Tuesday, July 12, 2005

In My Name

If one thing is certain following the London bombings, it is that Islamofascists will strike without any regard to whom they are killing. George Galloway may argue that Tony Blair brought these attacks on himself by his support for the war in Iraq; he is, as usual, completely wrong. In the short term, it may be significant that Spain and the UK have been attacked since removing Saddam. In the long term, however, these terrorists will not rest until their jihad is totally over. France found this out when terrorists who kidnapped two French journalists in Iraq demanded the removal of the controversial headscarf law. Neither are Muslims themselves safe.

No-one is safe from these walking time-bombs. Until our women are wearing burkas; until we're all making our yearly hajj; until we believe in the violent persecution of those wishing to express free will - until that day, madmen will be blowing themselves up in cities all over the world.

The fact that people of all colours, all nations, all creeds fall victim to the murderers proves one thing beyond doubt. There is no get-out clause from citizenship. It's the corollary to the freedom we fight for - that we accept the government does speak in our name. And if we don't like it, it is our duty to change it at elections. Saying that you didn't support the Iraq War doesn't stop you being blown to pieces on a bus when you're minding your own business.

Because we're not dealing with rational people. People who can cause that sort of carnage can't be negotiated with. Sure, we don't want to encourage the disaffected to join the ranks of the murderers. But yesterday, in Holland, the man accused of the murder of Theo van Gogh stood before the court and asked not to be defended, because he didn't recognise the authority of the court. This a man born and brought up in Amsterdam.

I actually think this is just about the most offensive thing that can be said. That a man is prepared to live in a society without either accepting its rules, or trying to change them from within - his sole reason for existence is to blow apart the society in which he was born. Those are the people we are dealing with. And unless we all stand together against them, they're going to be able to spread their fear further.