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Woolwich attack and religion

By Sunny Hundal
May 28 2013





The current mood is that of sombre reflection, calls to ‘carry on as normal’, anger at the killers themselves and a broad understanding that all Muslims should not be blamed for what happened on Wednesday.

This consensus won’t last long. Within a week, maybe even less than that, it will start to break down.

1) ‘Carry on as normal’
The likelihood of this happening is perhaps at zero. There have already been calls by John Reid (and encouraged by Jack Straw yesterday) to revive the Snooper’s Charter. Of course, Reid is the security industry salesman in the House of Lords so his calls is predictable, but what of the Parliamentary Labour Party? This is the time Ed Miliband should flash his pro-civil-liberties credentials, but I suspect he will be thwarted once again by Yvette Cooper’s department.

The Lib Dems may hold their nerve but it’s very likely Theresa May will revive the Snooper’s Charter and claim events like Woolwich justify it.

2) ‘All Muslims are not to blame’ 
By the weekend and almost certainly by next week, we’ll see a revival of editorials (led by Melanie Phillips) asking a variation of Why Do British Muslims Hate Us? We might even go back to 2005 territory when these sorts of editorials were at their peak. The English Defence League and their demonstrations this weekend will certainly keep the topic in the public eye.

There is a lot of money to be made by sensationalising and blaming all Muslims – and a lot of press commentators will certainly try. Some politicians too will be unable to resist this temptation. It won’t start immediately but will last the longest.

3) ‘Carry on as normal’ – Part 2
It’s been constantly repeated in the press today that the authorities knew of the Woolwich Butcher before Wednesday. Why should this come as a surprise?

I would hope they are tracking ALL the men when attend Anjem Choudhary’s rallies. The question is whether these men should be arrested before they commit a crime, and the answer is clearly no.

I’ve warned before that Al-Muhajiroun were a dangerous group and supported proscribing them, but I don’t believe the authorities should arrest people who haven’t committed any crimes. Neverthless, I expect the government and the press to push for a crackdown on protests anyway.

4) ‘All Muslims are not to blame’ – Part 2
The political implications are harder to ascertain. The English Defence League will gain popularity and will no doubt use this to ramp up their demonstrations.

As UKIP have recently moved away from focusing on Islamist extremism to the EU and immigration, they won’t immediately benefit from any backlash to Muslims. But I suspect UKIP are having discussions now on what outrageous things they could say to take the limelight and start a bandwagon. It’s in their nature. The question then is whether the Conservatives will follow or condemn them for being outrageous.

Obviously I don’t approve of any of this. But I can see it happening in the coming weeks. This is merely the calm before the coming storm.

 Originally published by Liberal Conspiracy 
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