Soldier Dead in London May 27, 2013

This past Wednesday, May 22, 2013 in London, England, 25-year-old Lee Rigby, a British solider, was walking down a busy residential street in broad daylight when a blue car knocked him down and proceeded to drive into a lamppost. Two men then attacked Rigby, viciously hacking at him with butcher’s knives and cleavers, attempting to behead the man and shouting in Arabic as they did so.

While bystanders could do little to help, after the murder, one of the men approached a citizen with a camera insisting that he only wanted to speak to him. He then said, “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day.” The man then added, “I apologize that women had to witness that, but in our lands our women have to see the same thing. You people will never be safe. Remove your government. They don't care about you.”

This has not been the first time London was targeted by a serious militant attack, the most recent in July of 2005 when a group of four Islamist detonated suicide bombs on public transit lines, killing 52 people.

While the murderers stated that they acted in the name of God and for the good of Muslim people, many British Muslims were quick to express their horror over the attacks. Ahmed Jama, a 26-year-old London native told the press, “This has nothing to do with Islam, this has nothing to do with our religion. This has nothing to do with Allah... It has nothing to do with Islam. It's heartbreaking, it's heartbreaking.”

Ahmed Jama is not alone in his views. The Muslim Council of Britain also condemned the violence, calling it “a truly barbaric act that has no basis in Islam.” Shiraz Maher, of the International Center for the Study of Radicalization at Kings College London, believes that there is more that British Muslim leaders can, and should be doing to prevent radicalism violence against Muslims. “(A lot of Muslim leaders) don't understand a lot of the pressures and debates and issues that young Muslims are having...We need a civic identity, we need to make people understand that we are all British citizens, we are all part of this society...Ordinary people always get caught up in the crossfire of extremism.”


By: Rebecca Summers

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