied armies. Hitler's rationale was that the German people had proven itself inferior and didn't deserve to live, especially since "all the good ones had already died (his words, or something close to them)."

I don't agree that, if these attacks were directed at Muslims then they are the equivalent of Hitler's order to ransack his own homeland. I would like to think the Jihadis are that desparate already, but alas I don't believe it's true. Instead, I think there is a deeper layer to this story. I think it's significant to note that Edgeware Road is a kind of symbol of Arab integration into the West. So, instead of the Jihadis pulling the walls down on their people, I believe we are seeing them level a warning; You are either for us, or against us.

In a battle of civilizational ideologies, where the key commanders and fighters do not wear uniforms, it is necessary that those of us on both sides of this battle periodically remind everyone that lines of demarcation need to be drawn. In my last post I noted that Western Muslims either need to start standing with us on the front lines and saying no to Islamofascist hatred, or we will have to decide that we can no longer trust them. It seems they are being given that message from both sides.

Which side will they choose?