Backlash: Al-Guardian(!) tells British Muslims to get it together (Correction: The Observer, not the Guardian) (Update: Home Secretary blasts Muslim leaders)

I was going to make the Times of London’s lead editorial the must-read of the day — until I saw this.

As the shock of the news about the bomb plot recedes, the story over there is rapidly becoming the miserably cynical, selfish way that Muslim special-interest groups have reacted to it. People are getting awfully tired of this good-cop bad-cop crap every time a plot is foiled (or isn’t foiled), where the first instinct of Muslim leaders is to mau-mau the British government about foreign policy by telling them things will get better if they just play ball.

It’s not working anymore, boys. If you’ve lost the socialists, you’ve lost everyone:

There is indeed a plausible argument that military action in recent years has made Britain less, not more, secure. In particular, the conduct of the war in Iraq, regardless of the virtues of removing Saddam Hussein from office, has been riddled with error…

But even within the bleakest possible analysis of Mr Blair’s foreign policy, it is still simply not true that the West is waging war on Islam. Just as it is not true that the CIA was really behind the 11 September attacks or any other arrant conspiratorial nonsense that enjoys widespread credence in the Middle East and beyond. It is also a logical and moral absurdity to imply, as some critics of British policy have done, that mass murder is somehow less atrocious when it is motivated by an elaborate narrative of political grievance.

If young British Muslims are alienated, that is sad and their anger should be addressed. But anyone whose alienation leads them to want to kill indiscriminately has crossed a line into psychopathic criminality. Policy cannot be dictated by the need to placate such people.

British Muslim leaders are entitled, along with everybody else, to raise questions about the conduct and consequences of Mr Blair’s foreign policy. But they have a more immediate responsibility to promote the truth: that Britain is not the aggressor in a war against Islam; that no such war exists; that there is no glory in murder dressed as martyrdom and that terrorism is never excused by bogus accounts of historical victimisation.

CNN has video of “Muslim anger.” The British government is considering new measures to “win over” the community, which is expected to engage in a little street unrest this week. The Times calls it a protest but that’s not quite true; they’re not yet at the point where they’re openly protesting the arrest of suspected terrorists. What they’re planning here is a show of strength.

Judging from the Guardian’s editorial and the mind-boggling severity of the threat — reports that Al Qaeda’s leader in Britain, with links to Kashmir and Iraq, is among the suspects; that no fewer than two dozen terror cells are currently being investigated; and that British authorities claim to have a mountain of evidence, ranging from documents to confiscated explosives to recorded conversations and video surveillance to eyewitness testimony from a mole on the inside — I don’t expect it’ll be well received. Stay tuned.

Update: Follow the comments.

Update: I knew it was too good to be true. I always assumed the Observer and the Guardian were the same paper, but a reader from the UK e-mails to say it ain’t so:

The Observer is the Sunday publication of the group in the UK, but it has a different staff and a very different attitude to the Guardian. It has long taken a liberal-conservative view on most matters of any import.

Wikipedia says it’s “slightly to the right” of the Guardian.

Update: Goldstein surveys the scene and gets off a good one: “If sunlight truly is the best disinfectant, God needs to cook up a coupla extra earth suns.”

Update: “When will the Muslim community in this country accept an absolute, undeniable, total truth: that Islamic terrorism is their problem?”

Update: From the official website of jihadist cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi: “UK Muslims Blame Foreign Policy for Extremism.”

Update: Didn’t I say backlash?

John Reid, Home Secretary, retorted that foreign policy could never be dictated by terrorists.

“I’m not going to question the motives of anyone who has signed this letter,” he told BBC News 24. “But I think it is a dreadful misjudgement if we believe the foreign policy of this country should be shaped in part, or in whole, under the threat of terrorist activity if we do not have a foreign policy with which the terrorists happen to agree.”

Other ministers have called the letter “facile”, “dangerous” and “foolish” and Downing Street said Mr Blair “stands ready” to confront his critics when he returns from summer holiday and defend his record over the Middle East.