The National Association of British Arabs (NABA) has strongly condemned the attack on Glasgow Airport and the car bombs found in London at the weekend - stressing that secular opinion as well as that of Muslims, Christians and others must be taken into account in seeking to move beyond war and terror.
Dr Ismail Jalili, who is chair of the National Association of British Arabs and past president of the British Arab Medical Association and the Iraqi Medical Association - UK, declared: "Such attacks do not serve any process for peace. Neither do they reflect the wishes of Arabs who, the world over, seek only to live in peace and who, perhaps more than most, know the despair of losing innocent family and friends as victims to such vicious attacks."
He continued: "The youth and professional status of those arrested today should demonstrate that we are now dealing with a generation that has grown up in a world dominated by injustice and a ongoing state of conflict and all that entails. This should give us cause for grave concern for those who have lost hope and the ability to ration and think clearly; who go beyond reasoning to kill themselves and other innocents as tit-for-tat measures. Revenge by killing innocent civilians is not a solution; it serves only to escalate conflict on all sides."
Dr Jalili said: "We welcome Gordon Brown’s acceptance that there must be an approach to ‘hearts and minds’ but this can only be achieved by Britain resuming its important role on the world stage as a mediator for good. We urge him to address the international issues behind terrorism."
He went on: "We also urge [the Prime Minister] and the media to review the wisdom of previous government policy which has focused on faith to the determent of secular organisations. This focus has detracted and diverted potential gains that could have been made into persuading and empowering disillusioned youth to participate via the British democratic framework."
With thanks to Helen Glibert