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I heard Humphrys this morning: he could hardly have been any more gentle with Lord Ahmed and barely let Alexander get a word in edgeways. Blair deserves a lot of credit for standing up for the West against those who want to destroy Western values.

An appalling letter with all sorts of unacceptable undertones. But it's pointless waiting for 'the Muslim community' to condemn terrorists. It is riddled with division, and if one group/individual breaks ranks, they tend to be shunned/threatened/injured/killed by some others. There is no easy solution.

As is often the case on international affairs in recent times, I found myself cheering on a Labour cabient minister - this time Douglas Alexander - against the usual tunnel-visioned Humphries.

It's clear and reassuring to see what the weight of opinion is on the BBC's own website. Here is one of the most-popular comments (from a Frenchman incidentally).

When I watched at BBC International channel this morning, I get the sad feeling that whatever these islamist radicals plot or spread terror, your channel try to find them some understandable reasons, and to consider they are not totally guilty for their acts. What will be the next step ? apply sharia in Europe otherwise these islamist radicals don't feel integrated in Europe ? and otherwise they would blow up Canterbury Cathedral or Eiffel Tower ?

These so-called Muslim leaders are pouring fuel on the fire.

Sadiq Khan is not invulnerable in Tooting, and I suspect that his non-muslim constituents (which, lest we forget, are the clear majority in Tooting) are getting rather fed up with his misguided, ill-conceived, seemingly muslim-only opinions since becoming MP for the area.

Of course, it needs whoever the Conservative candidate will be to have some spine and a) make sure everyone knows what Mr Khan's been saying and b) articulate forcefully a credible alternative, so lets hope we find someone like that...

Exactly right, the Muslim Council of Britain and other "leaders" need to get their act together. They do little to help those who try and argue this is a problem with a certain interpretation of Islam and not simply Islam itself

It's like Sinn Fein and the IRA - one and the same campaign - the bullet, the bomb, the ballot box.

Israel and the US will have to stop the Iranian nuclear programme. This war unlike the Irish war has the potential for mass casualties. Like all such wars, a stitch in time saves nine.

The lessons of earlier conflicts mean that we must not flinch, but go through the business of reducing our enemies - in this country and in other countries. The longer we wait, the higher the price we will pay.

Hague should step aside. Cameron must either get equal to the challenges that face the world in this generation or step aside as well.

Conservatives need leadership, as does Britain in her hour of need. Blair is the best leader we have right now. If the threat grows, and it probably will, Conservatives will rally round him in preference to Cameron.

A fourth Blair term? Why not? Gordon Brown would probably self destruct as would Labour's left wing. It wouldn't all be bad news.

"Conservatives need leadership, as does Britain in her hour of need. Blair is the best leader we have right now. If the threat grows, and it probably will, Conservatives will rally round him in preference to Cameron"

I agree William,Cameron isn't in the equation.

Humprhys was extraordinary this morning. In fact I wrote down one of his assertions- "It's the job of programmes like this to represent peoples' concerns to those in authority".

Is it? As a tax funded quango appointee, he certainly doesn't represent me. Why does he think he isn't just a journalist?

Israel and the US will have to stop the Iranian nuclear programme.
So far disputes have been over inspections, so far as enrichment of Radioactive goes Iran has the right to do this under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, even if they built a couple of atomic bombs this would not be enough to fight a war against NATO - if Iran uses nuclear weapons against any NATO country or Israel then the USA and UK should wipe Iran off the face of the earth, the UK alone has the nuclear capacity to finish Iran as a country eliminating entirely all life there leaving a radioactive desert.

A fourth Blair term? Why not? Gordon Brown would probably self destruct as would Labour's left wing. It wouldn't all be bad news.
Tony Blair's burnt all his bridges, he's so prepared everyone for his going that if he was to try and stay on as Labour leader a lot of those who voted Labour last time simply wouldn't turnout to vote, Labour would probably lose another couple of million votes because people would say that if he could go back on his word on that he would on lots of other things, if he hadn'tve said that this term was his last term as Prime Minister then that would be different.

Yet another Anon, do you honestly think lobbing nuclear weapons around is somehow going to afford us lasting global
security in dealing with the issue in the way you suggest?

This hopeless case of a PrimeMinister we've got presently was told long, long ago by our security service MI6 that our little 'outing' into Iraq could potentially increase the global threat of further terrorism to this country, so now fast forward to 2006 and low and behold here we are in a situation were Britian is now under a 'critcial' state of alert from such terrorism just as the SIS made clear what would happen. So given Blair ignored such sound clear advice, exactly what there is to 'praise' Blair for is beyond me, Blair is a no hope politician as he is a leader for this nation just as I equally despair at Cameron for giving him support in his shambles of an international adventure that is likely to cost us all dearly in the long term. We are sadly only beginning to see the results of what we have sown which I fear will last decades and were as usual innocent civillians will pay the price for it, ...so now my own hopes and beliefs rest with the good people of the anti terrorist Police and MI5 to keep me safe against what has been the serious if not fatal blunders made inept politicians.

Yet another Anon, do you honestly think lobbing nuclear weapons around is somehow going to afford us lasting global
security in dealing with the issue in the way you suggest?

If Iran was actually to use nuclear weapons as was being suggested as a possibility then this would become the only viable option.

The British nuclear deterrent is more than just a bargaining chip or some kind of thing that can be waved at people who might want to threaten this country or allies, it's retention naturally implies that there are circumstances in which it would be used, if those circumstances come up then it should be used.

Bravo Chris Ryder. Thank God for our security services.

I have little problem with this letter. It merely sets out in the open what conservatives (other than faint-hearts like Chris Ryder) have known all along.

However, the signatories need to remember, that if the West disagrees with the foreign policies of Islamic states, we too reserve the right to bomb them back (further into?) the Stone Age.

The muslims who signed this letter have done their cause no good whatsoever.They should be condemned out of hand.If they don't like our foreign policy (and I agree with them it's often been awful)then they can vote for another party that more accurately reflects their view as can anyone else.
Publishing sanctimonious crap like this letter is not the way to go about it.

El Orens you are a disgrace and too cowardly to even post under a geniune name or email address.

Well, it seems Chris Ryder's trying to make exactly the same - absurd - point that the ad in the Times was: that terrorists have a justification for their outrageous conduct. And for a Conservative to be arguing such a position - seemingly just so that he can criticise a Labour Prime Minister is regretable.

Let's go over it again: the British citizens who died in the twin towers weren't murdered because Britain was in Iraq, or Afghanistan, or supporting Israel's defensive action in Lebanon - and even if that was the reason for the attack, it wouldn't have come close to justifying it.

Mr Ryder seems to be arguing that our foreign policy should be dictated by terrorists in the hope that appeasing them means they'll pick on someone else - the politics of "pay the bully off". He is of course in the company of Neville Chamberlain in that, but it's hardly an honourable position - nor has it ever worked.

If it did, Spain would hardly still be a target for the islamo-facists having bowed to the demands of terrorists by withdrawing their troops. The reason Spain remains in their long-term plans is because they believe the territory to be part of their Islamic caliphate and there's not much appeasing the Socialists in Spain can do to change that, is there?

The only "inept politicians" around are the appeasers, cowards, apologists and ditherers Mr Ryder wishes to be aligned with. There are a few of those in Parliament: they're called Liberal Democrats.

Unfortunately while threatening nuclear obliteration worked OK with atheistic Soviet leaders, it may carry less weight with Iranian leaders who believe that in that event it would be next stop Paradise for them and all other faithful Iranians.

And welcome to the BBC..

"The Muslim Council of Britain warns government of a backlash against Muslims after next week's terrorist attack..."

"Publishing sanctimonious crap like this letter is not the way to go about it."

Not only is it sanctimonious, it is, by any rational meaning of the word, seditious.

Part of the problem with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is that although highly educated as an Engineer and obviously intelligent he is someone who grew up in a very isolated village with little understanding of other countries, in fact his position was an ending of the State of Israel not some kind of nuclear attack upon Israel as it was interpreted as meaning, the fact is that Iran probably could defeat Israel militarily now and probably any other forces in the region with the exception of USA and possibly Turkey, inside Iran in a conventional fight they would probably even be a match for the USA, certainly Iran is behind Hezbollah but actually in terms of direct military attacks they actually have a far better record than many in the region - Iraq under the Ba'athists undoubtedly was the worst offender this way, Syria probably the next worst, Iran still illegally holds islands belonging to the UAE in the Straits of Hormuz but otherwise has avoided direct incursions into neighbouring countries territories, that said though it would be preferable if they didn't have nuclear weapons but there is no actual evidence that they are building such, to be used for nuclear power purposes Uranium has to be enriched and under the Treaty Iran has a right to enrich it themselves to a grade that is usuable in civilian nuclear power, if it is decided that this is not acceptable then the Treaty has to be rewritten and the new requirements applied to other signatories. Also the person who decides such a thing as whether to develop nuclear weapons is not the President but rather the Supreme Leader and Ali Khamenei has issued a Fatwa against development or retention of such weapons, if he was to break his own Fatwa he would lose all credibility as a Spiritual Leader. Anyway Iran will probably throw it's current President out at the next elections, he was not elected on the basis of his views on Foreign policy but rather on economic and social policies with many poor Iranians feeling that a more market orientated policy and privatisations had been socially damaging to Iran.

The main threat from the region remains Al Qaeda simply because of how unrealistic and extreme their ambitions are and that they are so dogmatic that they fail to realise that the sort of single Caliphate they so desire is opposed not only by the Shiah and non-Muslims but also probably by most Sunni as well, Iran's and Syria's continued involvement in Lebanon through Hezbollah remains a problem but a smaller problem in comparison, there is no united front between Hezbollah and Al Qaeda and if there was to be a war just as Iran and the taleban nearly came to war so Al Qaeda and Hezbollah could end up in a war against each other, that said though the aim has to be to destroy both Al Qaeda and Hezbollah and Ba'athism and to remove Iranian influence from Lebanon.

Except of course Peter Coe that Chris Ryder nowhere stated that British foreign policy should be'dictated by terrorists' you just made that up. The fact that some of the July 7th bombers stated that our war in Iraq was their motivation for killing themselves and many innocent people is a fact.

Unfortunately while threatening nuclear obliteration worked OK with atheistic Soviet leaders, it may carry less weight with Iranian leaders who believe that in that event it would be next stop Paradise for them and all other faithful Iranians.
I was referring to a situation in which as had been suggested Iran had actually decided to use nuclear weapons (which seems unlikely to me, the Iranian regime just hasn't showed much interest in using it's military for attacking other countries; it uses finance, supply of arms and training to get others locally to do it for them) then the response would have to be a massive nuclear response, not a threat but use of nuclear weapons which would stop them because they would be dead.

The fact that some of the July 7th bombers stated that our war in Iraq was their motivation for killing themselves and many innocent people is a fact.
Some of the propoganda was saying that the USA was responsible for massacres of Muslims in Bosnia, that is despite the fact that it was US and UK forces that intervened to stop this as most EU nations fiddled (except for Germany who couldn't wait to back Croatia) and of course Russia backed their old allies the Serbs, primarily it was Serbia and the Bosnian Serbs behind the massacres but of course propoganda said otherwise; Saddam Hussein probably massacred even more Muslims than the ethnic Serbs did and yet somehow in propoganda he was elevated having attempted to annexe Kuwait to some kind of hero among many Muslims - the invasion of Afghanistan was after 9/11 and in response to it, the second Iraq War hadn't happened, Al Qaeda's earlier attacks were largely out of jealousy because the Coalition Forces kicked Iraq out of Kuwait (Al Qaeda couldn't have got Iraq out of Kuwait anyway) and the Saudi authorities took away Osama Bin Laden's passport, Al Qaeda wanted to have a war with the Ba'athists who they hate even more than the USA and the USA took away that option and the rest was propoganda, that's all there was to it.

So bombing mosques is the way to express irritation at Muslim abuse of Christians in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan ? Does Sacranie think that is the way to change Muslim domestic policy ?

"Death is perhaps too easy" for Rushdie, said Sacranie at the time. Rushdie also reports Sacranie's recent outlandish comment that "there is no such thing as an Islamic terrorist,"

Clearly Sacranie and his ilke wants to control the country by hook or by crook........but he should remember it is not only Kenya and Uganda that can evict outsiders..........and a letter like this reveals the signatories to be outsiders.

Bad Move............

I was quoting what our security services advised our PrimeMinister at the time of the Iraq issue and what was likely to happen and here we are now with a problem, a big problem but as we all know Blair took on the half baked road to war of which has played it's part in bringing about the problems we now face today pure and simple, to drop heads in the sand and not see what is happening is 'dithering' over the stark fact, I've not, nor even suggested in my original comment that 'any' agenda should be dictated to by terrorists now or at any time and nor am I ever likely to justify there murderous actions that absurd claim is utter rubbish to which I take great offence to, but I DO wish that our politicians should be very aware of the consequences that can and is clearly rebounding out of these actions with ordinary fellow citizens like me being put at risk here at home for.

Also just for the record Peter Coe I am not a member of any the politicial parties conservative or other wise as I'm just the ordinary voter and if I so wish to criticise the actions of a sitting Labour PrimeMinister or any other for that matter it is my full democractic right to do so of which I don't not need your, or anyone elses permission to do so!

Have I read a different letter from the other bloggers? I see no threat in the letter: indeed, it is a clear denunciation of all attacks on civilians - that means they are against terrorist attacks too, guys.

The muslim leaders are absolutely right in their assessment that the government's failure to condemn unequivocally attacks on civilians in Lebanon has probably led to an increased likelihood of islamist extemism. The effect of our foreign policy on the terororist threat is a fact accepted and commented upon by a number of security specialists. This latest episode is likely to increase the impression that our country is against arabs / muslims. Right or wrong, that is the reality.

OK, they are trying to nudge our foreign policy in a diferent direction, but hey, that's what we all do to governments if we want to change things.

What do these people have to do to prove they are not all terrorists?? Here is a public announcement of their opposition to violence against innocent people & civilians - and yet they still get slammed for it.

Well Mr Ryder, aside from the fact that it's distinctly odd for a non-Conservative to choose this website to share your non-Conservative views, if you want to demonstrate your warped "criticise Britain first" attitude could I suggest you use the BBC website, where you'll no doubt feel quite at home among the conspiracy theorists, terrorist sympathisers, appeasers and apologists?

If we don't defend ourselves they kill us. If we do try to defend ourselves the terror merchants always say that is why they are killing us, Malcolm. Don't fall for that old line.

Tam, Please could you explain - because this is the difference between us - how one makes the leap between being opposed to/unhappy with/deeply angered by a policy and that making it ok to blow up innocents?

Of course, you'll say it doesn't make it ok and the statement doesn't say it is - but I'm afraid that by then proceding to lay the blame on the government for their actions they're doing just that. A nod is as good as a wink to a blind man.

There was a debate on Newsnight Friday, between a representative of Hizb'ut Tahrir and another, more moderate Muslim grouping who made this point: there are plenty of muslims deeply unhappy with housing policy or social policy - in other words a grievance can always be conjoured to excuse, mitigate or explain away utterly unacceptable conduct.

You see no threat in the letter? It specifically calls for a change in policy not because it is right to do so, but to mitigate the anger of a particular religious group in the hope that they won't make us cower in a corner and say "please".

The time has long since past where we can tolerate anything other than unequivocal condemnation of Islamic terrorism without any "but if only our country wasn't so misguided in the first place everything would be nice and they'd leave us alone".

When will Muslim leader recognise that their second generation British Asians are being warped by outside views?

Someone tell me.. What on earth could make British born, British bred youth blow themselves up for something that Britain has little involvement in the middle-east?

I personally believe that the UK should back-away from a foreign policy led by the United States, it is obvious, that in recent years their foreign policy has probably made more problems than solved.

However, poor foreign policy is not responsible for MUSLIMS to blow themselves up. It is the responsibility of the parents and community leaders, MUSLIM community leaders not the prime minister or the government. Frankly, what a cheap way of shifting the blame, the Islamic community must accept they have a bigger problem than they are letting on.

Hi Peter. The letter makes it clear the writers are opposed to ALL attacks on innocent people - that is hardly a threat to blow us up if the policy is not changed.

It does mention a claimed link between policy and radicalisation - but others have mentioned that link (one claimed by the terrorists) and have not been called terrorist sympathisers. Why is it seen as a threat in this letter? Perhaps because the writers are muslims? But surely the only way to deal with the problem is to isolate the extremists from their moderate colleagues - which is what this letter is doing, by abhoring all civilian violence.

I don't actually see what the problem is with acknowledging that our government is opposed in principle to violence against civilians - we are already signed up to this stance through the Geneva Convention and international law. Indeed, I do not see how any democratic government could argue politically or morally that it was in favour of attacking cililians.

So what's the problem?

BTW - I am not a muslim, I am a christian Tory, who is not afraid to announce his opposition to all violence against civilians. Does that make me pro-terrorist, as the writers of this letter are perceived?

conservative website?, simple!, firstly just to see how much you people have changed, secondly to join in a topical debate of which I can't see any rules that says as to who and who can not comment restricted to politicial orientation! ..as for the twisting of my comments you really ought to try burying some innocent victims from a terrorist attack first like I have, then you might get a good shot of reality to what your saying and a clearier understanding of what I feel and fear, my comments were and are based on well known facts and did not, nor by intention in anyway advocate appeasement or sympathys to terrorists as you wrongly imply but me being on here most of all is in seeking out a responsible government that will if elected think carefully before it acts on such serious matters to which I maybe able to put some trust in and at the very least opinions that'll be taken on board, but your attitude for one of Cameron's so called 'caring, compassionate, conservatives' quite stinks because if you treat voters with such attitude of not willing to listen except attack and twist my comments as you've shown it's not much surprise you lot don't really win any elections anymore.

Loyalty to Britain or loyalty to the international Islamic community. Choose.

(Yes I know that's probably too simplistic but you get the point. I expect most Catholic Britons would probably put their loyalty to the UK before their loyalty to the Catholic Church. They certainly had no qualms about fighting Italy in WWII.)

Britain is paying a heavy price for creating Pakistan and Bangladesh. Had we left India in 1935 as intended we might necver have had Jinnah and his Islamic Republic of Pakistan which has been a disaster.

The violent, corrupt, fanatical, sectarian politics of that particular failed state have seeped into Britain. This has far less to do with the Middle East than with power struggles in Pakistan and Kashmir.

India has long complained of British fundraising for Kashmiri terrorist groups based in Pakistan but all the British do is to bleat about IRA fundraising in the USA.

Pakistan is the key to Britain's terrorist problem not Israel or Egypt - it is Britain's cavalier neglect of who was coming from/travelling to Pakistan that has created this mess. It was Pakistan that created the Taliban with Saudi money to bring "Purity" into Islam the Wahhabi way.

Britain is now an adjunct of the much more populous Pakistan and this letter is an invitation to align British policy with that of the fanatics who wish to take over Pakistan before fighting India

Interesting that John Reid has now announced that an Al Qaeda plot was foiled in 2000 in Birmingham - before 9/11 or the Iraq war... but when did the facts stop those who trot out the line that jihadist terrorism is all our fault?

I love the first paragraph of the letter...

"As British Muslims we urge (the PM) to do more to fight against all those who target civilians with violence, whenever and whereever that happens."

That sounds laudable but wait for a moment... are they suggesting racial profiling should be used by police and airport staff? Are they suggesting that they now support the Forest Gate raid even though nothing was actually found there? Are they saying that charities that fund Palestinians schools run by Hamas as suicide bomber factories should be closed down, the funds confiscated and the organisers prosecuted and deported? Are they saying that the Muslim Brotherhood should be designated as a terrorist organisation? Have they taken these concerns to Parliment, to the EU and to the UN? Are they fighting everyday among their own communities to stamp out extremism and intolerance?

This is what they would do if they truly believed that Islamic beliefs and Muslims' interpretation of those beliefs were the root cause of Islamist terror.

But of course they do not believe that - or in some cases do not care. Because all this letter actually says is, stop stigmatising Muslims by preventing Islamist terror plots and start doing what we tell you to - or else!

Tam, thanks for the reply. Yes, I agree with you that the authors of that letter have no truck with terrorism whatsoever - I'm not questioning their motives. As both Michael Howard and John Reid have said today, they are simply misguided.

My point was that denunciations of terrorism need to be unequivocal. This letter is equivocal because after they denounce the terrorist attacks they say: they have a legitimate justification for their action, even though the action itself is wrong.

Now if I interpret their letter in that way, how do you think someone more sympathetic to jihadist action will do so?

I think the big problem some have in this country is that - laudibly, because it demonstrates humanity - they try to understand and rationalise terrorism when it just cannot be rationalised or justified.

The reason why nations do not negotiate with terrorists is because negotiation prior to cessation of their action will be misconstrued as weakness on the part of the negotiator, and sucess on the part of the terrorist - making further terrorism more likely.

In fact, terrorism makes the perpetuation of the perceived wrong unavoidable - hence terrorism is the most surefire way of failing to address a grievance the world has ever known. Yet the terrorists persist with it...

Hence, we need universal condemnation of terrorism - full stop - now, and then maybe, if or when the terrorists start showing a modicum of humanity, decency and respect it will be possible to discuss whatever they perceive to be a cause for their behaviour.

I, personally, don't believe that there is any prospect of such a cessation, regardless of whether the West withdraws overnight from Iraq; returns Afghanistan to the rule of the Taliban; allows Israel to be "wiped off the face of the earth"; provides the very best housing, jobs and subsidies imaginable to British Muslims; incorporates aspects of Sharia Law onto statute and so on because the ideology that Al Qaida and its allies wish to impose - a caliphate, grotesque sexual inequality, barbaric sharia law, regressive social policy - are incompatible with western values.

There is a clash of civilisations. I'd rather there wasn't, but there self-evidently is. We need to win it, not accommodate, excuse or explain it.

These 'Muslim leaders' need to take reponsibility for what goes on in 'their community.'

If they seriously want us to believe that extremists and their sympathisers only make up a small proportion of 'their community' then they should take them on instead of writing letters to people issuing veiled threats.

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