15 July 2005

Right wing theories proved wrong yet again!

First they said the bombers must be foreign born terrorists abusing how easy it is to enter this country. Then when the evidence pointed to British born bombers they went on about how London is a hotbed of fundamentalism labelling it 'Londonistan'. Now that the bombers are from the North of England they are going on about how we need more national pride in this country, i.e. more nationalism (see Boris Johnson). When the BNP start stirring up trouble claiming to be 'fighting for Britain', will the right wing media change their argument yet again?

Like a religion reacting to new scientific discoveries that rubbish scriptures, the right wing either twist the facts or refocus their claims altogether. When are they going to realise they are just as wrong as the fundamentalists? Extremism is not the answer!

The fact the bombers are from the North of England is not all that surprising really, as Chris Applegate argues, Muslims are much less integrated there than in London, probably due to the higher poverty up North, only one of the bombers had a regular job.

No if we want to address how the bombers came about we have to look at a catalogue of causes ranging from poverty and racism through to agrievance at our foreign policy. There is no way of getting away from those facts.


  1. Neil, I don't think poverty is the only factor here. Most of the Muslims in West Yorks originally came from the Mirpur area of Pakistan (or are descended from people who did) - they are not as diverse a bunch as the Muslims in London. They therefore have a more cohesive culture. A mosque in London will have worshippers coming from Indonesia to Morocco. In West Yorkshire they will be almost exclusvely Mirpur Pakistanis. Leeds is a bit more cosmopolitan than, say, Bradford but the community is still more insular than in London. Some West Yorkshire towns such as Keighley are bi-cultural rather than multi cultural - most people are of either English or Pakistani descent. It seems that this drives the two communities to put up barriers while a more diverse population might do the opposite.

    BTW - the term "Londonistan" was coined by Islamists to reflect the relative ease of preaching radical Islam in London, compared with other European cities.

  2. Steve, I totally agree with your Mirpur point! W.Yorks is more bi-cultural, I can see what you are getting at and how that could lead to communities being more insular than multicultural London. I think you agree with me that the extra poverty up North is part of the problem as well. Poverty is a big part of the reason racism and the BNP are more prevalent in the North than elsewhere. It is always under economic hardship that the hard right and other extremism flourish.

    Even though the term 'Londinistan' was coined by Islamists, it is the right wing media who are the ones using it to undermine support for civil liberties. IMO, this is just a distraction to divert attention from our disastrous right wing foreign policy.

    Like Johann Hari says we must become more energy self sufficient and move away from our reliance on Middle Eastern Oil and also empower Muslim women by encouraging their financial independence enabling them to challenge the power base of the misogynist Islamist men. This terrorism will take a long term to solve. There are no easy solutions.