War on Terrorism: Muslims Not Sorry Enough

The Birmingham Post (England), October 4, 2001 | Go to article overview

War on Terrorism: Muslims Not Sorry Enough


Baroness Thatcher last night criticised the response of Muslim leaders in Britain over their response to the terror attacks in America.

The former Prime Minister said Muslim leaders had not spoken out strongly enough about the US atrocities.

'The people who brought down those towers were Muslims, and Muslims must stand up and say that is not the way of Islam,' she said.

'Passengers on those planes were told that they were going to die and there were children on board. They must say that is disgraceful.

'I have not heard enough condemnation from Muslim priests.'

Her intervention has come at an acutely sensitive time as Tony Blair was embarking on a new round of shuttle diplomacy to bolster support for the international coalition against terrorism.

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is also in the Middle East trying to reassure key Muslim allies like Saudi Arabia and Egypt who are deeply concerned about the fall out in the Islamic world of any military action against Afghanistan.

Although it is more than a decade since Lady Thatcher left office, her international stature ensures that her views still attract attention around the world.

At home, Mr Blair and other British Ministers have gone out of their way to reassure Muslims that any action would not be directed at Islam but at the terrorists responsible for the attacks in America.

Ministers have been alarmed by a sharp upsurge in the incidence of racist attacks on Muslims in Britain.

The matter is causing such concern that yesterday Home Secretary David Blunkett announced at the Labour Party Conference that he would be introducing legislation to make incitement to racial hatred an offence. …

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