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Anders Breivik: An Escalation not an Exception (The Terrorists Next Door)

Anders Behring Breivik - Killed 77

In a continuation of a theme I have been exploring recently, I’m going to be posting again on the need to re-examine and change our perception of what constitutes terrorism and terrorists. I also want to give further exposure to the frequency of Islamophobic incidents in the West. In doing so it should become obvious that the atrocity perpetrated by Anders Behring Breivik in Norway last week isn’t a one off, and didn’t come out of the blue. Far right and Islamophobic terrorism have been taking place on our doorstep for decades, but I bet you’d struggle to think of five incidents off the top of your head. Ask anyone about terrorism in Britain and they’ll reel off IRA bombings in London, Guilford, Brighton, Birmigham and Manchester, the 7/7 attacks on London, the Locherbie disaster and possibly the Iranian Embassy Siege. After that it gets a bit more taxing. Unless we see passenger planes falling from the sky or the aftermath of suicide bombings, it’s just not terrorism is it? Let’s look at a selection of definitions.

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged

The systematic use of violence and intimidation to achieve some goal.

David Copeland (London Nail Bomber) - Killed 3, Injured 139.

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. US Department of Defense 2005.

The calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological.

Terence Gavan BNP


The Terrorism Act 2000.

(1) In this Act “terrorism” means the use or threat of action where-

(a) the action falls within subsection (2),

(b) the use or threat is designed to influence the government [or an international governmental organisation] or to intimidate the public or a section of the public, and

(c) the use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious [, racial] or ideological cause.

(2) Action falls within this subsection if it-

(a) involves serious violence against a person,

(b) involves serious damage to property,

(c) endangers a person’s life, other than that of the person committing the action,

(d) creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public, or

(e) is designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system.

(3) The use or threat of action falling within subsection (2) which involves the use of firearms or explosives is terrorism whether or not subsection (1)(b) is satisfied.

Tony Lecomber (BNP)


Critical reflections on definitions, causes and media-views on terrorism and anti-terrorism measures – Prof. Dr. P. Hebberecht 

In the many definitions we have, we could identify some characteristics that occur more or less in each definition: (threat of) violent actions, political, ideological or religious motives, actions to influence the behaviour (of civilians or dissidents) or decisions (of the government) by spreading fear with mostly a civilian target. Civilians as well as nations can commit these violent actions.

So, in summary terrorism could be defined as the use of, or the threat of unlawful violence against a person or damage to a property, with the intention of intimidating or coercing a government or society, for political, religious, racial or ideological goals. With that in mind I’ll list just a small percentage of far right and Islamophobic attacks of a terroristic nature.

Neil Lewington (BNP)

United Kingdom – Damage or threats to Property

18/06/11 – VariousRace-hate parcels containing fake anthrax have been sent to five mosques. Far-right extremists have been blamed for sending the packages, one of which contained an “offensive drawing and words about the Prophet Muhammad”.

22/04/11 – High Wycombe – Vandals have attacked 20 Muslim graves at a cemetery in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

12/01/11 – Hemel Hemsted – A MOSQUE was left with around a dozen windows damaged after it was targeted in a racially-motivated attack.

22/09/10 – Cambridge – A severed pig’s head has been left outside a mosque in Cambridge – triggering alarm among the city’s Muslims.

25/06/10 – Scunthorpe – Scunthorpe’s Muslim community leaders have expressed their outrage after 11 Muslim graves in Brumby Cemetery were vandalised for the second time in 21 months and the third time in four years.

21/05/10 – Paisley – A FRIGHTENING attack by a gang of hooded thugs on an Islamic centre was last night being treated by police as racist.

16/0/10 – Eccles – Vandals carried out two attacks in one night on a mosque. They were captured on camera as they removed fencing and threw bricks through the windows. The vandalism is the latest in a spate of racially-motivated attacks on the premises in Liverpool Road, Eccles.

22/03/10 – Leeds – Nineteen gravestones have been vandalised in a section of a Leeds cemetery used by Muslims.

29/12/09 – Cradley Heath – CRADLEY Heath’s Muslim community is appealing for help after its mosque was burnt to the ground by arsonists. A fire engulfed the Cradley Heath Mosque and Islamic Centre in Plant Street on Boxing Day.  It is the second time in five years that the building has been targeted by arsonists.

28/11/09 – Manchester – Vandals have targeted Muslim graves at a south Manchester cemetery for the third time in two months. More than 20 headstones at the Southern Cemetery on Barlow Moor Road were pushed over in what police are treating as a racially-motivated attack.

18/10/09 – Sunderland – A 53-year-old man has been charged after petrol was thrown at the doorway of a mosque in Wearside. The man, from Peterborough, is due before magistrates on Monday charged with attempted arson with intent to endanger life with racial aggravation.

03/07/09 – Glasgow – A man who threatened to blow up Glasgow Central Mosque has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment. Neil MacGregor also threatened to kill a Muslim a day until all mosques in Scotland were closed. The court heard that the e-mail read: “I’m a proud racist and National Front member.

18/06/09 – Greenwich – A brave caretaker was hurt as he risked his life to save a mosque torched by arsonists in the second petrol bomb attack in a week.

06/05/09 – Bishop’s Stortford – Bishop’s Stortford’s Muslims are living in “distress, fear and isolation” after their mosque was attacked by hammer-wielding thugs who abused and intimidated their religious leader.

09/05/09 – Luton – Police sought to calm fears yesterday that a suspected arson attack on an Islamic ­centre in Luton was revenge for the picketing of homecoming British troops by Muslim extremists in March.

17/12/08 – Southend – A MUSLIM leader fears for the safety of his family, after attacks on a mosque and his flat next door. The gang of teenagers have repeatedly targeted the Essex Jamme Masjid mosque, in Chelmsford Avenue, Southend. Teenagers also smashed the front door windows at his home.

15/08/08 – Scunthorpe – The Mayor of North Lincolnshire today branded the desecration of more than 20 Muslim graves as devastating. The gravestones have been vandalised in two separate areas of Brumby cemetery, and nearly 10 of the damaged graves were of children and babies.

27/0/07 – Nottingham – Nottingham police are reassuring the Muslim community after a serious fire was started at Madni Masjid Mosque on Alberta Terrace in Forest Fields, on April 5.

25/05/07 – Preston – A Preston mosque at the centre of a planning row has been hit by a series of vandal attacks. Windows at the Masjid-e-Salaam mosque in Fulwood have been smashed three times in the past six weeks.

13/03/07 – Stirling – THUGS threw bottles of Buckfast through the windows of a mosque while worshippers prayed inside, it emerged yesterday. About 30 people were inside the mosque at the time. Three men in their early 20s were seen running away.

29/09/06 – Newport – A pig’s head was found dumped outside a mosque in south Wales hours before the holy festival of Ramadan began, police have said.

01/03/06 – Enfield – The discovery of a bloody pig’s head impaled on railings outside Ponders End mosque has sent shock waves through the community.

07/01/06 – Birmingham – A mosque has been burgled and then deliberately set on fire.

19/11/05 – Chester – An arson attack at a mosque in Chester could have been racially motivated, police have said.

11/03/05 – Worthing – A VICAR’S adopted son has been found guilty of burgling and setting fire to a Worthing mosque.

19/03/04 – London – On the morning of Thursday 18th March, at least 40 Muslim graves were found to have been desecrated at Charlton cemetery in Plumstead, South East London.

02/05/03 – Reading – Jame Mosque in Reading was attacked in the early hours of Friday morning in the latest Islamophobic incident to afflict the country’s 1.6 million Muslim community.

14/11/01 – Belfast – Bricks have been thrown at the mosque in south Belfast. The attack came as some in the Irish Republic’s 15,000 strong Muslim community expressed concern about a possible backlash against them following Tuesday’s terror attacks in the US.

United Kingdom – Violence or threats against a person

10/11/09 – London – Youths have attacked a man outside a mosque in the same London suburb where an OAP was allegedly murdered by youths as he left a mosque. He suffered head injuries in what police describe as a racial attack.

31/08/09 – London – 67-year-old man of Indian origin died succumbing to his injuries, a week after a shocking race attack by a gang of schoolboys outside a mosque in south London. The attack took place when Kolkata-born Ekram ul Haque returning from a local mosque on August 31 was battered to the ground in front of his five-year-old grand-daughter.

13/08/07 – London – A Muslim cleric is in a serious condition in hospital after being attacked in a London mosque. He suffered heavy blood loss, damage to both eyes, and had to undergo emergency surgery, a Muslim Council of Britain spokesman said.

03/11/06 – Preston – Gangs of white youths threw stones at a mosque and an Asian boy was stabbed in “racially motivated” street violence, police have said. Muslims praying heard stones hitting their cars outside the Jamia Masjid mosque in Preston, Lancashire.

11/07/06 – Rhyl – A mosque has had to close after an 29-year-old assistant imam was attacked after being racially abused on his way to morning prayers.

13/02/08 – Edinburgh – A 32-year-old woman who stabbed an Asian teenager she called a terrorist has been jailed for six years.

13/07/11 – Fife – A Fife drug addict who assaulted a Muslim woman by pulling a burka from her head has been sent to jail.

15/07/11 – Kilmarnock – The 71-year-old Asian man was discovered with serious facial injuries around 0130 hrs on Friday 15 July 2011 outside the Community Mosque in Hill Street, Kilmarnock.

05/07/11 – Dagenham – an attack on two Muslim bystanders during an anti-Muslim march in Dagenham by the far-right group, the English Defence LeagueSix of the EDL members then launched a violent attack on the two men, throwing them to the ground where they were kicked and punched repeatedly. Both men sustained multiple injuries and one of the victims was hospitalised.

16/05/11 – Hull – DOZENS of police officers had to be drafted into the city centre when a flash protest was organised by a far-right group. The second was in Spring Bank, when a man in his 30s was detained after an attack on a car full of Asian men.

06/05/11 – Lincoln – Daniel Odling, 26, is on trial accused of religiously aggravated threatening behaviour, alongside a 17-year-old man charged with assaulting PC Rizwaan Chothia, again religiously motivated. EDL member.

21/04/11 – North Cheam – A gang of schoolgirls attacked a Muslim woman after mocking her for wearing a headscarf. One of the girls kicked her, before she crossed the road in an attempt to get away. The girls caught up with the victim, kicked her again, and during a struggle to remove the victim’s headscarf, kicked her again after she fell to the ground.

13/04/11 – London – An Iranian Muslim girl has reportedly come under attack in Britain after refusing to remove her hijab amid a new wave of Islamophobia in Western countries. Zahra sustained facial injuries in the encounter, which is not the first act of violence against a Muslim in Europe.

06/04/11 – Redbridge – The first thing Abdul Wahab heard, he says, was the shouting. “Muslim bastards; Paki bastards.”  One brick, Abdul says, struck the imam, who was also injured by flying glass. He had to go to hospital. By then at least, the terror was over and the assailants were gone.

10/05/09 – Ranby Prison– A bomb made by jail inmates to blow up Muslim prisoners came within moments of exploding outside a prayer meeting. The device, made with fireworks and detonators smuggled in with a fishing rod, was put in a room where worshippers wash their hands and feet for Friday prayers. A prison source said: “This could have caused a bloodbath. It was only because of a vigilant officer that the bomb was carried away. When the bomb squad got to the jail they went mad as it could have gone off at any time.”


United Kingdom – Far Right Terrorists

Robert Cottage: former BNP candidate. The police claimed to have recovered chemical components which could be used to make explosives. They believe it is the largest haul ever discovered in someone’s home in England.

David John Copeland: is a former member of the British National Party and the National Socialist Movement, who became known as the “London Nail Bomber” after a 13-day bombing campaign in April 1999 aimed at London’s black, Bangladeshi and gay communities. 3 dead, 139 injured.

Tony Lecomber: was convicted and imprisoned for three years for five offences under the Explosives Act after he tried to blow up the offices of a political party. Police found hand grenades and detonators at his home. Despite this the BNP kept him on its payroll for over ten years.

Allen Boyce and Terry Collins: In July 2006 Allen Boyce, a BNP supporter, received a two-year suspended sentence for providing Terry Collins, a BNP activist, with bomb making instructions. Collins himself was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in 2005 for conducting a racist terror campaign against the Asian community in Eastbourne.

Mark Bullman (BNP) - Mosque Arsonist


Mark Bullman: arsonist Mark Bulman, a BNP activist, was jailed for five years in January after trying to set fire to Swindon’s Broad Street mosque. He used a BNP leaflet as a fuse for his petrol bomb.

Martyn Gilleard

Martyn Gilleardhas been found guilty of making bombs for a far-right terrorist campaign, after having previously admitted downloading thousands of images of child sexual abuse. Officers found machetes, swords, bullets, gunpowder and racist literature. Most sinister of all were four home-made nail bombs stashed under his bed. He wrote of starting a “racial war” and murdering Muslims.

'Wigan Mike' Heaton & Trevor Hannington (Attended EDL events)

Michael Heaton: Hardcore neo-Nazi EDL forum moderator, Wigan Mike has been arrested on terror offences. Real name Michael Heaton of Leigh, National Front and British Freedom Fighters member “Wigan Mike” has helped organise many EDL and WDL demos, and was photographed amongst the crowd of Hitler saluters during the WDL’s recent visit to Wales.

Tevor Hannington: from Hirwaun, Cynon valley in south Wales, was described as a loner by the judge, who told him: “You are a long-standing racist who has never hidden your views, which are violent and vicious in the extreme. Flags bearing swastikas were strewn around Hannington’s house and police found a personal armoury including an air rifle and daggers. Hannington also admitted owning the Anarchist’s Cookbook, Kitchen Complete and The Terrorist Encyclopaedia, all of which are considered useful tools to someone preparing or committing an act of terrorism.

Ian & Nicky Davison (Aryan Strikeforce)


Ian and Nicky Davison: When officers saw a video of pipe bombs being detonated, they raided Davison’s house in Myrtle Grove, Burningfield, Durham. During a search they found that he had bought castor beans from America and several other items which together constituted a recipe for the deadly toxin, ricin. They say they found enough of it in a jar in his kitchen to kill up to 15 people. Davison later became the first person in Britain to be jailed under the Chemical Weapons Act when he got 10 years at Newcastle Crown Court. His son was jailed for two years after being found guilty of possessing terrorist manuals.

Neil Lewington: A racist arrested by chance at a railway station was “on the cusp” of waging a terror campaign using tennis balls and weedkiller, a jury has heard. Later searches of Mr Lewington’s home revealed a notebook entitled “Waffen SS UK members’ handbook” which contained drawings of electronics and chemical mixtures, jurors were told. Mr Lewington had an “unhealthy interest” in the London nail bomber David Copeland, America’s Unabomber and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, the court heard.

Terence Gavan: A former BNP member who turned his bedroom in his mother’s house into a bomb and weapons factory has been jailed for 11 years. West Yorkshire Police entered the property with a search warrant as part of a firearms investigation in May 2009, they were to discover the largest cache of home-made bombs and other weapons ever seen in the region. The Old Bailey heard he had a “strong hostility” towards immigrants. Among his possessions was a list of names, including a neighbour of one of the 7/7 bombers, which the court heard he was planning to target. A note in one of several handwritten notebooks found in the room read: “Patriots must always be ready to defend his country against enemies and their governments.”

Simon Beech:  A former soldier has appeared in court charged in connection with an arson attack at a mosque in Stoke-on-Trent. Simon Beech, 23, of Hartshill Road in the city, denied arson with intent to endanger life, committing arson recklessly and criminal damage. A fire began at the Regent Road mosque in Hanley yesterday morning. Police – who found that a gas pipe from a neighbouring building had been fed through the mosque window – said the incident was being treated as “a racist attack on a religious building”. EDL member.

John Laidlaw (BNP)


John Laidlaw: A man with a racist past has been jailed for life after going on a shooting spree in north London. Gunman John Laidlaw had a history of violence and once vowed he would kill all black people. After he was arrested for a racist attack, he told police he hated all black people and was a member of the British National Party. He shot Abu Kamara in Upper Street before accidentally shooting Emma Sheridan at Finsbury Park Tube station, as he aimed at a second man.

Other notable incidents in Europe: 

Apeldoorn, Netherlands – 01/05/09 – Would-be Assassin of the Dutch Royal family at a parade in Apeldoorn, including head of state Queen Beatrix of Holland has been named as a victim of economic and financial hard times, Richard Tates. An injured Richard Karst Tates was pulled from the wreckage of his Suzuki Swift car after it had plowed though a dense crowd and onto the parade rout of the Dutch Royal family, killing five and wounding more than a dozen and narrowly missing a bus carrying many members of the Royal Family on national holiday, Queensday.

Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands – 09/04/11 – 24-year-old Tristan van der Vlis shot several people and then killed himself, reportedly with a different firearm. There were seven deaths, including the killer, and 17 wounded, making it the deadliest incident in the Netherlands since the 2009 attack on the Dutch Royal Family. He was a voter of PVV, Geert Wilders’ party.

Bratislava, Slovakia – 30/08/10 – eight people (including the perpetrator Ľubomír Harman) died and at least 17 were injured after a lone gunman opened fire in Devínska Nová Ves district in a suburb of the Slovak capital, Bratislava. The shooting spree took place both inside a local panel building and later in the street outside.

Berlin, Germany – 08/01/11 – Police in Berlin are investigating an arson attack on a mosque in the capital city. The last six months of last year saw six such attacks – the Shitlik mosque on Columbiadamm was attacked in June, twice in August and again in November, while the Neukölln Al-Nur mosque was attacked in November and an Islamic cultural centre in Tempelhof was targeted in December.

Dordrecht, Netherlands – 14/10/10 – The mosque belonging to the Turkish community in the Merwedestraat in Dordrecht has been shot at. The bullet hit an outside door. A number of people were present in the mosque, but were not harmed. The police has no indication of who committed the crime and what the motives could be.

Groningen, Netherlands – 28/11/10 – Arsonists tried to set fire to a mosque in Groningen on Monday night, and daubed the walls with the text ‘don’t make us evil’, news agency ANP reports. In March, the same mosque was smeared with blood and the head of a wild boar was dumped outside.

Fredrikstadt, Norway – 20/08/10 – Members of the Islamic community in Fredrikstad saw red when a swastika and “Allah is a [picture of a pig]” were painted on the mosque in the city center.

Malmo, Sweden – 02/01/11 – As of New Year’s Eve evening, police had no suspects for an attack against a mosque in Malmö earlier in the day when shots had been fired through the window of the building.

Normandy, France – 15/07/10 – The police opened an investigation on Thursday after vandals left swastikas and anti-Islam slogans on a mosque in northern France. The slogans, like “Islam out of Europe” and “neither Islam nor Burqas,” along with swastikas and Celtic crosses, were found Wednesday on the wall of a partly constructed mosque in Hérouville-Saint-Clair, a suburb of Caen, Normandy.

Stromsund, Sweden – 22/08/08 – A man in his twenties has been arrested on suspicion of setting fire to a mosque in Strömsund, northern Sweden. Police are classifying the attack as a hate crime.

Lyon, France – 25/08/08 – Acts of vandalism representing in particular a Nazi inscription and fire of the toilets were committed yesterday in a Muslim prayer hall in Meyzieu, in the Rhone-Alpes region of France, the police and the municipality announced today.

Toulouse, France – Ten members of a neo-Nazi group have been convicted for an April mosque burning outside of Toulouse and sentenced to prison terms up to 18 months. The entrance hall of the Colomiers mosque was set afire before dawn and the room reserved for ritual washing was vandalized.

Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, France – 06/04/08 – Vandals have struck a cemetery in northern France, defacing the graves of dozens of Muslim First World War soldiersA French prosecutor says 148 graves at the cemetery at Ablain-Saint-Nazaire have been sprayed with anti-Islam slogans. A severed pigs head was found at the cemetery, along with graffiti singling out the French justice minister, who is of North African origin.

Zurich, Switzerland – 13/11/07 – A gunman used a military assault rifle to fire on a dozen worshipers at an Islamic centre at the Swiss city of Lausanne late on Monday, injuring one seriously, police said on Tuesday, November 13. “He injured one person seriously before worshipers immobilised him on the ground,” according to a police statement cited by Reuters.

Lombardy, Italy – 25/10/07 – A mosque in a small town outside Milan has been the target of a violent attack – the eighth on mosques in the region of Lombardy surrounding the city. Italian media reports said the Alif Baa Islamic Centre, in the northern Italian city of Abbiategrasso, 20 kilometres west of Milan, was subjected to fresh violence on Wednesday. Witnesses said a masked man was seen throwing a Molotov cocktail inside the courtyard of the mosque from his motorcycle in the late afternoon.

Ceuta, Spain – 18/04/06 – An arson attack over the Easter weekend on a Muslim sanctuary in the Spanish city of Ceuta marked another step in what some experts fear is a growing incidence of Islamophobia in the country. The burning of the Sidi Bel Abbas sanctuary comes just three months after another sanctuary in the enclave was attacked by arsonists.

Banja Luka, Bosnia – 04/03/06 – Unknown vandals desecrated a four-century-old Muslim cemetery in a Bosnian Serb town, destroying more than 20 gravestones, AFP quoted police as saying on Saturday.

Esbjerb, Denmark – 13/02/06 – About 25 Muslim graves in western Denmark were vandalized late Saturday night, bringing swift condemnation from Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Yakhroma, Russia – 05/07/06 – The building of the mosque was seriously damaged, a senior Muslim cleric told IslamNews news agency. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the explosion. Investigation into the attack has been launched. A mosque employee told the agency that the blast had entirely destroyed the main entrance, windows were broken. “Judging by the damage inflicted the explosive device was much more powerful than a grenade,” he said.

Paris, France – 03/07/06 – Vandals painted swastikas and anti-Muslim slogans on a mosque in the Parisian suburb of Courcouronnes, a mosque official said Monday. Abderrahmane Ammari said “extremists” attacked the walls of the mosque early Sunday, covering the exterior walls with slogans including “Islam go home,” “France is white” and “We fight against Islam” early Sunday morning.

Heidelberg, Germany – 19/11/04 – Unidentified assailants hurled a Molotov cocktail at a mosque in a town just south of Heidelberg early Thursday, raising fears that recent ethnic violence in Holland could spill over the border to Germany.

Annecy, France – 07/03/04 – About 250 people have held a protest rally in the south-eastern French town of Annecy after two local mosques were damaged in suspected arson attacks. One fire ravaged a mosque in the Alpine town itself while the other burned a prayer room in nearby Seynod.

Girona, Spain – 15/12/04 – Police have arrested a neo-Nazi gang which had carried out attacks on mosques and businesses owned by Muslims. Seven people, including three teenagers, were arrested in towns near Girona, in Catalonia in north-east Spain. The group, called The Black Front, was said to espouse Nazi philosophy. The group carried out attacks on mosques, businesses owned by Muslims and other people whose ideologies were opposed to their own.

Strasbourg, France – 24/06/04 – Nazi vandals have struck at the Muslim community in the Alsace region of eastern France, desecrating 48 graves of Muslim soldiers with swastikas and “SS” inscriptions. Local Muslim leaders reported seven attacks against Muslim sites in Strasbourg in April, including graffiti saying “death to Arabs”. Most Muslims in France are of North African origin.

Copenhagen, Denmark – 24/03/08 – Danish Muslims link the racist murder of a Muslim teen last week to an increasing Islamophobic atmosphere fanned by the reprinting of a cartoon satirical of prophet Muhammad. “Deniz Ozgur Uzun was killed because of his dark, Middle Eastern skin,” Jihad Abdelalim Alfara, the chairman of the Islamic Council in Denmark, told IslamOnline.net. Uzun, a 17-year-old Turk attending a technical high school, was distributing newspapers in the Amager district of Copenhagen Wednesday when he was verbally harassed by three Danes, aged 15, 17 and 18. “He ignored them and went his way before they stopped their car and started assaulting him.”

Bergen, Norway – 03/05/11 – A junior high school in Bergen, west Norway, was evacuated this Tuesday morning after a national newspaper received a message from a pupil claiming to have a weapon in their school bag with the intention of shooting others, “especially Muslims.”

Sofia, Bulgaria – 12/06/11 – The warden of the main mosque in downtown Sofia has suffered a brutal assault at the hands of unidentified attackers just minutes before the start of the morning prayer on Sunday. 20/05/11 – Supporters of the Bulgarian far right Ataka (Attack) party started a brawl in downtown Sofia, assaulting Muslims during their Friday prayer.

USA – Damage to property

08/11/10 – Phoenix – The FBI is investigating the recent vandalism of a Phoenix mosque under construction, officials said Wednesday. Paint was spilled on the floor and several tall, arched glass windows were broken by what appeared to be gunshots, Shami said. There was also anti-Muslim graffiti.

08/08/07 – Glendale – a container of acid and a reactant was thrown out of a car window and landed near an imam (Islamic religious leader) and another mosque official who were standing outside the Albanian American Islamic Center of Arizona in Glendale, Ariz.

13/08/07 – Antioch – Muslim leaders gathered today at an Antioch mosque that they said had been vandalized several times to condemn what authorities called an arson attack over the weekend.

01/11/94 – Yuba City – The original mosque was 75% complete when on Sept. 1, 1994 a blazing fire reduced this beautiful 12,000 sq. ft. building to charred ruins in just ONE HOUR.

10/05/10 – Jacksonville – a bomb exploded outside the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida in Jacksonville. Local, state and national law enforcement authorities investigated the attack as a possible act of domestic terrorism.  (04/05/11 – A 46-year-old suspect,Sandlin Matthews Smith, was shot and killed earlier today in Oklahoma as FBI agents and state law enforcement personnel attempted to arrest him in a state park.)

01/02/09 – Miami – Police Investigate Shots Fired At Miami Mosque. Officials Say Bullet Holes Found In Wall.

25/11/06 – Florida – Sniper Strikes at Brevard Mosque During Ramadan Prayers.

14/0/07 – Tampa – Someone deliberately set fire Thursday morning to the Islamic Education Center of Tampa,Florida, a mosque tucked into a neighborhood of tidy suburban homes in Town ‘N Country, according to Hillsborough Fire Rescue and the FBI.

07/07/ – Houston – a home-made bomb exploded on Sunday in the mailbox of Champions Masjid in Spring, Texas. Muslim children who saw two white men place the bomb in the mailbox narrowly missed being injured in the attack.

26/03/02 – Tallahassee – A man drove his truck into a mosque near Florida State University on Monday night, prompting police to seal off the area and call in a bomb squad.

23/08/02 – Florida – A Florida doctor arrested after police found more than 15 homemade explosive devices in his home drafted a detailed plan to blow up a Muslim educational center, investigators said Friday. A search of Robert J. Goldstein’s residence also turned up a list of about 50 Islamic worship centers in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area and other locations in Florida.

25/08/03 – Savannah – An mosque burned to the ground Sunday morning, and police are calling it a case of arson. The fire completely destroyed the building but it wasn’t the only thing targeting this mosque. Just a few weeks ago, bullets slammed into the garage door and one of its members received hate mail.

19/12/10 – Louisiana – The Louisiana State Police bomb squad was called to “deactivate” a suspicious device found against the iron fence surrounding the Islamic Center of Lafayette. Police would not divulge the exact content of the briefcase found outside the mosque. But said it was a real threat. Some 50 nearby homes were evacuated.

12/12/04 – Springfield – Investigators probing a fire Wednesday night that severely damaged a Springfield mosque have concluded that it was arson.

Roger Stockham - Foiled Mosque Bomber


30/01/11 – Dearborn – A 63-year-old Southern California man who was traveling with explosives in his vehicle with the intention of blowing up one of the nation’s largest mosques where mourners had gathered for a funeral was arrested in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn.

25/08/06 – Minneapolis – A Minneapolis mosque was targeted with a suspected arson early Thursday morning while prayer was in session, the mosque director said. No one was hurt in the incident, but dozens of books and other equipments were destroyed.

07/12/10 – Carlton – A Holley teen-ager was charged with a felony count of criminal possession of a weapon after allegedly firing a shotgun outside a mosque in Waterport on Monday night.

26/11/08 – Ohio – on Friday, a mosque in Dayton, OH was tear-gassed, with women and children inside.

20/12/05 – Cincinnati – It was late in the night on Dec. 20, 2005, when two pipe bombs went off outside the Islamic Association of Cincinnati. Luckily, no one was hurt, but no one has been ever been arrested or charged.

29/08/10 – Murfreesboro – One day after a piece of construction equipment was burned at the building site for the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office investigated a report about shots fired at the site.

27/05/11 – Washington DC – Shots were fired outside a mosque in northwest D.C. Friday afternoon. No one was injured in the incident and police have arrested a man.

17/09/01 – Cleveland – Last night, September 17, 2001 a man in Parma Ohio near Cleveland, drove his vehicle smack dab into the center of the Mosque. The car ended up in the fountain, he ended up in the emergency room.

11/09/05 – Lansdale – Robert Blackburn, 53, of Hatfield, used a .22-caliber rifle to shoot up two cars in the parking lot of the North Penn Mosque early Tuesday, police said.

12/02/08 – Nashville – Three men have been charged in the firebombing of a small mosque over the weekend, federal prosecutors said. They were members of the Christian Identity movement, an extreme doctrine that claims white Europeans are God’s chosen people.

30/06/00 – Memphis – On June 20th, Masjid Al-Noor in Memphis, Tenn., became the latest target, this time at the hands of an enraged neighbor. The suspect, who tried to enter the locked mosque, was said to have opened fire on the mosque with his shotgun, filling the door of the mosque with bullet holes. One Muslim man was wounded after being shot in the pelvis area by the suspect, who returned home to reload his shotgun.

16/05/11 – Houston – Members of the mosque reported two men smashed in a window at Madrasae Islamia in the 6600 block of Bintliff Drive and then doused a room with gasoline before setting the fire.

16/11/07 – Corpus Christi – Corpus Christi’s Islamic community cautiously continued Ramadan worship Saturday while investigators prowled the McArdle Road mosque’s perimeter for clues to who shot through the door Friday.

20/09/04 – El Paso – Police arrested a man who allegedly attacked the Islamic Center of El Paso with two makeshift firebombs that failed to detonate.

14/09/01 – Texas – A firebomb was hurled at a mosque and Islamic school in Texas, a day after windows were shot out at a similar Islamic centre near Dallas, police said today.

27/04/06 – Maryland – The police say nobody was hurt after shots were fired Thursday into the Islamic Center of Delmarva located in Salisbury.

USA – Violence against a person

21/12/10 – Columbus – Federal and local authorities are investigating a possible hate crime after a Muslim woman said she was verbally harassed and pepper sprayed on Monday outside of an Islamic center on the city’s west side.

01/09/09 – Portland – Portland police say a man was shot in the back after leaving a mosque, and police were searching for two suspects. Police Chief James Craig says at least two shots were fired. The victim, who was not identified, was taken to the Maine Medical Center. His injuries were not thought to be life threatening.

17/04/08 – Kansas – A clerk at a Lenexa, Kan., gas station told police that a man came into the store and asked the clerk if he was Muslim. When the clerk replied in the affirmative, the man reportedly started harassing him. Soon after the man left the store, a Molotov cocktail incendiary device was thrown through the front window of the store. A similar incident occurred at another store in area.

12/09/10 – New York – One of two suspects arrested allegedly used racial and religious slurs, including calling the imam a “camel jockey” and shouting, “F*ck all you Muslims. All of you are terrorists,” during the verbal and physical assault.

02/12/10 – Sacramento – A 56-year-old Sikh taxi driver was attacked early morning Nov. 28 in West Sacramento, Calif., by two passengers who allegedly shouted racial epithets and called the turban-and-bearded driver “Osama bin Laden.”

22/10/10 – Washington State – A Burien woman has been charged with a hate crime for physically and verbally assaulting two Muslim women at a Tukwila gas station last weekend. 37-year-old Jennifer Leigh Jennings accosted two Muslim women, calling them “terrorists” and “suicide bombers” before physically attacking them.

14/10/10 – New York – The Staten Island woman said her attacker called her a “terrorist and a Muslim” and pulled on her religious head scarf. The attacker — a pedestrian — allegedly reached through the driver’s-side window of her car and punched her in the face. He then allegedly shattered a car window and tried to hit her 4-year-old son.

25/08/10 – New York – Rider Asks if Cabby Is Muslim, Then Stabs Him. He withdrew a Leatherman knife, Mr. Sharif said, and, reaching through the opening in the plastic divider, slashed Mr. Sharif’s throat. When Mr. Sharif turned, he said, Mr. Enright stabbed him in his face, on his arm and on his thumbs. Mr. Sharif said he told him: “I beg of you, don’t kill me. I worked so hard, I have a family.”

08/12/06 – Vermont– Police say Thurber told officers that he believed the family members were terrorists because they spoke Arabic to each other. He allegedly suspected they were plotting an explosion in the north end of Brattleboro and perhaps the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon. “Thurber stated that he thought the (family) should no longer be able to breathe, Brattleboro Police Officer Mark Carignan wrote in his affidavit. He said that they needed to be killed to protect the United States.

21/10/06 – San Fransisco – “Whoever did this did not see Alia Ansari, a mother of six children.” Killed Thursday by a single bullet to the head as she walked with her 3-year-old daughter on a well-to-do residential street, she was distinguished by a hijab, the head scarf worn by some devout Muslim women. The Afghan immigrant had no purse or money on her, family members said.

Anti-Abortion Terrorism

Scott Roeder - Anti-abortion Terrorist

 

In the U.S., violence directed towards abortion providers has killed at least eight people, including four doctors, two clinic employees, a security guard, and a clinic escort. According to statistics gathered by the National Abortion Federation (NAF), an organization of abortion providers, since 1977 in the United States and Canada, there have been 17 attempted murders, 383 death threats, 153 incidents of assault or battery, and 3 kidnappings committed against abortion providers. According to NAF, since 1977 in the United States and Canada, property crimes committed against abortion providers have included 41 bombings, 173 arsons, 91 attempted bombings or arsons, 619 bomb threats, 1630 incidents of trespassing, 1264 incidents of vandalism, and 100 attacks with butyric acid (“stink bombs”). The New York Times also cites over one hundred clinic bombings and incidents of arson, over three hundred invasions, and over four hundred incidents of vandalism between 1978 and 1993. The first clinic arson occurred in Oregon in March 1976 and the first bombing occurred in February 1978 in Ohio. The first hoax letters claiming to contain anthrax were mailed to U.S. clinics in October 1998, a few days after the Slepian shooting; since then, there have been 655 such bioterror threats made against abortion providers. None of the “anthrax” in these cases was real.   

The rightists will argue that graffiti or smashed windows isn’t terrorism just vandalism. I would agree if it wasn’t for the fact that these acts have a particular target and motive based on racial, religious or ideological grounds. They are fueled by hatred, and are designed to cause fear and put pressure on a section of society, either to retaliate or to relocate. Had these incidents been the work of Muslims, the Islamophobes wouldn’t hesitate to label them as acts of jihad. Add to the above the many more incidents of far right terrorism on Western soil that can be viewed here and here, and you start to realise that what happened in Oslo and Utoya is an escalation rather than an exception. The threat posed by the far right needs to be addressed now, and the discourse on terrorism needs to change if this escalation is to be halted.

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Selective Hearing, Collective Guilt & the Big Lie

Why do we (white or non-Muslim Britons) feel the need to hold our Muslim compatriots responsible for the crimes committed by men who happen to share the same faith? Why do we ascribe collective guilt to 2.4 million people for the transgressions of a tiny minority? One of the recurring claims made by Islamophobes is that they never hear the Muslim community speaking out against the extremists. Why aren’t the moderate Muslims out protesting? Where is the voice of moderate Islam denouncing these acts? Silence is treated as complicity or sympathy.

Do we (white or non-Muslim Britons) really have so little trust and so much suspicion that we need the British Muslim community out on the streets apologising for crimes they haven’t committed? Exactly what format do the people baying for these denunciations want them in? Maybe a dedicated freeview channel for Muslim apologies? An SMS messaging service? An RSS news feed? Who exactly should be doing the denouncing? The MCB? Imams? Community leaders? Muslim councillors or politicians?

Normal, law-abiding ie the vast majority of British Muslims will not feel that the likes of Anjem Choudary, the 7/7 bombers or the ‘Muslamic Rape Gangs’ represent them or their community, so why should they be expected to publically distance themselves from them? Are we actually admitting that ‘unless you tell us you’re not a terrorist or rapist we will assume that you are’?

Why is it only Muslims that are subjected to this treatment? Where were the apologies from the white working class when Raoul Moat’s murderous rampage was finally stopped? Where was the Anglo-Saxon community spokesperson denouncing the many white supremacist, neo-nazis that have been caught in recent years? Where was the condemnation from the Afro-Carribean community in the wake of the capture of the Nightstalker Delroy Grant? Why don’t mainstream Christians speak out against the likes of Stephen Green? Maybe they do, maybe they have. I don’t know, because I haven’t looked, because I don’t expect them to.

The same is almost true with the Islamophobes. They haven’t seen the condemnation of terrorism from the Muslim community because they haven’t looked. But it’s there, absolutely tons of it. Why isn’t it published by the Mail, the Star, the Express, the Sun or the NOTW with coverage equal to that of the crimes? Only they can answer that, but I have a hunch.

If the likes of the EDL and other Islamophobes really want to see condemnation of terrorism and extremism from the Muslim community, they don’t have to look too hard. TheAmericanMuslim.org has compiled a comprehensive collection from around the world. There are fatwas and denunciations from Imams, Muftis and leaders from India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Yemen, Qatar, Oman, Iraq, UAE, Kuwait, Mauritania, Bangladesh, Lebanon, Indonesia, Tunisia, Morocco, Malaysia, Iran, Turkey, Chechnya, Bosnia, Russia, Nigeria, Philippines, Palestine, Afghanistan, USA, Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, France, Spain, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Great Britain.

As they explain:

I certainly cannot agree that Muslims – ordinary Muslims, clerics, scholars, religious bodies, political leaders (Sunni and Shiah) have not spoken up. We have collected 105 fatwas from Islamic scholars, 75 statements by Islamic Organizations (many of these signed by anywhere from 50 to 500 scholars from around the world), and 142 statements by individual Muslims. They speak clearly against terrorism, suicide bombing, kidnapping, harming civilians, harming places of worship, weapons of mass destruction. They clarify the Islamic position on minority rights and apostasy. Some directly condemn al-Qaeda and bin Laden, and specific acts like 9/11 or the Madrid bombing. There is almost no issue involving terrorism, extremism, or injustice that has not been addressed. Most Islamic scholars have spoken clearly.

Let’s not tolerate this conspiracy of silence bullshit, because it’s not true. But the more lies are perpetuated they very quickly become fact.

And Justice for all………?

While the tabloid media is shrieking it’s disgust from the front pages with regards to the ‘Muslim Poppy Burners’ £50 fine, and the right wing reactionaries are jerking their knees with rage. EDL ‘leader’ Guramit Singh walked free, without charge after being cleared of intentionally causing religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress. He was arrested on December 11th, 2010 at the EDL’s Peterborough demo after a complaint about a speech he gave there. If you haven’t had the pleasure here’s a snippet:

I’m going to tell you precisely right now what threat of Islam is. Muhammad and Islam is not a religion… Muhammad was a paedophilic pirate… Islam, in not just this country but around the world, has been using their disgusting threat, their threat has been going on for 1400 years, “if you do not bow before Muhammad and his so-called Allah, you are to be beheaded”… Hitler had fuck all on Muhammad.

The Koran and the Hadiths is written in Arabic. Muslims are not allowed to be taught Arabic in the mosque. Muslims are told, “do not question what your Imam says”, although they don’t even know what the Imam’s saying, because the Imam’s just a “Allah, fuck it”. Stick your Allah up your arse, you cunt. Fuck em, fuck em, fuck em. I’m not being funny, fuck em. I may get arrested for this shit, but fuck em, fuck em, I’m not having it, fuck em, fuck em, fuck em, fuck em.

…The UAF, the counter-protestors, the members of the Islamic community: English Defence League 2011, we’re coming to a street near you. We ain’t even fucking started yet.

Standard EDL fare really. Mention of paedophilia? Check. Beheading for infidels? Check. Comparison to Hitler? Check. But let’s get this straight. His message to the assembled crowd and any passers by regarding Muslims is “fuck ‘em”. Ten times no less. An additional ‘fuck’, a ‘fucking’, one ‘arse’, one ‘shit’ and he dropped the C-bomb for good measure. On a PA system. Also, is it just me or does the closing salvo sound like a threat?

Let’s look at the poppy burning incident without rage tinted glasses. There were between 30 – 50 MAC members depending on the source. There were a handful of signs with anti-war/anti-military slogans such as ‘British Soldiers: Terrorists’, ‘Hands off Muslim lands’ and pro-Islam ones like ‘Islam will dominate’ and ‘There is no God but Allah’. There were also some tasteless and provocative chants of ‘British Soldiers Burn in Hell’ and ‘Mass Murderers’. As their piece de resistance they proceeded to burn two plastic poppies. As one of them stated: “We wanted to upset people and we wanted them to hurt.”

They wanted to offend people, they wanted attention and they got exactly what they wanted. Job done. The offenders were arrested and processed through the justice system. The fine was for a “calculated and deliberate insult to the war dead and everyone who mourns them” according to reports from the court. I haven’t seen what the actual charge is, presumably some form of Public Order Offence. We can argue about inconsistent sentencing, but isn’t this about right? It was disrespectful, hateful, and inflammatory but what exactly should have happened? The people angriest at this would probably support deportation, a prison sentence or if you look at EDL facebook pages gruesome torture and a slow, painful death. But on what grounds? Treason? This crime still exists and is punishable with life imprisonment. I’m sure this would be just about acceptable for the EDL/BNP lot. They would still prefer the 19th century punishment of hanging, disemboweling, beheading and quartering. No one has been prosecuted for treason since the infamous William ‘Lord Haw-Haw’ Joyce who was executed in 1946. This includes crimes during the ‘troubles’ which were prosecuted as murder or other crimes. In 2005 however the government considered bringing the charge back into practice for Islamic clerics that had been condoning terrorism and the actions of insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq. At the time Lord Carlile QC, the governments reviewer of anti-terror laws said:

“I don’t think there is a lawyer still alive and working who has ever appeared in any part of a treason case,” the Liberal Democrat peer told BBC News. Treason usually applied to wars between nations, he said. Lord Carlile argued existing laws could be used, such as charges of solicitation or incitement to murder, commonly seen in contract killing cases.

This is exactly what happened in 2006 when Abu Hamza was  charged with inciting murder under the Terrorism Act 2000, and was sentenced to 7 years in prison. No matter how offensive the fuckwittery of the MAC, it’s not inciting murder (unless you count the homicidal sentiments directed towards them). I’m going to cut to the chase. The ill-feeling towards the poppy burners has as much to do with their faith and ethnicity as their actions. It’s racism wrapped up in nationalism. The disrespecting of people who have died in wars is one thing, but the fact that it may be immigrants or sons of immigrants doing it is what’s sending the frothing into overdrive. The burning of a symbol such as the poppy is too much for people who’s national pride is derived in a large part from imperialism and military conquests. Not being one who shares in this pride, whilst I appreciate the symbolism, to me they just incinerated some flimsy plastic flowers. It was a cheap publicity stunt that should have been denied any sort of acknowledgement. For me, Singh’s abusive tirade was the more serious incident. It was much closer to the hate speech of Abu Hamza than the actions of MAC. What if something had gone horribly wrong in Peterborough that day? Would he and the EDL be held responsible? Would Singh be facing a lengthy period behind bars?

Tommy Robinson said: “We are pleased the charges were dropped – there was nothing in them.”

Nothing?

Cause and Effect: The Root of Evil

Since September the 11th 2001, we have become painfully aware of a wave of Islamic extremism that has made Islam public enemy number one in the eyes of governments, law enforcers and the general public of the Western world. Al-Qaeda became a household name, the Taliban became the embodiment of evil and we learnt of mysterious Arabic words like Jihad. Then came buzz words and catchphrases that would go on to define an era, the War on Terror, the Axis of Evil and Weapons of Mass Destruction and Osama Bin Laden became the most famous man on the planet.

The ensuing decade has seen the evolution of the Islamic threat into the modern-day equivalent of the post war Red Scare. The media have been saturated with fear mongering propaganda, and we’ve seen the birth of the ‘expert’ that has been warning us of the threat to democracy and western values that radical Islam poses. How their holy book, the Qur’an commands them to commit to the jihad against the non-believing west. How would be martyrs are taught that by making the ultimate sacrifice (a suicide bombing) to Islam and Allah, they will be greeted by 72 virgins in paradise. How they despise the west for its hedonistic lifestyle, capitalist materialism, and above everything its freedom. These overnight scholars of Islam and terrorism have made it clear that the root of the problem is Islam, the result is terrorism, and the aim is global dominance in the form of an Islamic caliphate ruled by Sharia law. We must either fight back, submit or be killed. Oh, and don’t have nightmares y’all.

So ‘we’ invaded Iraq and Afghanistan to spread peace and democracy. The USA introduced the Patriot Act and the UK passed the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 to keep us all safe. And what a resounding success these measures have been. Eh? Saddam Hussein was toppled in Iraq, the Taliban government has been replaced in Afghanistan and the US & UK has seen nothing on the scale of 9/11 and 7/7 since. But don’t be fooled into thinking that the War on Terror has been won. Just look at Faisal Shahzad the Times Square bomber, Mohamed Osman Mohamud the Christmas Tree bomber, Bilal Abdullah and Kafeel Ahmed the Glasgow Airport bombers, the 17 men charged with the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab the 2009 Underwear bomber, the 2010 printer cartridge bomb plot, and many more foiled and unsuccessful attempts. Clear evidence that the jihad against the West is ongoing and ‘they’ are living among us.

It’s not just extremists either. Learned analysts of the scriptures are now telling us that there is no moderate Islam. The terrorists are merely following the orders from the Qur’an and the example of Muhammad, who was the original jihadist. They even quote verses that prove all of this. Challenge this and you’re an apologist. Dispute it and you’re a dhimmi. Question it and you’re a communist. To even want to debate it is downright un-patriotic. Well I’ve been called a lot worse, so where shall we begin?

If the terrorist attacks aren’t driven by Islamic fundamentalism, what is it?

Donald Rumsfeld, who served as Secretary of Defence of the USA under Gerald Ford and George W Bush, was complicit in the decision to invade Iraq, arguably responsible for what happened at Abu Ghraib, and was certainly instrumental in manipulating public opinion. Not the CV of someone you would describe as an apologist or dhimmi. In 2004 he commissioned the Defence Science Board Task Force to study what causes terrorism. Here are some of the findings:

The Task Force began by noting what are the “underlying sources of threats to America’s national security”:  namely, the “negative attitudes” towards the U.S. in the Muslim world and “the conditions that create them”. And what most exacerbates anti-American sentiment, and therefore the threat of Terrorism?

“American direct intervention in the Muslim world” — through our “one-sided support in favor of Israel”; support for Islamic tyrannies in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia; and, most of all, “the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan”

Let’s just repeat that:  “Muslims do not ‘hate our freedom,’ but rather, they hate our policies.” And nothing fuels — meaning: helps — the Islamic radicals’ case against the U.S. more than ongoing American occupation of Muslim countries:

For that reason, “a year and a half after going to war in Iraq, Arab/Muslim anger [had] intensified” and the war had thus “weakened support for the war on terrorism and undermined U.S. credibility worldwide”

As Glenn Greenwald puts it: It’s not Noam Chomsky or Al Jazeera pointing out these basic truths, but instead, a 2004 Task Force handpicked by Donald Rumsfeld’s Pentagon to review and assess the Bush administration’s anti-terrorism efforts, principally the wars they were waging in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Greenwald also quotes the reports by David Rohde, a NY Times writer who spent 7 months as a hostage of the Taliban. It’s a fascinating insight and makes compelling reading. The full articles are here. But some telling excerpts state:

Commanders fixated on the deaths of Afghan, Iraqi and Palestinian civilians in military airstrikes, as well as the American detention of Muslim prisoners who had been held for years without being charged.

Some of their comments were factual. They said large numbers of civilians had been killed in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Palestinian territories in aerial bombings. Muslim prisoners had been physically abused and sexually humiliated in Iraq. Scores of men had been detained in Cuba and Afghanistan for up to seven years without charges.

When I told them I was an innocent civilian who should be released, they responded that the United States had held and tortured Muslims in secret detention centers for years. Commanders said they themselves had been imprisoned, their families ignorant of their fate. Why, they asked, should they treat me differently?

One morning, [Aby Tayyeb, chief of the captors] wept at news that a NATO airstrike had killed women and children in southern Afghanistan. A guard explained to me that Abu Tayyeb reviled the United States because of the civilian deaths. . . .

Americans invaded Afghanistan to enrich themselves, they argued, not to help Afghans.

To counter any accusations that this could be a puff piece by someone suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, Rohde also writes:

It was a universe filled with contradictions. My captors assailed the West for killing civilians, but they celebrated suicide attacks orchestrated by the Taliban that killed scores of Muslim bystanders. They bitterly denounced missionaries, but they pressed me to convert to their faith. They complained about innocent Muslims being imprisoned by the United States, even as they continued to hold us captive. . . .

A more recent study by Robert Pape, a University of Chicago political science professor and former Air Force lecturer substantiates these reports. An article by Laura Rozen summarises:

Pape and his team of researchers draw on data produced by a six-year study of suicide terrorist attacks around the world that was partially funded by the Defence Department’s Defence Threat Reduction Agency. They have compiled the terrorism statistics in a publicly available database comprising some 10,000 records on some 2,200 suicide terrorism attacks, dating back to the first suicide terrorism attack of modern times — the 1983 truck bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, which killed 241 U.S. Marines.

The report states: While there were a total of 12 suicide attacks from 2001 to 2005 in Afghanistan when the U.S. had a relatively limited troop presence of a few thousand troops mostly in Kabul, since 2006 there have been more than 450 suicide attacks in Afghanistan. Deaths due to suicide attacks in Afghanistan have gone up by a third in the year since President Barack Obama added 30,000 more U.S. troops. When you put the foreign military presence in, it triggers suicide terrorism campaigns . . . and that when the foreign forces leave, it takes away almost 100% of the terrorist campaign.

But what about the terrorists themselves? The cries of Allahu Akbar, the threats to ‘Infidels’? As far as they’re concerned, they are doing Gods work aren’t they? It’s a lot more complex than a yes or no answer. There are some who probably do genuinely believe this. There are others who distort interpretations to justify their actions. There are also the ones who manipulate others into action with their corrupted version of Islam. For instance, if it’s the ultimate sacrifice to die doing Allah’s work through jihad, how come the likes of Bin Laden, al-Zawahiri, al-Awlaki and Mohammed Omar are on the run or in hiding?

In their 1998 fatwa Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri declared ‘Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders’ clearly stating the reasons and flimsy justification. It’s chilling reading bearing in mind what happened 3 years later, but to be totally cold, much of the reasoning is based in fact, that is backed up by Western studies, no matter how deplorable their agenda and misleading the religious element.

First, for over seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the Peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim Peoples.

If some people have in the past argued about the fact of the occupation, all the people of the Peninsula have now acknowledged it. The best proof of this is the Americans’ continuing aggression against the Iraqi people using the Peninsula as a staging post, even though all its rulers are against their territories being used to that end, but they are helpless.

Second, despite the great devastation inflicted on the Iraqi people by the crusader-Zionist alliance, and despite the huge number of those killed, which has exceeded 1 million… despite all this, the Americans are once against trying to repeat the horrific massacres, as though they are not content with the protracted blockade imposed after the ferocious war or the fragmentation and devastation.

So here they come to annihilate what is left of this people and to humiliate their Muslim neighbors.

Third, if the Americans’ aims behind these wars are religious and economic, the aim is also to serve the Jews’ petty state and divert attention from its occupation of Jerusalem and murder of Muslims there. The best proof of this is their eagerness to destroy Iraq, the strongest neighboring Arab state, and their endeavor to fragment all the states of the region such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Sudan into paper statelets and through their disunion and weakness to guarantee Israel’s survival and the continuation of the brutal crusade occupation of the Peninsula.

What about the footsoldiers, the ones carrying out attacks on Western soil? Not much coverage is given to the testimony of would be terrorists, why would there be? We know they’re blindly following a barbaric doctrine. Why should we give them the oxygen of publicity? Maybe because we could learn something.

Mohamed Osman Mohamud was a 19 year-old Somali born American citizen. He was arrested last year after plotting to commit a terrorist attack in Oregon. If you’re not familiar with this case, he became known as the Christmas Tree bomber and was to all intents and purposes entrapped by the FBI. During their grooming process they recorded several conversations. Here’s a snippet:

Undercover FBI Agent:  You know there’s gonna be a lot of children there?

Mohamud:  Yeah, I know, that’s what I’m looking for.

Undercover FBI Agent:  For kids?

Mohamud:  No, just for, in general a huge mass that will, like for them you know to be attacked in their own element with their families celebrating the holidays.  And then for later to be saying, this was them for you to refrain from killing our children, women . . . . so when they hear all these families were killed in such a city, they’ll say you know what your actions, you know they will stop, you know.  And it’s not fair that they should do that to people and not feeling it.

And here’s what he allegedly said in a video he made shortly before he thought he would be detonating the bomb:

For as long as you threaten our security, your people will not remain safe. As your soldiers target our civilians, we will not help to do so. Did you think that you could invade a Muslim land, and we would not invade you?

Faisal Shahzad was a Pakistani born American citizen who became known as the Times Square bomber. When pleading guilty to the charges he told the court:

“It’s a war”. If the United States does not get out of Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries controlled by Muslims, he said, “we will be attacking U.S.,” adding that Americans “only care about their people, but they don’t care about the people elsewhere in the world when they die.”

The Washington Post continues:

As soon as he was taken into custody May 3 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, onboard a flight to Dubai, the Pakistani-born Shahzad told agents that he was motivated by opposition to U.S. policy in the Muslim world, officials said.

“One of the first things he said was, ‘How would you feel if people attacked the United States? You are attacking a sovereign Pakistan,’ “ said one law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the interrogation reports are not public. “In the first two hours, he was talking about his desire to strike a blow against the United States for the cause.”

ABC News adds:

“But not the people who were walking in Times Square that night. Did you look around to see who they were?”

“Well, the people select the government,” Shahzad said. “We consider them all the same. The drones, when they hit … “

Cedarbaum interrupted again: “Including the children?”

Shahzad answered: “Well, the drone hits in Afghanistan and Iraq, they don’t see children, they don’t see anybody. They kill women, children, they kill everybody. It’s a war, and in war, they kill people. They’re killing all Muslims.”

Later, he added: “I am part of the answer to the U.S. terrorizing the Muslim nations and the Muslim people.”

“Can you tell me a way to save the oppressed? And a way to fight back when rockets are fired at us and Muslim blood flows?”

There is a decade worth of e-mails between Shahzad and friends where he expressed the same opinions and concerns.

Mohammed Atta, the Egyptian born 9/11 hijacker and ringleader was a University educated man from an academic and affluent family. He moved to Germany in 1992, and most reports of him are of an intelligent but insular individual. It was obvious he had religious beliefs, along with political motivations, including anger at U.S. policy toward the Middle East, particularly the Oslo Accords and the Gulf War. It has been documented that his behaviour became increasingly unfriendly and introverted.

Juan Cole, Professor of History at the University of Michigan and historian of the modern Middle East:

In 1996, Israeli jets bombed a UN building where civilians had taken refuge at Cana/ Qana in south Lebanon, killing 102 persons; in the place where Jesus is said to have made water into wine, Israeli bombs wrought a different sort of transformation. In the distant, picturesque port of Hamburg, a young graduate student studying traditional architecture of Aleppo saw footage like this on the news [graphic]. He was consumed with anguish and the desire for revenge. As soon as operation Grapes of Wrath had begun the week before, he had written out a martyrdom will, indicating his willingness to die avenging the victims, killed in that operation–with airplanes and bombs that were a free gift from the United States. His name was Muhammad Atta. Five years later he piloted American Airlines 11 into the World Trade Center.

On Tuesday, the Israeli military shelled a United Nations school to which terrified Gazans had fled for refuge, killing at least 42 persons and wounding 55, virtually all of them civilians, and many of them children. The Palestinian death toll rose to 660.

You wonder if someone somewhere is writing out a will today.

A poignant and sobering thought. There are countless blogs, articles and websites chronicling the transgressions of the West before and during the War on Terror. Truly heartbreaking accounts of torture, imprisonment and mass murder, what can only be described as terrorism in its purest form. If the scale of the injustice and hypocrisy can anger a non-Muslim westerner like me, how must it feel to be a Muslim living in occupied territory? Or being a Muslim in the West? Not only looking on helplessly from relative comfort, but suffering from the backlash of Islamic extremism in the form of persecution from bigots and victimisation from the authorities. Something that’s become obvious to me since I began reading about Islam, is the kinship felt across borders and oceans between Muslims. A spiritual bond of brotherhood and sisterhood exists in the Ummah that transcends race and class. Is it surprising that extreme elements are susceptible to emotional manipulation by charismatic figures with a violent agenda? Surprising? No. Understandable? Regrettably, yes.

Before accusing me of condoning terrorist’s thoughts or actions, which I clearly am not, try a bit of role reversal. If your imagination and capacity for empathy allows it, put yourself in the shoes of someone living in Gaza, or rural village in Afghanistan or Pakistan. What they see is invasion and terrorism while what we see is the laughably named Overseas Contingency Operation, Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom.

Supporters of the war will tell you that removing Saddam was essential, not just for our safety, but for the Iraqi people. The first point is highly debatable, the second less so. The Halabja Gas Attack which killed thousands of Iraqi Kurds and Al-Anfal Campaign which killed over 2 million were horrific acts of ethnic cleansing, but US intervention was nowhere to be seen until Iraq invaded and annexed Kuwait which was a Western ally and owned 10% of the world’s oil supplies. The Gulf War ended in a ceasefire, but Hussein remained claiming victory. Post-war, John Esposito observed:

“As one U.S. Muslim observer noted: People forgot about Saddam’s record and concentrated on America…Saddam Hussein might be wrong, but it is not America who should correct him.”

The 1991 uprising of Kurds and Shia Muslims was dealt with using brutal force. Up to 200,000 were massacred and human rights violations were widespread. Further resentment from Iraqis and Arabs towards the USA was caused by the feeling that they were duped into rebelling against the government under the impression they would be supported by American intervention which didn’t materialise.

The result of the uprising was an even more oppressive and severe regime. A society which had been living without the harsh penalties attributed to Sharia law, was now subject to amputations, branding and execution for criminal offences such as theft and military desertion. The continued military presence in the Gulf, and Iraq’s reluctance to co-operate with the UN in their disarmament resulted in several more missile strikes that caused around 2,000 Iraqi deaths including civilians.

Surely then, replacing Saddam Hussein was a legitimate operation to bring about a more democratic and harmonious life to Iraqis? America and the UK would be welcomed as liberating heroes. How is Iraq faring today?

Project Censored has named the “corporate media blackout” of the number of Iraqi deaths caused by U.S. occupation (which it estimates at over one million) as the number-one censored story for 2009. In December 2007, the Iraqi government reported that there were five million orphans in Iraq — almost half of the country’s children.

As of 2007 more Iraqis had lost their homes and become refugees than the population of any other country. Over 3.9 million people, close to 16 percent of the Iraqi population, have become uprooted. Of these, around 2 million have fled Iraq and flooded other countries, and 1.9 million are estimated to be refugees inside Iraq.

A November 11, 2006, Los Angeles Times article reports:

The [Iraq] nation’s health has deteriorated to a level not seen since the 1950s, said Joseph Chamie, former director of the U.N. Population Division and an Iraq specialist. “They were at the forefront”, he said, referring to healthcare just before the 1991 Persian Gulf War. “Now they’re looking more and more like a country in sub-Saharan Africa.”


A November 9, 2006, International Herald Tribune article reported what Iraq’s Health Minister, Ali al-Shemari, said about the issue:

Al-Shemari said Iraq needed at least 10 years to rebuild its infrastructure, and that the medical situation in the country was “gloomy.” There was a shortage of medical supplies, which sometimes took months to reach the country from abroad, while roadblocks prevented people from getting to hospitals, he said. No hospital has been built in Iraq since 1983, and the country’s 15,000 available hospital beds were well short of the 80,000 beds needed. The minister also noted that many doctors had left the country. “We need help from anybody”, Al-Shemari said.

Seventy percent of children are suffering from trauma-related symptoms according to a study of 10,000 primary school students in the Sha’ab section of north Baghdad, conducted by the Iraqi Society of Psychiatrists and the World Health Organization. “We’re now finding an elevation of mental health disorders in children – emotional, conduct, peer, attention deficit”, according to Iraqi psychiatrist Hashimi. “A number are even resulting in suicide.”

This is just one country. What about another member of the axis of evil, Afghanistan? Estimates of civilian deaths between 2001 and the present day have the total at a  maximum of 34,240 civilians, up to 29,000 at the hands of US troops. Yes, that’s civilians, not Taliban or al-Qaeda. These include the slaughter of 25 members of the same family attending a wedding, the killing of two pregnant women, a teenage girl, a police officer and his brother, 5 members of an Afghan Army colonels family including an unborn baby, and a group of 76 civilians largely consisted of children. Other ‘accidental’ strikes have included more weddings, mosques during prayer , whole villages, hospitals, schools, an Al-Jazeera bureau, and indiscriminate bombings, missile strikes and shootings.

Pakistan is another country that is reportedly harbouring Taliban and Al-Qaeda operatives and leaders. Lets also bear in mind that the UK has a sizeable Pakistani population.  The Waziristan region in the north-west of the country  has been the location of an ongoing battle against the Taliban since 2004. Despite claiming that over 15,000 militants have been killed, there have also been up to 30,000 civilian casualties. Since 2006 the use of UAV’s or drones have been used increasingly in Waziristans uncompromising terrain. The Brookings Institution suggest that drones may kill 10 civilians for every militant. This assertion is refuted by the New America Foundation who claim that civilian victims accounted for 21% of the total in 2004 but only 6% in 2010, which amounted to a maximum of 18 deaths. According to Pakistani authorities, from January 14, 2006 to April 8, 2009, 60 U.S. strikes against Pakistan killed 701 people, of which 14 were Al-Qaeda militants and 687 innocent civilians.

Despite a large number of the attacks taking out militants, there is a mountain of evidence showing many strikes have left civilians as the sole casualties or with ‘unidentified’ victims.

Unsurprisingly, these tactics have come under heavy criticism from the Pakistani public, their army and the UN.

On October 27, 2009 UNHRC investigator Philip Alston called on the US to demonstrate that it was not randomly killing people in violation of international law through its use of drones on the Afghan border. Alston criticized the US’s refusal to respond to date to the UN’s concerns. Said Alston, “Otherwise you have the really problematic bottom line, which is that the Central Intelligence Agency is running a program that is killing significant numbers of people and there is absolutely no accountability in terms of the relevant international laws.”

Lets not forget Gaza. Surely a situation so delicate would be treated with sensitivity and diplomacy in such a perilous period?



“We found Mohammed lying there, cut in half. Ahmed was in three pieces; Wahid was totally burnt – his eyes were gone. Wahid’s father was dead. Nour had been decapitated. We couldn’t see her head anywhere.”

All six members of the family had been blown to pieces, coating each wall of the narrow enclosure with blood and body matter.

“You cannot imagine the scene: a family all sitting around together and then, in a matter of seconds, they were cut to pieces. Even the next day we found limbs and body parts on the roof, feet and hands,” Mounir says.

Fatheya, 17, is one of the few surviving members of the family. Slipping further into grief-stricken madness, flitting from one horrific description to the next, she says: “There were rocks and dust and fire … It’s very difficult … I can’t, no matter how I try to explain my situation to you, picking up the pieces of my dead family … I couldn’t handle it, limbs and flesh all around me. What have we done to deserve this?”

The attack on this home in Gaza City is just one of more than a dozen incidents recorded by Amnesty International where Israel’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – or drones – killed one or more civilians.

During the 23-day offensive, 1,380 Palestinians perished, 431 of them children, according to figures published by the World Health Organisation.

A Guardian investigation into the high number of civilian deaths has found Israel used a variety of weapons in illegal ways. Indiscriminate munitions, including shells packed with white phosphorus, were fired into densely populated areas, while precision missiles and tanks shells were fired into civilian homes.

As Glenn Greenwald so effectively puts it:

Imagine that.  Isn’t Muslim culture just so bizarre, primitive, and inscrutable?  As strange as it is, they actually seem to dislike it when foreign militaries bomb, invade and occupy their countries, and Western powers interfere in their internal affairs by overthrowing and covertly manipulating their governments, imposing sanctions that kill hundreds of thousands of Muslim children, and arming their enemies.  Therefore (of course), the solution to Terrorism is to interfere more in their countries by continuing to occupy, bomb, invade, assassinate, lawlessly imprison and control them, because that’s the only way we can Stay Safe.  There are people over there who are angry at us for what we’re doing in their world, so we need to do much more of it to eradicate the anger. That’s the core logic of the War on Terror. How is that working out?

In the last ten years, the U.S. and Israel collectively have bombed at least six Muslim countries (including Gaza).  Despite that, 40% of Americans want to attack yet another one, and 1/3 want to invade.  Those are the same people who, if there is another terrorist attack on U.S. soil, will be walking around, eyebrows earnestly raised, innocent, self-righteous and confused, and asking:  “why do they hate us??”  And their friends and neighbors and leaders will assure them:  “they hate us for our freedoms.”

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