On June 5th of 2017, the normal British "stiff upper lip" was once more put to the test. The Brits has seen their fair share of challenges, be it economic, military such as the Falkland's , Hitler's Blitz, and joining in with the American Allies in the Middle East; extending a cultural, economic, and military unlike any history. However, this time it was very personal, not just because it was a Brit who aimed their hatred at fellow Brits, but because this was in many way a reflection of Empire, but more on that in a moment. What happened on June 5th, was an act of spite, religious and social hatred, and shear cowardice as suicide attacks often are (I prefer to call them what they are, homicide attack since their sole is mass murder of innocent unaware and unarmed victims, which is also why I refer to them as acts of cowardice, but I suppose that's just semantics on my part). On that Saturday, a stolen van mowed down bystanders walking along the famous bridge way until it crashed into the cast iron railing. At that moment, three Middle Eastern men jumped out and proceeded to attack anyone and everyone they could with knives, especially those either entering or existing nearby restaurants and bars. Witnesses said individuals along the way ran---yelling at others to run too---or they fought back with bottles, trashcans, and even chairs. ISIS immediately took credit for the attacked and praised the murders.
When it was over, the three murders were dead; shot to death by London Transit Authority at the nearby Bourgh Market, which is just a few short blocks away from London Bridge. Meanwhile, reports came in of additional stabbing attacks several blocks away at Vauxhall. They were found to be wearing fake suicide vest; possibly to be used as a ruse should the opportunity to take hostages arose. Metropolitan Police responded that while there were stabbing attacks, they didn't think they were related, at least not directly, with the mayhem on London Bridge. British PM, Theresa May called the incident a "terrible accident". Indeed it was Ms. May, but hardly is a terrorist attack merely an "accident" (ironically, Ms. May cut 20,000 police officer positions during her tenure as Home Secretary). There have already been calls by Labour Party to reexamine the reduction in London's police officers and an immediate restoration of at least 10,000 of those posts in light of recent events. Can anyone say "pen gate closed and pigs already out"?
Two of the mass murders were identified as Rachid Redouance and Khuran Shazad Butt (such an appropriate last name for a terrorist, but I digress). Butt was also known as Adbul Zaitan. Redouance, aka Rachid Elkhdar who claimed to be Moroccan and Libyan , was 30 years old. Butt, age 27, was a British citizen of Pakistani birth was a former employee of the Transit Authority and likely had knowledge of security procedures. He was also a customer service assistant trainee for the London Underground (London's famed subway system). Thus far, no information has been made public about the third terrorist. However, it should be noted that 130 Imams---Muslim religious leaders and religious heads of mosques---refused to accept the bodies for burial.
MI5, Britain's famous counter intelligence agency said they were familiar with Butt, as was Interpol most likely. He had recently appeared in a documentary made for the BBC regarding increasing militancy among British Muslims. Ironically, Butt stated in the documentary that an attack using a stolen van followed by an attack of some sort would be an ideal attack. A public warning no one heeded? Butt had previously been asked to leave several local mosques due to his radical tendencies. He was also associated with the notorious radical Muslim terrorist group al-Muhajiroun. For those not familiar with this rabid pact or its leader, Anjem Choudary, they were responsible for the attack and public beheading of an off duty British soldier just outside of his Barracks gate in southeast London in 2013. This is also the same group which attacked and beheaded a older woman in London. Of far more importance is those attacked. 48 individuals were injured; some quite seriously, including a Transit Authority police officer. Sadly, seven individuals lost their lives. Of note, the attack is reminiscent of another similar attack in March when 52 year old British national, Khalid Masood, rammed bystanders walking along Westminster Bridge and then stabbed a police officer to death. A total of five people died in that attack. Meanwhile, 22 people were murdered in a bombing in Manchester England at the concert of the vocally anti-American/pro-"Immigrant" pop singer Ariane Grande in May.
London, which historically has had a very low crime rate and where the "Bobbies" as the local police officers are affectionately called, typically carry no firearms, has seen that all change in recent years as Muslim militancy has dramatically increased along with demands for Sharia or Islamic law, to be implemented everywhere and to supersede British law. There are areas through not just London, but throughout all of England, including Manchester, York, Liverpool, which are for all intents and purposes, Sharia enforced "no go zones" for ordinary citizens, including the police. These areas even have their own roving religious enforcement patrols and courts, where anyone---Muslim or not---who mistakenly walks through, can be detained, arrested, and fined! Women must be "properly" covered and accompanied, and pets are strictly "verboten"! Now there are demands insisting that this be applied throughout all of the country.
Despite the appearance of a laid back police force, London's police force are highly trained and diverse, which gives them an advantage among its extremely ethnically varied population. In addition, London has one of the most intense surveillance systems of any city in the world, with cameras practically everywhere (called "CCTV" or Closed Circuit TV. and an outstanding response time for first responders. With the recent attacks, Londoners are also seeing British soldiers being added to mix as searches and high security concerns continue, especially given the Islam's most sacred week known as Ramadan is underway (one theory for the recent mass murders has been to attack "infidels" seen as ignoring the holidays' religious dietary prohibitions such as drinking, smoking, and of course, the obligatory non-eating of pork).
So, what is London, and indeed England to do about this? The English put great value in the free speech and free expression. Indeed, going to Hyde Park to hear people pontificate about whatever is on their minds while literally standing on their soap boxes, is a form of entertainment for the locals as much as it is for the tourists. However, like in America or other countries which have a democratic tradition, there is a fine line between "free speech" and "freedom of expression" and inciting violence (one of the other key demands of these Islamic extremists is to ban democracy across the board. That's right. Ending freedoms as we know them and greatly restricting any form of non-compliant individuality, and mandatory adoption of Sharia law. That means just what it sounds like---head to toe covering for women. Oh, ladies, no unescorted schlepping around, no education, no working, no voting (or other rights), or driving. No or very limited women participation in sports. No sex outside marriage (that will get you beaten or murdered---"honor killing" and marriages are pre-arranged. No music---rock, rap, country, hip-hop, or pop. Zippo. No gay rights. Gays will be killed on sight. No smoking. No drugs of any sort. No booze or bars at all. No pictures. No flying the US flag, statues of any sort, museum, or sing the National Anthem. No public demonstration of any other religion---or non-religion. Oh yeah, pedophilia is allowed and so will slavery---for girls. Sound fun?). So, at what point does this end without violating rights? Can only the rights of a few be violated, but if so, what about their right to practice their religion as they've done since the 10th Century?
Part of the issue, as I alluded to in the beginning of this article, is the fact that the British Empire once ruled over this area---India, Egypt, Pakistan, Palestine (before 1948), Afghanistan, parts of Africa and Southeast Asia; all which have large Muslim populations among other religions (such as Hinduism and Buddhism). As such, Britain has allowed its former colonies to emigrate to the "Mother Country" (the Indians and rich and well educated Arab nations took to this readily, but of late, so have Muslims from much poorer and largely unskilled countries). In addition, other former empire nations such as France and Holland has as well with similar results. As an aside, 44% of London's population is now comprised of non-ethnic English; mostly black and other ethnic minorities, compared with just 21% in 2001; 38% of England's Muslims live in London (Islam makes up approximately 13% of England's overall population).
What's worse is that the European Union---the EU---which is dominated by Germany and Ms. Merkel---have insisted on a "open door" policy when it comes to immigrants, which is in line with the United Nations immigration mandate. However, this mandate is routinely violated since it puts restrictions on who is an "immigrant" and under what conditions what may leave their home county and how far they can travel (as an aside, Ms. Merkel has lead the way in ignoring these restrictions and demanded that other countries do likewiseThe result has been the predictable decline of European economic stability and the rise in violent crime). London, as well as the rest of England and Europe will continue to see more terrorist attacks, which will become bloodier and more militant outbreaks, including rapes, murders, and harassment amid demands to "conform or else". So, do these otherwise democratic, nations abandon their Western ideals? We know from history that appeasement has never worked. Does Europe want to go from a very advanced and progressive cultural and political system to a theocratic political system stuck in 10th Century? On the other hand, it has to step back to its own version of repressive neo-fascist police state (much like America is now doing).
Visions of "Animal Farm" and "1984" come to mind either way we in the West go (of course, the East, including China, Australia, the Philippines, Latin America, and even Russia are facing or will be shortly facing the same choices). India has had a long feud between Hindus and Buddhists against extremist Islam, as has the Buddhist, Confucianism, Taoist, and "officially" secular Communist China. America too, which is predominately Christian with large pockets of Judaism, Wicca, secularism, and the other religions previously mentioned. When does "accommodation" and "cultural outreach" or "inclusion" cross the line to "required observance" and "mandatory". In fact, we are already seeing this in the US, and often without the parent's permission or even knowledge. But these are not fantasies. In fact, they are daily realities for millions, like in parts Syria, Egypt and Iraq where Coptic Christians, Yazidis, and Kurdish are beaten or murdered by the hundreds and their young girls are forced into sexual slavery; churches are destroyed, girls are doused with acid for going to school.
Aldous Huxley wrote a book back in 1932 that I thoroughly enjoyed, "Brave New World". Well, I'm not so sure about the "brave" part, but it is certainly it's a new world; a very scary new world (perhaps we should reconsider Frank Herbert's "Dune" series). Much of blame can be placed on us; waging wars for "fun and profit", and all over greed for more oil, more gas, more access to strategic ports, and playing a game of geopolitics against past masters; peoples who've been playing this game for thousands of years, all the way back to Samara, Sumner, and Babylon. In doing so, we've lost our democratic republic to a corporate oligarchy; a growing neo-fascist surveillance state. It's time we get off this roller coaster while we can. Otherwise, I'm don't we're going to like the ending very much.
London Bridge attack timeline as it happened and live reaction.
London Bridge attack: 2 of the 3 killers identified
London attack: What we know about the victims.
Seconds from Slaughter: London Bridge attack
London's population by ethnicity
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