Memorial at St Paul Cathedral in London


1st November 2005 was chosen to commemorate the day for those who had laid their lives as a result of terrorist attack at four different sites in the busy public places in London. Fifty innocent lives were taken by a handful of suicide bombers; an act of terrorism that cannot be condoned by anybody through any standard of justice. The day was a deliberation to let some realize the tragic consequence and others to learn a lesson to respect humanity and not to repeat the follies committed by some leaders under political compulsion where millions of people were killed and cities destroyed in the past wars between countries and nations. There was no fault of women, children, and civilians who were massacred by the bombs dropped from the Air and shelling from heavy artillery guns and tanks from the ground. It was as much terrorism as killing of innocent civilians through the suicide bombers. Let us be fair and judge both the cases impartially.

When a war is waged by a dominant power, it does not remain restricted to the Armed Forces. It always creeps out beyond the limits of prescribed conventions. The concept of right and wrong is dictated by the opposing forces themselves. In the process common man and innocent civilians become the target and victimized by the powerful. In the real sense this is another form of terrorism.

Take the case of World War II. The innocent civilians, women, and children had no role to play in the war. Why then were the German cities of Dresden, Hamburg, and Düsseldorf raised to the ground by the Allied Air Forces and London bombed so heavily to cause the numerous civilian causalities through indiscriminate bombing by Germans? In fact this was also an act of terrorism initiated by Hitler and subsequently followed by Churchill to kill even those who were not physically involved and had nothing to do with the war. If you called it a collateral damage then what stops the Al-Qaeda not to give the same name while fighting with the mighty super power of today. A few innocent civilians unfortunately would also be regarded as collateral damage by those initiating this kind of war. When Mr. Bush can kill 55 thousand Taliban and Afghan civilians and Mr. Sharon, a staunch ally of Bush can kill as many Palestinians. They should expect the same kind of reciprocal treatment from Al-Qaeda in New York and elsewhere. When Tony Blair feels no shame in killing more than twenty five thousand Iraqis in Fallujah and other parts of Iraq, he should also expect the same treatment in London.

Where were the weapons of Mass Destruction which prompted an unlawful attack on Iraq? This was not a war against terrorism; it was a war between weak and strong where oil was a bone of contention. The strong did not want to buy oil but snatch it from the one who could not defend herself. More than 25,000 Iraqis have been killed. It would be bullshit to believe that it was mostly by the Insurgents. Who was the cause? Who killed the innocent people at Fallujah? When your conscience can justify the massacre of Fallujah; By the same logic, Al-Qaeda or whosoever, can also justify the killing of innocent civilians in London.

Were the civilian people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki involved in killing the American troops, and civilians in the Second World War? Why then the innocent people were destroyed through Atomic Bomb? They were not guilty of terrorism? No one ever was put on trial for carrying out such a heinous crime against humanity. While we may and should cry at the loss of lives in twin towers, we should also not forget the holocaust of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

British justice was once known to be as sacred as heavenly books and it was commonly considered that British were ruling the world because of their superior justice which was deeply respected by even those who were under the forceful occupation of the British. Some of our elders in Pakistan and India at times miss and still remember our old ruler’s justice system, where the judges gave judgments against their own people and governments. This is quoted with respect and an example of great integrity and dignity of the British Justice. Unfortunately in this scenario of memorial, besides terrorism, the British Justice was also on trial. All witnesses including, the Queen, Mr. Tony Blair, the Church men, and renowned elite exhibited as witnesses for prosecution against the terrorism. No witness for defense for either the so called terrorism or the justice appeared.  Ultimately Justice along with terrorism was hanged and a memorial was erected to please those present at the scene. Not a single soul picked up the courage to speak for the justice. Encouraged by this indifference of people, Mr. Blair is now introducing an anti-terrorism bill in the parliament without searching his own conscience about excesses made in Iraq. This indeed be another stab at the back of poor British justice.

Killing of people is bad. The Holy Quran says killing of one person is like killing the entire humanity/civilization. Let us pledge to stop this carnage and be fair and just. We must commemorate 7/7 and erect a memorial of four candles but along with it put a combined fifth candle at a little distance behind, for the innocent victims of Fallujah, Palestine, and Afghanistan. Dialogue still seems the best option to end the confrontation between those who like to grab everything through power and those who have the feeling of deprivation from the operators of power.