Monday, July 07, 2008

3 years ago today

I used the tube twice today, and was gently reminded by coverage in one of the free papers that today is the third anniversary of the terrorist bombings that killed 52 innocent people and injured 700 in London.

It is notable that it had a low profile today. London has been scarred, but neither the economy nor the culture of the city has been substantively hurt. In the regard, the Islamist terrorists did not achieve their goal of frightening Londoners nor frightening the British government to withdraw from Iraq or Afghanistan.

However I do wonder whether the relative nonchalance is naive, or a reflection of the success of the security forces in combating terrorist plots. I hope the latter, because Britain has paid a high price in individual freedom for security.

There is no doubt that it has proven more difficult than the Islamist terrorists thought to undertake their own filthy form of civil war against British society - but Britain remains vulnerable - and has to remain vigilant. Hopefully the naivete about Islamists who preach jihad in British mosques has been shattered - for too long the UK has relied only on its tolerance to battle the intolerant. The message ought to be that if you, as an individual, wish to declare war on Britain's government and society, you will no longer receive the generosity of tolerance. An (effectively) secular United Kingdom must never be negotiable.

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