I am extremely concerned about the MCB's criticism of the attacks by the United States and the United Kingdom on Taleban and Al Queda installations in Afghanistan. I hope that in making these criticisms, the MCB believes it is doing the correct thing, but it is not, and I sincerely hope somebody will take some time to read an alternative view.
I am a Christian Englishman who has always enjoyed strong friendships with Muslims of a variety of ethnicities and feel that such friendships have only served to enrich my life. I also disagree totally with the silly comments made by Margaret Thatcher to the effect that British Muslim leaders have done little to condemn the terrorist attacks on the United States. Islam clearly forbids such atrocities and I feel the MCB made this perfectly clear.
I strongly object to your recent position that the fight against terrorism should not include a military response. It is utterly just that the United States and her allies seek to destroy the Al Queda network and the Taleb armies who protect and hide them. This action will necessarily involve the deaths of many Al Queda and Taleban fighters and officials and whatever you think, military planners are working round the clock to mimimise innocent lives being lost.
It is the Taleban who Muslims should seek to blame. This regime has brought about any innocent civilian deaths which occur in Afghanistan through UK/USA bombing as surely as if they had directed the bombs to Kabul's rooftops themselves. Even Western military tacticians bitterly regret innocent loss of life in Afghanistan and we, the normal people of the West, most certainly do. For every innocent life lost, perhaps a hundred thousand will be liberated if it helps to free Afghanistan from the curse of these bloodthirsty maniacs and the madman they protect. For many years, Muslims have sought to escape from that sad country, filling their neighbours' lands with refugee camps. So cruel are the Taleban and Al Queda, that I wonder that you regard them as Muslims at all. To me, a Muslim is intelligent and peaceful...
I think that it is imperative that the MCB stop criticising the West immediately. Calling for protests among Muslims in Britian is dangerous and foolhardy, given the precarious balance in community relations of late. There is a wanton desire in some quarters to insist that our military campaign, against men who have killed our people in their thousands, is somehow a 'war against Islam'. I feel that this is the most dangerous position of all. It is stoking the fires of chaos and war with almost gleeful disregard for the future. Most of all, I do not believe that any Muslim who says the West seeks a war against Islam seriously means what he is saying, and I accuse him of inciting hatred.
If the West sought a war against Islam, it would not have twice expended vast resources in recent years to protect Bosnian and Kosovan Muslims from a murderous, racist (and Christian) regime in Europe. If the West sought war with Islam, it would not have spent the time and effort it has explaining its position to other governments who preside over Islamic societies and seeking their understanding and support. If the West wanted war with Islam, it would not waste time trying to pick out men who hide in mountain caves in a remote region. If the West sought war with Islam, it would be oppressing and then clearing out Muslim communities in its midst and in recent weeks, I feel our authorities have done just the opposite and justly and properly tried to protect Muslim communities in Britain and other countries.
I, like you, am praying for a speedy resolution to this terrible situation. Much thought has been given to the desires of Muslim people around the world and their reaction to events since 11. September. I agree that more time should have been spent considering their needs before and pray that this will prevail soon. The vast majority of people in the West are able to extend a hand of frienship to peaceful Muslims anywhere, as we strike out with the other against men who simply seek our destruction. We are not evil, nor racist, nor any of the other things we have been accused of, but if history shows nothing else, it shows that we will fight, and fight hard, to protect what we are and what we wish to continue to be. We all share a role in the community and nation we call Great Britain. Please see, and see publicly and loudly, that the huge majority of us want the death of terrorists and those who give them comfort, NOT Islam.