Saturday, July 9, 2005

LONDON — The editor of the world’s leading Arab newspaper has launched a scathing attack on Muslims in Britain for turning a blind eye to terrorist fundraising activities on their own doorstep.

Writing in the wake of Thursday’s bombings, Tariq Al-Humayd, editor-in-chief of London-based Al-Sharq Al Awsat (The Middle East), claimed that collections were frequently solicited in London’s Arab neighborhoods for terrorist causes in the guise of charities.

In a strongly worded editorial, he said that those enjoying the freedom of life in Britain had a “responsibility” to scrutinize such collections carefully, and if necessary prevent them from taking place.

“In London, we have seen, and are seeing, the money being collected in the streets, and the conventions under various titles, and everyone is inciting jihad in our Arab countries and cursing the land of unbelief in which they live,” he wrote.

“When you express amazement [at this], they tell you that this is freedom. Has freedom no responsibility? No one answers.”

Mr. Al-Humayd added: “When you tell them, ‘Stop being so tolerant of the incitement that comes from your own country, from your skies, and from your Internet’ … they turn away. And what happened? The terror struck London, indiscriminately. … For the sake of freedom of all of us, stop the ones who are attacking our freedom.”

Al-Sharq Al Awsat, founded 27 years ago, is regarded as the premiere pan-Arab daily, and is distributed in 19 Arab countries in addition to Europe and the United States.

Its columnists voice a variety of views within the spectrum of Arab opinion, and the newspaper is considered highly influential.

In similar sentiments, Amir Taheri, an Al-Sharq Al Awsat columnist, criticized Muslims who equivocate over terrorist attacks.

Insinuations that they were provoked by Western actions such as the invasion of Iraq, he said, simply gave terrorists the impression that they had tacit support.

“Until we hear the voices of the Muslims condemning attacks of this kind with no words [of qualification] such as ‘but’ and ‘if,’ the suicide bombers and the murderers will have an excuse to think that they enjoy the support of all Muslims.

“The real battle against the enemy of mankind will begin when the ‘silent majority’ in the Islamic world makes its voice heard against the murderers, and against those who brainwash them, believe them, and fund them.”

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