London Attacks Question Our Humanity

"A Scholar's Take" in white text above a white pen outline

London Attacks Question Our Humanity

The nightmare that began on 9/11 continues. Another major terrorist attack in the West and the style clearly indicates that the attackers are mimicking or emulating the al Qaeda signature of coordinated, multiple, simultaneous attacks.

Along with other Americans, my heart reaches out for Londoners who have lost friends and relatives in this horrible attack. Along with other American Muslims and people of all faith communities, I pray for peace and fortitude for those who have suffered today. This madness must stop before the world is caught in a spiral of violence that will not only tear asunder the very moral fiber of our civilization, but also jeopardize the possibility of any reconciliation between civilizations.

A snapshot of the world we live in today is gruesome. Even as bombs were exploding in London, an instantaneous war on a peaceful day, terrorists were also killing Ihab al-Sherif, an Egyptian diplomat in Iraq.

This killing of the Egyptian ambassador with the explosions in London for background is symbolic of the war on diplomacy, peace and possible reconciliation that some barbarians have unleashed. In killing al-Sherif for apostasy, they have shown that they themselves are apostates from Islam, how else can one understand the systematic and gruesome killings and bombings of civilians without regard to women, children or the aged.

Islam was sent as mercy to humanity, yet some merciless barbarians insist on sullying its teachings by unleashing the evil that corrodes their own souls.

There is a message in this for all of us. In the pursuit of political and ideological goals we are forgetting the sacred value of life itself. Since 9/11 thousands of innocent civilians have died, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Spain, in Turkey, in Indonesia, and now in London.

Can we find a way to deal with these tragedies in such a way that it does not lead to more deaths, more violence, more anger, and more hatred?

Our reality today questions our humanity, can we reassure ourselves that we indeed constitute a civilization.

Dr. Muqtedar Khan is a Fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. He also teaches Adrian College and is a Non-resident Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of American Muslims: Bridging Faith and Freedom (2002) and Jihad for Jerusalem: Identity and strategy in International Relations (2004).

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