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Wrong to condemn Muslims en masse over attacks

Published 11/12/2015

A closer examination of Colin Nevin's grotesque exploitation of the Leytonstone tube station attack (Write Back, December 9) exposes his transparent Islamophobic agenda.

Mr Nevin would have us ignore the nuance contained within the powerful words spoken by the onlooker who shouted: "You ain't no Muslim, bruv," as police detained the Leytonstone tube station attacker. He wants us to overlook the significance of Muslims rejecting violent actions and, instead, follow Mr Nevin's own ridiculous logic that because "the attacker was a Muslim" that this somehow proves that the "common denominator in the majority of such terror attacks" must be Islam.

Essentially, Mr Nevin wants us to view all Muslims as potential threats to our society.

His words are just a reworking of commonly used tropes that aim to make us view a person's ethnicity, or faith, as a key factor in their actions, ideologies and radicalisation/extremism. In reality, there are often far more relevant socio-political motivations which we mostly fail to discuss - usually because we, rather unfortunately, accept ignorance over nuance on most occasions.

His claim that "every suicide bomber has proven to be a Muslim" is also totally at odds with the facts.

While it is certainly true that, since 2004, a far greater number of perpetrators have been Muslim, this does not mean we just ignore the socio-political factors, or assume that Islam is the sole common factor.

We should also never overlook that the first suicide bomber was Russian, that some of the first victims of suicide bombing were in Russia and that others - such as the Chinese suicide squads, Japanese kamikaze and even Christian groups - have utilised such despicable acts of violence.

GARY SPEDDING

Belfast

Belfast Telegraph

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