How Muslims should respond to terror
May 25th, 2013
05:00 AM ET

How Muslims should respond to terror

"Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

By Fareed Zakaria

The sheer barbarism of the attack on a British soldier in Woolwich is really beyond comprehension – the alleged murderers are said to have hacked the victim to death, waited for the police to arrive, and seemed to encourage people to videotape their brutality.

And yet, we have to search for some way to think about what appears to be our future.

Terrorism used to be about something big and dramatic. But perhaps because groups like al Qaeda are on the run, their people hunted, their money tracked, their hideouts bombed, Woolwich and Boston have become the new faces of terror – a few people, disturbed or fanatical, radicalized by things they have read or watched, decide to commit evil.

How do you detect this kind of danger? It seems impossible.

This was the first terrorist killing on British soil since the London bus and subway bombings in 2005. In fact, since the Madrid and London bombings, there have been just three times that Islamic terrorists have killed people in Western Europe – Woolwich, the equally gruesome 2012 murders in France that killed French soldiers and children and a Rabbi, and the killing of U.S. soldiers in Frankfurt.

More from GPS: Here we go again

Europe's governments have been doing a good job with police and counter-terrorism work – and that might explain the relative calm of recent years. They have also done a much better job than in the past at reaching out and helping to integrate their Muslim communities. And the communities have been responding much more strongly against these isolated acts committed by murderers in the name of Islam.

The Muslim Council of Britain issued an unequivocal statement condemning the latest killing, supporting British soldiers, and urging the police to do whatever it needed to, unhindered and unhampered. That is precisely the kind of statement all leaders of Muslim communities need to make whenever one of these kinds of attacks takes place.

I understand the feeling that some have that they should not be held responsible for the actions of a few perverted madmen. But the trouble is that these madmen claim that they are killing in the name of Islam and someone has to refute their claims – as often as they make them.

Now...the alleged murderer in Woolwich claimed that he was retaliating against British soldiers killing Muslims in Afghanistan.

I wish Muslim leaders would make the point that British – and American and other allied soldiers – are in Afghanistan at the invitation of the democratically elected government of that country. They are defending that government and Muslims every day from terrorist attacks and insurgent warfare. If these people want to protest the killing of Muslims, they should direct their wrath at the Taliban and al Qaeda and other jihadi groups because they are the ones who are killing Muslims and many others.

We need to hear this message more often and more loudly.

Post by:
Topics: Islam • Terrorism • United Kingdom

soundoff (795 Responses)
  1. Zulfiqar

    So Mr. Fareed, What is your opinion about stopping bloodshed in Syria. Why say no to American agencies to stop supporting and arming anti govt. warriors Just to topple Government. Can't they see thousands of innocent people dying due to it. Mr. CIA paid employee don't try to expose dark side of other society. Have you ever programmed Good cultural values of Islam or Muslim Society. Why most of the people in world hate Americans? Because they directly interfere the political system of the country no matter how many people die due to that and than after it they run away.

    August 10, 2013 at 3:18 am | Reply
  2. memo2

    Muslim people are just like anybody else, the problem is their mental religion which means no mater what they never will see the world as it is.

    August 11, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  3. Hamid

    We Muslims do condemn such attacks that happen in the name of Islam, but we expect the western world to condemn when Israelis kill innocent Muslims in Palestine, or buddest kill Muslims in Burma.

    August 13, 2013 at 1:53 am | Reply
  4. Won


    August 13, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Reply
  5. m88

    Hi there! This post couldn't be written any better!

    Reading this ost reminds me of my good old room mate!
    He always kept talking about this. I will forward thjs write-up to him.
    Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

    October 11, 2014 at 3:01 am | Reply
  6. m88

    It's rsally a great and useful piece of information. I am happy that yoou simply shared this useful info with us.
    Please stay uus informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

    October 11, 2014 at 4:52 am | Reply
  7. m88

    Undeniably imagine that that you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the
    internet the easiest thing to take into account of. I say to
    you, I certtainly get annoyed att the sawme time as other
    folks consider worries that they plainly don't know about.
    You manage to hit the nail uplon the top as smartly as define
    out the wholke thing with no need side effect , folks
    could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more.

    Thank you

    October 12, 2014 at 11:55 am | Reply
  8. m88

    You are sso interesting! I don't suppose I've truly read through
    anything like that before. So wonderful to discover another person with genuine thoughts on this topic.
    Really.. thanks for starting this up. This web
    sitee is one thing that is required on the web, someone with
    a bit of originality!

    October 12, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Reply
  9. m88

    I quite like reading through a post that will maake men and women think.
    Also, thank you for allowing mee to comment!

    October 12, 2014 at 4:29 pm | Reply
  10. m88

    I think this is one oof the most vitazl info for me. Andd i'm glad
    reading you article. But wanna remark on some general things,
    The website style is wonderful, the artucles is really nice : D.
    Good job, cheers

    October 12, 2014 at 4:42 pm | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,065 other followers