Evan Matthew Daniel
I was one of millions in Manhattan on September 11, 2001 and, like many others, the terrorist attacks on that day changed my life. Thankfully, no one I knew was hurt or killed but I can say that a certain political naïveté was shattered when those buildings came crashing down. I had long thought that countries like the United States and Britain—liberal democracies—were imperialist powers responsible for most of the world's ills and that wide-spread poverty and economic desperation in the Muslim world drove some Muslims to commit desperate acts, like blowing themselves up in pizza parlors in Tel Aviv, slamming planes into buildings in New York City or terrorizing commuters on the subways of London and Madrid. As I learned more about the perpetrators of these acts of violence it became clear that they were not members of some lumpenproletarian under-class. These were educated middle-class men following an ideology that stands against everything liberals are supposed to defend: open societies, equality for the sexes, political pluralism, free expression, the list goes on and on. It's high time that those of us who consider ourselves progressives and liberals stood up against what is the greatest global threat to freedom and democracy in the world today, the threat of Islamist totalitarianism. It's shameful that it's taken so many of us so long—myself included—but I am proud to be a signatory to this document.
Evan Matthew Daniel, (Archivist and Historian)
This is a great statement, I happily join its call for solidarity against terrorism and the need to build an international citizens alliance. As it says, the need to understand and retain our intelligence and judgement can never act as an excuse for the indiscriminate slaughter of innocents, in any circumstances, or any place. Nor can such a call for solidarity act as an apology for the misconceived invasion of Iraq, which played into Bin Laden?s game and had no connection with defeating the sources of muslim-fundamentalist terrorism (unlike the invasion of Afghanistan). The historic demonstrations of citizens around the world, from all political persuasions who felt (to be short) that George Bush wanted a war and that this was wrong, should be our starting point. The leaders of those demonstration were often narrow sectarians and, despicably, apologists. The millions who marched the streets were overwhelmingly the opposite: strangers, as the statement says, wanting to hold hands against terrorism.
While it's tempting to use these 200 words to express my profound disenchantment with the Left, or to rage over the hypocrisies of George Galloway and his ilk, ultimately that is just a form of navel-gazing-dwelling on the footnotes, not the real issue.
London, July 7, 2005
It's happened again, the early morning fog,
I wrote this poem on the afternoon of the first and most deadly attacks on London. I saw update after update each hour it seemed and my mind kept thinking of many things: our troops, all the nation's troops in the Middle East, September 11, Madrid last year, and now even as I am writing this I think of the deadly blasts in Egypt. I wrote this poem to show the even bigger tragedy that lies at stake each time one of these attacks are made. Every time insurgents try to rise up and injure more of our soldiers. Sometimes, more than not like the blasts in July that killed 24 people in Iraq, the kids of the world are even brought down. I wrote this as my plea, of sorts, to try and show people why we must unite, must no falter, and stand up against these terrorists, together. They have made it apparent that they are all over our globe sadly. I have heard it said by many people in my short life that "It's all about the children" or "The children are the future." Well is this the world we want them to keep growing up and having to be subject to living in. I would say the answer is no. This is even a plea to the Muslim/Islamic Nations. I understand and I agree that not everyone of this faith are violent terrorists, out to hurt people, that is what saddens me the most. I think they can be the biggest factor in helping to end or at least cut down the amount of attacks by speaking out and speaking up against these "terrorists". I think that they are living in fear and should not live in fear. I believe every country would and should rightly so, back them and stand behind them. We, as America, a country supposed to be founded on freedoms and rights to ensure we are free, do wish and hope sometimes to ensure those same ideas to other nations, only in a way to help people not suffer hardships of any sort. I say this because I know many Muslim/Islamic people might be scared now because of measures in the Homeland Security Act, and maybe even motions and actions of NATO and the United Nations, but future acts and laws and discrimination even, surely could be reduced and stop, just be brave enough to step forward. Each nation look deep into your hearts. Everyone look at your small child if you have one or look at the children on the playground. Look all around you, I know you might see what I see. A chance for change. We must join together and try to be like so many other great leaders of our pasts, from all over the world that did want to try and have a unity, a safer world for the youth to grow up, to go on to succeed and reach all their dreams and goals, just like many of us have been able to do in our lifetime. Abe Lincoln said it best and his quote stands true to this day. "United We Stand, Divided We Fall." Let's work together so we will not fall.
I think we should stop talking about terrorism, and use the simple old word "murder". There are countless ways to argue that a particular act was not "terrorism". But if the act caused, or was intended to cause, the death of human beings, there are only two ways to deny it was murder (or attempted murder, or conspiracy to murder): either to claim that there was no intention to kill (nor even to cause GBH), or that the act was somehow legitimate. And then one can rejoin "Oh, so you think it?s legitimate to kill anyone who travels on the Tube (or is Jewish, or attends a Shiite mosque, or is a woman you consider immodestly dressed, or ?)?" - questions that are harder to evade than those usually put to the spokesmen of certain organizations on the Today programme. Let us in future call murder by its name.
I had to sign because I love life and so cannot in any way relate to an ideology that promotes death. I had to sign because I have witnessed the appalling consequences of past attempts to appease the implacable, attempts that simply opened the door to genocide. I had to sign because I believe in human progress and so must oppose any attempt by zealots, who cling to the notion of re-establishing a world wide caliphate, to retard that progress by a thousand years. I had to sign because I agree with Marcus Aurelius who said, 'It is the act of a madman to pursue impossibilities'.
I signed because of 9/11, my partner's cousin died when Tower1 fell. Richard Muldowney Jr. (Ladder7), and his comrades sacrificed their lives whilst serving the People. I have felt at war ever since.
I signed this statement to express solidarity with those throughout the world who fearlessly resist fascism and intimidation.
We here in the US mourn the loss of one of our own sons in the July 7 bombing of London. Michael Matsushita from the Bronx, NY had just recently moved
There is no justification for these types of crimes. Terrorists that set bombs in subways and trashcans are horribly misguided fools and extremists, not
Nor of course, do these criminals represent the many valiant Muslim people who oppose their terrorist actions. If we are truly fighters for democracy and
Let us recognize that murderers and oppressors come from all corners of the globe. But likewise, so do the heroes that rise up to oppose them.
I signed this petition as someone who calls himself a liberal. I signed this petition as someone who is not a fan of George W Bush and his many idiocies - the war in Iraq being the most grave one.
But more importantly than that, I signed this petition as someone who recognised on 11th September 2001 that a new era had started and that another threat to everyone and everything I care about had sprung up.
I signed this statement as a Brit and a Londoner, as someone who's seen two attacks by Al Queda in his home city.
But more importantly than that, I signed this statement as someone who has friends amongst
There are those that wish to destroy us, supposedly in the name of their God. But in reality, they are psychopaths, pure and simple.
There are those that wish to divide us, supposedly in the name of peace, humanity and civilisation. But in reality they are simply speaking from a position of cowardice, arrogance and prejudice.
I signed this petition to send a simple message to such people.
I am still here.
We are still here.
I have read these Why I Signed contributions, sometimes with tears in my eyes, but also enormously uplifted by the sense that at last there are people out there I can bond with. I am no longer alone.
This is a different world and a different kind of war, not even recognisable as such by some; certainly not a war as we have known it in the past. We no longer wave our youth off to fight and die on our behalf. We are all front-line troops now; never knowing when, we too, might find ourselves in the heat and hell of battle. Who knows how we will acquit ourselves? Hopefully, as well as so many before us, who have suffered with bravery, fortitude and defiance.
But brave rhetoric is one thing, how can we move forward in this battle not of our choosing? May I suggest our first task is to confront the "enemy within" by hitting the apologists head on, by directing them to this site and asking them to sign, and if they won't, to have the good grace to please explain why not?
I have already made a small start, writing to the few that I know and have some contact with, but if everyone among us can do the same, I will really start to feel we are not just passively enduring but fighting back.
Roger Syms (Master Mariner, Australia)
The lazy argument that the Iraq war and the occupation of Palestine are explanations for terrorism draws on Orientalist images. According to the Livingstone-Pilger-Galloway argument Muslims are being oppressed as a result of Western policies, and suicide bombings, kidnappings and car bombs are the result. Change those policies and the violence will stop. This draws on images of Muslims being violent people and Islam being a religion that justifies it. For them Muslims are represented by the terrorist with a suicide belt or a bomb in a rucksack. We need to oppose this arrogance that says that the suicide bomber is the face of Islamic opposition to the Iraq war or resistance to the occupation of Palestine. The representatives of the Iraqi people are not the gangs who kill, kidnap and rape but the (mainly) Islamic government they elected. Palestinians are not represented by those who bomb buses, malls, clubs and restaurants but by a government that wants to negotiate the end of occupation. The politicians and others who continue to drink from this Orientalist poisoned well fuel racism and division at a time when we need to strengthen a diverse democratic movement to isolate terrorism.
I am not a member of any religious faith, not Christian, or Muslim, or anything in between. I am however, a believer in the rights of humanity and the human spirit. I am ex-military, but I do not believe in war as a first resort. It is the last permissible answer, when all prior available opportunities have been exhausted. I believe that every faith and follower has the ability to love and to be honorable. That we truly all want what is best for our neighbors and our families. I believe this gets lost in the concepts of payback, and vengeance. I believe that focus becomes lost when we are in the midst of passion and that we need groups such as these to remind us of the bigger picture.
We have to stand up against totalitarian fundamentalism wrapped in a belief
It should be obvious to anyone who has paid any attention to the actions or rhetoric of the Jihadists that they are not a protest movement; they do not have
This is a movement whose goals are fascistic and whose methods are indefensible. Their aim is the destruction of any progressive, liberal, secular and
Whatever your views on Blair, Bush, Iraq, Palestine and all the rest of it, signing this statement requires only this: that you do not support the deliberate, targeted mass murder of civilians with the aim of establishing a totalitarian theocracy which hates women, and which executes gays, Jews, infidels and Muslims alike. It is that simple.
Consider this. A black man is walking down a London street when he is set on by a gang of white, knife-wielding thugs shouting racist abuse. He is stabbed and bleeds to death. It is particularly cruel murder precisely because it is motivated by a hatred of one community or race in our society.
In the wake of such a brutal attack, who would suggest that the blame lay with this poor man's colour rather than with the evil intent of the thugs who carried it out? And who would seek to "understand" it by claiming that the immigration policies of previous British governments had somehow "provoked" these racists?
Yet this is the confused logic of those who appear determined to justify the appalling events we have witnessed. All peoples and communities must stand together in support of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Britain and abroad. Those values will always win out.
My parent's generation fought against fascism with what they had to hand; learning in the process of doing. Delusions of appeasement, or quick victory, disappeared with the experience of years of war. Confusion gave way to determination; and fear to hardened acceptance of the inevitable casualties.
Those generations began to think of fighting a global war for emerging global values. We now fight that war; a smaller war that's every bit as necessary, (and certain in outcome) regardless of any temporary setbacks.
I signed this statement to expose the pseudo-left, and isolationist right, who both actively disrupt the work of the liberating soldiers and political forces of the Coalition.
The work of draining the swamp that is the tyranny stained map of the Middle East goes on; and must continue because we won't be dragged into and endless war against terrorist mosquitoes as individuals; we will drain the swamp that breeds them. Our task is to democratize and modernize the world as quickly as possible.
Our potential allies constitute 95% of humanity so any political leadership - no matter how powerful in appearance - that will not liberate all people, without exception, will be discarded and replaced by liberators.
"Nations want liberation, Countries want independence and the people want revolution." Those who stand against these trends sign their own statements.
Because I am appalled that the bulk of the liberal/left who control much of our media choose to side with Islamo-fascism rather than the democrats who are trying to rebuild Iraq. They even dare to call those working for democracy in Iraq "traitors" and "quislings". Such ideas dominate the letters pages of many newspapers and are now practically mainstream, often
The word fascist does actually mean something and it is not western politicians whom you don't like. The Baathists, the Taleban, Al Qaeda and their like fit the bill.
I don't really know what it means to be "left-wing" anymore, but being against fascism seems pretty basic to me.
The strength of this declaration, in my opinion, lies in the value of the ideas and concepts which the words evoke in you, as much as its beauty lies in its conciseness and clarity. It is because of these qualities that 'Unite Against Terror' could become the manifesto of a new era in the fight against Islamofascism.
Horace Jeffery Hodges
On September 11, 2002, I gave a talk in which I said this:
"One year ago on a late Tuesday evening, I finished teaching my graduate conversation class, caught an Osan bus home, rocked my two-year-old son to sleep, turned on the television, and saw a huge passenger plane slam into the North Tower of the World Trade Center and explode into an enormous fireball. Within seconds, janitors and executives, secretaries and managers, waitresses and cooks, people who had been drinking a cup of coffee or chatting with a co-worker or mentally preparing for another work day, were leaping from the flames and plummeting, some hand in hand, for a thousand feet to the sidewalks and the streets and certain death. Then, a second plane, into the South Tower. Another horrendous fireball. More bodies falling in a gruesome rain. Then, the thundering collapse of those two massive skyscrapers. Finally, ashes and silence."
That moment of silence was necessary, but its time is long past, and that's why I've signed on.
Horace Jeffery Hodges
I signed this petition because I cannot abide the sinister fiction serving as currency amongst the "left" that appeasement is always humane and intervention always a crime. Civilization is more fragile than those privileged enough to enjoy it realize. It has been lost more than once. And civilisation's enemies must be destroyed, not furnished with justifications and alibis that they themselves would not even cite. Those Muslims who have suffered the rape and butchery of dictatorial regimes have no problem seeing the difference between a genocidal monster and a flawed proponent of democracy. It is only the Western "left" that cannot accurately distinguish between the two. There is one way for us to lose and that is if Western apologists continue to do Jihadists' PR.
On the morning of September 11, I was working for Morgan Stanley at a branch office. My co-workers and I watched helplessly as our manager frantically tried to find out what was happening to our friends and colleagues. Thankfully, through the brave efforts of a great man named Rick Rescorla, almost all survived. We lost Rick in the bargain, but he taught us all that we are not to be helpless.
Soon after the attacks, we were treated to admonitions that not only did we have it coming, but also that on balance a few thousand dead was small payback for every past US transgression. This is not the answer to terror. The recent attacks on London, my daughter's home and the muse of my imagination since childhood, further illustrates the depravity of those who would murder denizens of the most open city in the world and prey on it graces.
I was raised to understand that liberal democracy is worth having and that the liberal ideal dies unless vigorously defended. By signing this statement and associating myself with its signatories, I pledge to follow Rick Rescorla's example by defending democracy and refusing to be helpless.
I still vividly recall hearing of the Taliban's destruction of the monumental Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001. While this cultural crime pales in comparison with the myriad of gross human rights violations committed by Mullah Omar's regime, and of Islamic jihadism as a whole, it is nonetheless indicative of an ideology which seeks to destroy every vestige of cultural pluralism and syncretism, in this case embodied by Classicized sculptures of a religious figure born in India and revered throughout Asia and indeed the world. The fanatical movement that is jihadism endangers pluralistic societies, and the concept of pluralism itself, wherever it spreads, be it the Middle East, Central Asia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Caucasus, or the West. It is time to recognize that Muslim extremism, when it results in the slaughter of Buddhist schoolteachers in Thailand, film-makers in the Netherlands, a Shia in Baghdad, and thousands upon thousands of men and women in New York, London, Madrid, Istanbul, Casablanca, Tel Aviv, and so on, is nothing but a monstrous ideology bent on a foolhardy and illiberal venture (that is, the recreation of the Caliphate and the artificial imposition of Sharia law). There can be no compromise with a "philosophy" that offers little beyond the breaking of bodies, and one is shocked that there would be cheerleading from leftists and isolationists who, disturbingly, seem to want to adopt these fanatics as their own. There is no doubt that, ultimately, free and pluralistic societies will prevail against such hatred and myopia, but in order to do so, we must honestly confront that with which we are confronted. Organizations like Unite Against Terror make it clear that jihadism, the enormities committed in its name, and the nature of the threat it poses to civil society, is being increasingly understood.
Merlijn de Smit
I oppose the War on Terror, as it is being waged, in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am aware that many who signed the petition with me support it. This cannot keep me from signing, as opposition to the war must not entail indifference and complacency towards the fundamentalist murderers.
The massacres in New York, Bali, Madrid, London, most recently Sharm el-Sheikh admit no rational "explanation", no distinction between political goals and violent means. The means and the aims are the same - mindless slaughter of Muslims and non-Muslims alike, of people going to their work one morning, or people on vacation visiting a foreign city for the first time. The nature of terrorism shows itself here, naked and grotesque. The response of part of the Left which I consider myself a part of exhibits, by reflexively blaming the West, a worrying insensitivity towards violent islamic fundamentalism - which is aimed, first and foremost, against the very Enlightenment values that gave birth to the modern Left, rather than being some understandable if misdirected strike against Imperialism.
Instead, the unspeakably vile act of blowing yourself, and the strangers and fellow human beings going about their business around you, up in a crowded bus or train is a denial of humanity which should be met with outrage and an assertion of the humanity that unites us, regardless of political or religious differences.
A friend told me, "We're losing the war on terror. Every day I hear about more bombings and more killings." There followed a litany of perceived wrongs committed by the West, and a demand that we retreat and disengage from the world.
Isolationism from the Left is still a new concept for me, but I believe the most important word in his initial complaint was "hear." All one ever "hears" about is - pick some outrage.
Our global media is loathe to report the whole story, like the millions of Afghan and Iraqi children who have received vaccinations, the reopening of hundreds of schools and clinics now cleansed of their weapons caches, of Afghan women returning to their professions or holding public office.
Terrorists also tune in to the BBC and CNN, and what they hear instead are things that reinforce their own beliefs: that policies and politicians are responsible for the terrorists' actions.
I signed to add my voice to what I hope will be a rising chorus. Those inclined to dissent are not accustomed to raising their voices against anything other than their own governments. I sincerely hope this list can change that.
I signed because I believe in freedom of speech and worship and that neither of these should be threatened by fear. Fear weakens the psychological immune system, to the extent that the twin opportunistic infections of extremism and susceptibility to hate propaganda can move in and take over. I do not want to let them.
Sue Vogel (Bedford, UK)
Frans de Smit
Every human person on this world has a fundamental right of respect and integrity for the person he or she is. Nobody has ever the right to take someone's life. This is my view of people as an image of God. But these are also fundamental human values, if you are religious or not. Now I am confronted with people who are thinking the opposite and who are rejecting these fundamental rights. More than that, they are denying the right of existence of everybody who doesn't join them in their world of darkness where the words 'love your neighbour', have no meaning. Killing everybody who has the bad luck to be in the neighbourhood of their bombs, they are killing innocent people in the name of Islam. I refuse to believe this. This is not Islam. I think it is time that we, people of this world, religious or not, stand up and unite us against this terror, which is a complete denial of everything that is good and valuable in this world. And once and for all, stand up against their denial of the value of human life.
Frans de Smit (The Netherlands)
The war against terror must have higher aims than returning us to undisturbed normal life. The war against terror implies a rejection of blackmail as a method in international relations, it implies a demand that power and accountability be articulated coherently, and it implies that the expression of resentments be directed toward the enhancement and clarification of existing modes of civility and reconciliation rather than their destruction. And the war on terror has led to a historic break in American foreign policy, an alignment of American interests with liberty throughout the world which requires an alignment of the world with this shift in order to ensure its permanence. All this suggests the need for international associations that are sympathetic with declared U.S. aims, first of all in Afghanistan and Iraq, but at the same time capable of gaining the credibility to act as an independent judge of the correspondence of those aims with actions. The traditional human rights community (like Amnesty International) and the international left have completely destroyed their own credibility on these concerns, and the right, even the neo-conservative universalists, can never be unequivocally devoted to them. Perhaps petitions like this represent a fresh start in this direction.
Why did I sign?
How could one NOT sign?
We are at war with an enemy that is the latest manifestation of an ideology defeated many times over, but obviously not yet destroyed. Fascist. Tyrannical. Nihilistic. A theocratic abomination.
Their goal is clearly expressed (and I take them at their word) -- the imposition of a bigoted totalitarianism which is anathema to human liberty and dignity. Their tactics are of the most despicable, vile and cowardly nature; the indiscriminate slaughter of innocents, including their own. No negotiation is possible with an adversary without a legitimate grievance to redress. No appeasement is possible with an enemy bent on the destruction of your civilization.
I am a product of that Western civilization -- lower-case liberal and democratic. These fanatics attack what is my blessed birthright, what generations of better men and women than I have conceived, nurtured, protected, fought, bled and died for by means of fear, murder and mayhem. No matter if New York or Bali or London or Madrid or the Philippines or Baghdad, these villains must be confronted by all means possible and condemned for who and what they are. Thugs. Bullies. Oppressors. Murderers. Bastards.
How could I NOT sign?
Signing 'things' is usually pretty useless by my standards. You know "save Tibet" and all that hollow sloganeering. But this one, this is different. It's not as if we/humanity have not been here before. The Inquisition comes to mind. Burnings at the stake, beheadings, that sort of thing. Having said that, fully 50% of Westerners can't get their arms around the fact that beheadings are actually happening. Oh they see it on TV but it's a rerun of the "Night of the living dead".
Maybe because I was born in the projects in the Bronx I get it. I'm tired of being one of a handful in San Francisco that gets it. I need company. I need to declare with like-minded folks that we are tired of our culture making excuses for primitive dark age SOBs. For the last thirty years I have had to live in a world where there have always been excuses -- some very good -- why thugs and despots get to roam free on their killing fields. My head-bolt started to loosen after the Munich Olympics. It's been unwinding ever since.
WE ARE ALLOWED TO MAKE MORAL JUDGMENTS. If we don't it's almost certain this horror will end with a pogrom. That's our dark side. Any casual reading of history should be alerting the Muslim community that they had better wake up to the 21st century and cut out the cancer. Society is a very fragile delicate organism. Think guillotine, think French revolution. Think madness. Civil society losing it's collective grip. Oh, you think it could never happen today? You need to put the bong down.
So with hope, I cling to the thought that wiser heads will prevail and the message of history will sink in and unify us all. With a little backbone this could all turn out to be the Barbary Pirates part II. For comedic purposes we'll let Stone direct. Otherwise, practice your 'heil' for the Adolf/Stalin redux. These guys don't show up in a vacuum. When great societies unravel very strange characters make their appearance. Bin Laden, with all his faults, knows this. Society is basically a handshake agreement. Reneging is what the Islamic fascists are doing. Body parts are the currency of their realm. They know us. With our help they are giving us the rope to hang ourselves. Sadly, in our blindness and excuses, we are in the knot making stage. Signing this declaration is the first step in
Winston Churchill, was a very wise man. I would like to draw from one of his speeches: " ...to the youth of America, as to the youth of all the Britains, I say 'You cannot stop.' There is no halting-place at this point. We have now reached a stage in the journey where there can be no pause. We must go on. It must be world anarchy or world order....But I am here to tell you that, whatever form your system of world security may take, however the nations are grouped and ranged, whatever derogations are made from national sovereignty for the sake of the larger synthesis, nothing will work soundly or for long without the united effort of the British and American peoples. If we are together nothing is impossible. If we are divided all will fail.......not for any purpose of gaining invidious material advantages for either of them, not for territorial aggrandisement or the vain pomp of early domination, but for the sake of service to mankind and for the honour that comes to those who faithfully serve great causes."
We all must face this terror enemy together. We cannot ignore it, turn our back on it. It will not go away. We thank you for your support and sacrifices with us in Iraq. While many would like to blame the death and destruction in London on your involvement with the U.S. in Iraq, we all know in our hearts that hatred of freedom is the true cause.
In solidarity with you I remain,
For the last four years in the US, I have worked to try to persuade colleagues who consider themselves liberals and progressives to understand the nature of the threat posed by terrorists who have subverted Islam for their own political purposes. The American left, by and large, has either ignored the threat, or sought to understand and explain it, in the hope that it could be countered by rational dialogue and understanding of reasons and motivations.of the this new form of islamo-fascism. Such attempts are noble, and important, but understanding is not the same as action, and in many cases, the left in the United States has, when given the chance, almost always chosen to vilify the US and its allies in the war against terror by focusing on the historical and contemporary transgressions of the latter, or blaming the US and the UK for the very acts of terrorists themselves. Within the context of contemporary academic life, ruled by the ethos of multiculuralism and relativism, it has become virtually impossible to make any value judgments and without such judgments, there can be no effective action against terrorism. United Against Terror is, in my opinion, the first decisive worldwide movement of left, liberal, progressive people who have finally understood that liberal democracy must be defended and the first line of defense is to recognize, as al Qaeda has, that we are at war and that we need to defend ourselves and take decisive action. United Against Terror is a vital first step in bringing those who understand this together in a strong coalition.
Thomas Cushman (Professor of Sociology, Wellesley College, USA, Editor, Journal of Human Rights)
I signed because I wished to register my support for an initiative coming, in part, from Iraqis and Muslims outraged and sickened by violence against innocent people being committed by people who call themselves followers of Islam. Because the statement many times refers to solidarity, that indispensable revolutionary idea without which liberty and equality are at least incomplete, and may not even be possible. Because like almost everyone else I'm afraid, and there is strength and comfort in numbers, in being part of something that tries to do something, even if that something is no more than to cry STOP. Because I believe that the war on terror is no "metaphor," no ploy on the part of Western plutocrats to disguise their rapacity but as real as the deaths in London, in Iraq, in Spain, all over the world. I signed because doing so is a public way to repudiate those whose response to the calamitous threat posed by Islamofascism is to turn away, to say "not in our name." I signed because the sorrowful, controlled indignation of the statement is a civilized tone. It is a tone, and a message, to which I am glad to lend my name.
Oliver Connant (USA)
I belong to the generation of Vietnam War activists who learnt to despise the many crimes of US Imperialism.
Following 9/11 my long sleep is over. New York, Bali , Madrid ... London was not a surprise for those paying attention.
I think it's worthwhile conducting a horrible thought experiment. A meeting of advanced technology (nuclear weapons, internet communication) with religious fundamentalism (nihilistic jihad). Bin Laden and others desire this and are planning it. The most backward ideology wants to use modern technology to defeat modernity itself and take us back to the dark ages.
There is a tremendous irony in the US now being compelled to actively support democracy in the Middle East, to clean up the mess created by itself, and in Bush II being the first US President to support the formation of a Palestinian State.
Accidental heroes are still heroes, warts and all. Without forgetting the warts, we need to focus on the big picture: the global battle between Democracy and Jihad. Reflexive anti-Americanism in today's world is very dangerous. It's both distressing and disgusting that some people who call themselves Left support the jihad and Saddam fascism as anti-imperialist. This is not Left, it is pseudo-Left. Blind faith in an old idea is always useless.
The Left has always been able to recognise and has always opposed fascism, religious fundamentalism and terror as a method.
I signed because in an age of relativistic post-modern judgements, the idea of uniting as anti-fascist is an encouraging one. If liberals take anything as their first fundamental, it should be that
I signed because the 'grievances' argument sickens me; that people on the left are willing to pretend acts of fundamentalist terrorism are carried out for reasons very similar to their own amateur anti-imperialism is mind-bending. That people can't/refuse to see fascism for what it is because they don't like George W. Bush and Tony Blair (and in some cases would sooner call them fascists than Osama Bin Laden) is a very serious problem. In this context a united front willing to make the anti-fascist argument strikes me as essential.
I signed because I believe terrorism to be a very real threat and this site seems a useful way to concentrate an acknowledgement of that.
And finally, I signed because I want to show my support for democrats in the not-so-free-world who are bombarded, brutalised and slaughtered by terrorism
Melodie Johnson Howe (Author)
I am a non-joiner, but I am joining because I cannot forget the image of the men and women holding hands as they jumped from the twin towers on 9/11. Caught by the camera they looked like ballroom dancers waltzing in the sky. Below children were being hurried from a nearby school. They looked up and told their teacher that birds were falling from the sky. Their innocent minds could not grasp the reality of people leaping to their death to avoid being burned alive. I cannot forget the dead in Madrid and their government for caving into the terrorists. I cannot forget the blackened bloody faces of the English as they staggered from the underground into the daylight. I cannot forget the Afghanistan women voting for the first time without fear of mutilation or death. I cannot forget the Iraqis, against all odds, holding up their stained blue fingers. I cannot forget the New York intelligentsia after 9/11 wondering if irony had died. As usual they asked the wrong question. It was nuance that had died. Now there is only good or evil, democracy or Islamic fascism, tyranny or freedom.
Im signing this statement because I believe in the principle of people of different views uniting against a main enemy. The terrorists are fascists: theocratic anti-communists, haters of socialist internationalism and democracy. Their anti-imperialism is reactionary. They act on the barbarian egotism that Marx long ago condemned for its restraint of the human mind; the Oriental Despotism which he rightly said made the mind the unresisting tool of superstition, enslaving it beneath traditional rules, depriving it of all grandeur and historical energies. Modernity grows out of, and is defended by, the barrel of a gun. Im grateful to my parents generation who fought against Nazism and Fascism. Terrorism will not be defeated by picking at symptoms but by defeating it at its source: the basket-case societies headed by tyrants who brutally suppress aspirations for liberty. And this is precisely what Bush and the Coalition of the Willing are doing. The pseudo-left just dont get it!
Condoleezza Rice put it perfectly at Cairo on 20 June: For 60 years, the United States pursued stability at the expense of democracy in the Middle East and we achieved neither. Now we are taking a different course. Forward the global democratic revolution!
Dr Barry York OAM
In 1945, Karl Popper published The Open Society and its Enemies, an analysis of the totalitarianism and irrationalism that had threatened liberal democracy with the rise of communism and fascism. Again, we see a similar pattern. A violent and irrationalist ideology, with striking similarities to fascism, threatens free and democratic societies. The terrorist attacks in New York, Bali, Madrid and London and the suicide bombings in Iraq and Israel are driven by a militant jihadism, openly hostile to democracy, freedom, pluralism and universal human rights (including women's rights and gay rights). And, again, many intellectuals and opinion-formers have chosen to appease totalitarianism. We must respond firmly to this ideological attack, and its murderous nihilism; and we must also challenge the Chomskified cretino-left which has made common cause with this totalitarian ideology.
Jeffrey Ketland (Philosophy, University of Edinburgh)
Alan and Franziska Norman
Ateeque Sharifi came to London from Kabul in 2002, after the Taliban killed his parents. He worked in a pizza bar and sent most of his earnings to his sister in Afghanistan. He went to college and learnt English from a woman teacher. He would help new students out when they didn?t know their way around. He dreamt of marrying and of becoming a computer expert. Sometimes he went to Friday prayers at the local mosque, but the gym was his real passion. On 7 July 2005 he died in a tube train at King?s Cross. People are debating 'links' between the bombings and the conflicts in the Middle East. For us the link is very simple. Ateeque's killer acted in solidarity with the killers of his parents. Signing the statement is the least we can do to show sympathy and solidarity with his friends and his remaining family.
We dedicate our signatures to Ateeque.
I signed up the Unite Against Terror statement because I believe it represents an unapologetic stance against terror.
We are not going to sit around and listen to those who tell us that somehow this is our own fault, that suicide murderers are really people we can negotiate with.
It is about telling politicians that we don't want appeasement because we don't believe appeasement is possible or desirable.
It is accepting that these terrorists do not have legitimate grievances that we can negotiate with, even if some of those who sympathise with them might.
It is about saying fuck them; they will not change my life.
It is saying that we will not accept our politicians cheaply removing our freedoms in the name of security.
It is about not forgetting who we are.
George Packer (The New Yorker Magazine)
One effect of terrorism is to leave decent people feeling paralyzed, isolated, helpless. The nihilists want to have all the initiative; the rest of us are supposed to quake, put our heads down, go about our business, and wait for the next attack. Signing the statement is one small form of defiance against them. It is also a form of international solidarity with their targets and victims, and I am especially thinking of those in Iraq, for whom the London bombings would have been an average day. Iraqis need to know that people around the world are with them. Finally, this struggle is the central political cause of our lives. There are many complexities in its particulars, but at bottom it is clear and simple and requires everyone to decide where to stand.
Nick Cohen (The Observer)
The Michael Moroonification of the majority of leftish opinion might not seem to matter greatly. Obviously, anyone concerned with upholding basic principles is going to want to oppose the apologists for the extreme right, mock their perfidy and correct their errors. Yet Britain still has a Labour government. It isn't going to be out of office anytime soon, however loudly its opponents scream, and its policies are generally sensible. Why bother with the battle of ideas?
The answer lies in the world beyond the polemics on the net and the hysterics in the media. What we have witnessed is a sinister attempt by liberal opinion to deny legitimacy to the very liberals, feminists and socialists who have a right to expect support. The authentic Muslim has become the blood-crazed fanatic rather than the reformer. The authentic liberator has become the fascist rather than the democrat. This is a betrayal on an epic scale which casts doubt on whether it is now possible to have a decent left.
Fighting back proves that a pulse still flickers. You can expect to lose a few friends and have many rows, but at least you will be on the side of best and the bravest. With a bit of luck you will enjoy the struggle and learn the truth of Lady Bracknell's words:
Omar (Iraq the Model)
When I received the invitation to sign the statement posted on this site I didn't waste a minute and I signed with my name at once.
A large part of my enthusiasm when it comes to confronting terrorism is basically because I live in Iraq; a country that has been suffering the most from terror attacks through the last couple of years, thus I can feel for people when they become under terror attacks even though those people lived thousands of miles away.
Unfortunately some of us bear the misconception that the war waged by terrorists puts ethnicity or religion in consideration and that is far from being accurate. Terrorism is not a Sunni vs. She'at conflict, it's not Muslims vs. Christians and/or Jews and it's not East vs. West; that's what events have revealed to us.
Terrorism is targeting every beautiful and good thing in our world, from Indonesia to Baghdad to Jerusalem to London and to New York.
I am Muslim, I am Sunni, I am Arab and I am determined to do whatever I can to stop the terrorists from destroying our world.
Some of us already enjoy their freedoms and live in democratic societies; others (like my country-men and women) are working hard to protect and extend their freedoms and establish a strong democratic nation.
But all of us have a common enemy; that is terrorism and no matter what differences exist among our different societies and cultures, we must stay alert and unite our efforts against terror.
Please do not think that I'm supporting this administration or that policy, what I'm trying to defend is the way of living we all want for ourselves and our children.
Robert F. Mason
Of course, I started out saying we deserved it. I rattled the shibboleths and evoked the totem of roosting chickens. I suddenly reversed my support of the Kurds and the Afghans and the Sudanese, all to blame George Bush. But I knew it was a lie.
Be they the slaughtered mothers of the Sudan, the roasted innocents of Manhattan or the pulverized cosmopolitans of London or Bali or Tel Aviv, I therefore announce my solidarity with the victims against this rising fascist tide. We have met an enemy that is not us, who hates us for our good ideas, not our bad policies. Fighting it requires no apology.
Robert F. Mason
After the events of 9/11 it became clear to many in the US and UK as well as a number of other countries that the West had to abandon its policy of containing Islamic fascists in the countries that harbored them. A more active and decisive policy had to be implemented. This has resulted in the liberation of both Afghanistan and Iraq from the manacles of oppressive regimes that not only openly supported such acts as 9/11, but also aided and abetted those who were prepared to carry out further atrocities in the Arab world and in the West. Those who hold the view that the liberations of the aforementioned states has led to an increased threat from Islamofacist terrorists need only look at statements made by Al-Qaeda and its sympathizers. Their Nazi-like views regarding homosexuals and, among other things, their grievance at women being uncovered in public, have been constant since they were established, well before any troops had stepped foot in Afghanistan or Iraq. In addition they see the pull out of foreign troops from Muslim land as simply the beginning of the establishment of an Islamic super-state ruled under Sharia law, prepared to re-conquer what they see as formerly Muslim lands. Thus in giving in and looking to negotiate with such people, we will only strengthen their position and assist them with their future aims. In joining this website I hope to help promote the worldwide fight against fascism in its newest form.
Alex Gordon, RMT
The statement 'Communities United Against Terror' evokes an elementary human responsibility to assert universal values of reason and solidarity against the atomising effects of despair and fear. On the morning of Thursday 7 July I sat at home in Kings Cross, London drinking coffee, reading, gradually becoming aware of the growing cacophony of helicopters, police sirens and frightened voices outside as public transport, offices and workplaces were evacuated into the streets and ignorant of the carnage beneath my feet. The aftermath of the atrocities has revealed a profound disorientation in some reactions to the terrorist bombings. As a public transport worker and trade unionist I belong to a community that is organised worldwide. When train drivers are targeted for horrific murder in Iraq, as they are by terrorists, we raise our voices in the trade union movement in solidarity with our fellow workers, pledge to support them and refuse to leave them isolated. When terrorists choose the softest of soft targets, London Transport, to advertise their hatred of humanity, the enormity of their offence calls forth a human instinct to restate our community of values and interests as an instrument of defiance against what the Basque philosopher, Unamuno called in 1936, "a necrophilious and senseless cry: 'Long live death.'" We can best make our reply by refusing a stampede into irrationality, prejudice and defensive inwardness and by learning from trade unionists the importance of solidarity.
I'm an Englishman living in New York, who before 9/11 identified with the left. After 9/11 I was appalled by the response of much of the left, seeking the noblest motivations possible for terrorism, in contrast to its clearly stated objectives. Injustice is never a sufficient explanation for terrorism and frequently not even necessary. A fanatical and evil ideology is always necessary, and frequently sufficient. It must be opposed everywhere, and the line must be drawn where apologists are most vocal. If terrorism is explained sympathetically in Israel or Iraq, condemnation of events in London or New York means nothing. This is a defining issue, far more so than the Iraq war. Events there have gone more according to my fears than my hopes, and I backed Kerry, but understand that if Iraq is the reason for an attack, it is not because of what we have got wrong, but because we are an obstacle to the evil Al Qaeda seeks to achieve there. Let the left reject the terrorist apologists, and let the right respect the decent left. Unite!
I have signed up because a primary responsibility of anyone who regards themselves as a liberal or a socialist is, when confronted by fascism, to identify it for what it is and to oppose it.
The threat to liberalism posed by the international forces of jihad is fundamentally fascist in its aims and its theology. This is obvious to anyone who is paying proper attention.
Al Qaeda epitomise the politics of reaction. You will not find a better example of a world-view based of totalitarianism, inequality, misogyny, and puritanism. In short, the antithesis of liberalism and socialism.
In response, those who get this must assert the values of the enlightenment - liberty, equality, secularism, humanism - with renewed confidence.
Such values must also be intellectually pummelled into the complacent minds of those more concerned with moronic anti-Americanism, school-playground pacifism and outright fascist sympathising.
Progressives of good faith can disagree about the US/UK response to 9/11, and the best way to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But no-one of good faith should be equivocating over what to think about terrorists, theocrats, and anti-Semites.
So the London bombers may have been moved to act by the invasion of Iraq; therefore what? Most British people who objected to the war or subsequent American conduct have not resorted to terrorism ? why do these murderers deserve excuses? How can justice for Palestine be achieved when terrorists disavow the very idea of justice by killing civilians, and extremists call for the ethnic cleansing of Israeli Jews? And just how is the daily massacre of Iraqis by insurgent groups supposed to be an act of resistance against occupation?
Violence, dogmatism, and demonization and will always exist as alternatives for those who no longer have any use for humanitarian sentiments. But any cause that puts aside humanitarianism will at once become both worthless and sinister.
I may have disagreements with some of the other names on this petition, including the organisers. But I stand closer to them than with anyone who thinks terrorists and other bullies deserve to win the slightest compromise.
The world has become far too tolerant of terrorism. Mass murderers are glamorized as heroic freedom fighters. University professors "stand in solidarity" with monsters who slaughter children lining up for candy. Religious leaders transform crimes against humanity into God's work. Grossly overpaid entertainers rationalize unspeakable brutality as "desperation," telling the bereaved that they themselves are to blame for the deaths of their loved ones. Authors greedy for fame and fortune announce to the world that terrorism is winning, and the rule of law will not prevail. Politicians refuse to act because they worry about jeopardizing their personal power. Journalists sanitize appalling savagery to keep from being ostracized by their peers. Students march in the name of evil, chanting that right is wrong, lies are truth. Many have lost their way. This petition, however, is a clarion call for the rest of us. It states unequivocally that terrorism is never acceptable, and the victims of terrorism have no race, nationality, or religion. Although only a document, this petition may be the seed of a new mind set that refuses to sanction murder, regardless of the killers grievances.
David T, (Harry's Place)
I am an optimist.
I was in New York on September 11th 2001.
In the past I have been reduced to tears by those who argued that America had the 9/11 attacks coming. Now I am incensed by those who say that London has paid the price of Britain going into Afghanistan and Iraq. I find myself in angry confusion at such drivel being passed off as measured thinking.
I won?t keep quiet whilst others use shoddy logic to legitimise an ideology of hatred that kills and aims to enslave us all. Those that would rationalise the act of blasting civilians out of existence would kidnap the truth. For nothing less than the sake of humanity, those of us who see these murderers for what they are must keep the truth safe and speak of it at every turn.
Helen Gray (blogger)
A basic and immediate human response leads us to express unequivocal solidarity with the victims of such atrocities and with their loved ones. Such instincts motivate the search for democratic socialist solutions to conflict the world over.
Any political movement, for the perpetrators seek to create such a movement, which wilfully targets innocent civilians must be exposed and opposed. However they and their apologists portray themselves they are not radical or progressive but instead represent the barbarism against which we must test our socialism.
And we have a responsibility for the political and moral hygiene of the British "left". There are those who, by their equivocation, effectively regard such victims as "legitimate targets" in their idiot's war against "imperialism". They and their allies have no place in our movement.
The statement says "The road to a just solution in Israel-Palestine is signposted by 'mutual recognition' and 'political dialogue' not the blind alley of terrorism." Of course on most actual roads, ignoring most signposts, and going down most blind alleys brings only an increased level of danger. Going down the blind alley of terrorism brings?and is intended to bring--certain death and maiming.
Mutual recognition and political dialogue are necessary for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, for which we must strive. But the cessation of terrorism is morally imperative in any case, whether peace is just around the corner or not.
The Palestinians may have legitimate grievances against Israel even after the advent of a Palestinian state, but it is no more legitimate for them to use terrorism now that they are stateless than it will be when there is a Palestinian state: statelessness is not a warrant for terrorism; nothing is. There will, in peacetime as now, continue to be some Jews and Palestinians who will deny each other's rights to self-determination. But a denial more profound and wicked than the failure to recognize others' rights to self-determination drives terrorism: the denial of others' very humanity.
I signed because I can't quite imagine what else I could do. Join hands with people who get on a tube platform and then a train in a crowd of other people with the fixed intention of blowing them all to pieces? Who know that some of the people will die slowly in agony and terror and suffocation? Join hands with a fascist regressive misogynist homophobic religious tyranny? No, I think not. No 'grievance,' no 'injustice,' no identity, no community, no rage, no frustration, no 'devout faith,' no respect for the Other - nothing makes the actions of July 7 anything other than a nightmare from which we all need to awake.
I joined this new group of people from all over the world, because they are against terrorism. Sometimes, I get e-mails from people who are afraid to stand against the radicals whom have hijacked their religion. To overcome this fear, they must know there really are people out here that will stand with them and not against them. I believe this will give them the strength they require to stand against radical Wahabbists. No one should live in this fear.
Sometimes it is very difficult to stand alone, especially when you can lose your life for doing so. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. did just that. He was a remarkable man who knew that the larger the crowd, the louder the voice, the better to be noticed. He gave his life so that all men shall be free from the stench of bigotry.
Let us learn from his life. He refused violence. He deplored it. Instead, he chose to use his faith, his brain, and his hope that one day all men shall live free and in peace. Let us stand together now to get rid of the stench of terrorism. You may start by joining us. Thank you.
David Adler, writer
On 9/11/01 I stood half a mile away from the towers with several people who
In a poem, DiFranco construed 9/11 as 'the day that America fell to its
Following the London bombing, all the old excuses are out in force. I signed
Unite Against Terror is a long-overdue organized response to the Roys,
Remember Daniel Pearl.
Marko Attila Hoare
I sign this statement as a supporter of the legitimate struggle for freedom and independence of the Palestinians, Chechens and other enslaved Muslim peoples caught between the Scylla of colonial oppression and the Charybdis of Islamofascism.
There can be no freedom for Muslim peoples without the defeat of the Islamofascists and everything they stand for; and there can be no defeat of the Islamofascists without liberty for all Muslim peoples.
Marko Attila Hoare (Faculty of History, University of Cambridge)
To sign a statement is to raise your hand
You're in the way, much like the scholar who
OK, so choose your own analogy.
Arguing points of ideology
With shopping bags and books you lumber home
Your form-filling, the colours of the prism
It?s little enough to raise your hand for this,
Courage and generosity might miss
Christopher Hitchens (Writer)
Association with this statement and with many of its fellow-signatories involves two commitments. The first is the elementary duty of solidarity with true and authentic resistance movements within the Muslim world, such as the Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq and the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, who were fighting against Ba'athism and Talibanism (and the latent alliance between the two) long before any American or British government had woken up to the threat. It should go without saying that, though the suffering of their peoples was intense, neither Jalal Talabani nor Ahmed Shah Masoud ever considered letting off explosive devices at random in foreign capitals. I have my political and ideological differences with both groups, but these differences are between me and them, and are not mediated through acts of nihilistic murder.
My second commitment is equally elementary. The foreign policy of a democracy should be determined only at election times or by votes in Congress or Parliament. It is one hundred per cent unacceptable even to imply, let alone to assert, that a suicide-murderer or his apologists can by these means acquire the right to any say in how matters are decided.
Both of these observations, and indeed this very statement, would be redundant if it were not for the widespread cultural presence of a pseudo-Left, and an isolationist Right, both of whom have degenerated to the point where they regard jihadism as some form of "liberation theology". The old slogans are often the best, and "Death to Fascism" is life-affirming in these conditions.
Alan Johnson (Labour Friends of Iraq)
When the news came through of the terrorist attacks in London on 7/7, I was at my desk writing an introduction for a seminar organised by my friend Brian Brivati. It was to be held in London the next morning and the theme was 'towards a social democratic foreign policy'. I had already written my opening lines. "A social democratic foreign policy should achieve two goals: the security of the British people in the context of new deadly threats and challenges and the pursuit of enduring and universal values in a world being rendered one by globalisation. What is the prize? A successful response to the threats that, in part at least, also advances the values". I still think that's right. Against their killers we must pit not only arms but values. Against their totalitarianism we pit democracy. Against their misogyny and homophobia, equality. Against their obscurantism, reason. Against their hate, love. Against their sectarianism, genuine community. Against their cult of violence, the ethic of responsibility. Against their hatred of the Other, the kindness of strangers. The signatories to this statement are saying, I think, 'for these values, here we stand, for these values, here we fight'.
Stephen Pollard (Writer)
Beyond the murder and the carnage inflicted by terrorists, there is a further insidious danger to our liberty ? that posed by those whose words and deeds give support to the terrorists, and whose warped values lead them to side with those who murder above those who promote freedom.
Oliver Kamm (Columnist, The Times)
Many years ago, Conor Cruise O'Brien identified an attitude he termed "unilateral liberalism". This is a stance acutely sensitive to threats to liberty arising from actions by democratic states, but curiously phlegmatic about threats to liberty from the enemies of those states.
O'Brien was alluding to attitudes to terrorism in Northern Ireland in the 1970s. But many of us on the Left can recognise a similar tendency, and worse, in the response of progressives to the atrocities of 9/11 and other acts of suicide-terrorism against established and emerging democracies. The terrorists give allegiance to a totalitarianism both with recognisable twentieth-century forebears and with a still more atavistic - literally mediaeval - character. They oppose the US and its allies not for our sins of commission and omission, but for what we exemplify: liberal political rights, pluralism, religious liberty, scientific inquiry and women?s emancipation. Their contempt for human life and disregard for the principle of non-combatant immunity stem not from despair and anger, but from nihilism.
Adrian Cohen (London)
London is still reeling from the suicide bombings which hit it on 7/7, killing 54 civilians. We have yet to understanding the impact that these attacks will have on our society. Since September 2000 there have been 160 suicide bombings in Israel and many more attempted suicide bombings, in a country with a population comparable to that of the greater London area. 514 people, including many infants, children and elderly citizens, including Holocaust survivors, were killed in those attacks; thousands have been maimed. Those killed and injured include Muslims, Jews and guest workers of neither religion. Israel is a society which perceives itself to be under an existential threat. The ideology of those pursuing this campaign, the funders, the mentors, the bomb engineers and the direct perpetrators are predominantly members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, or under their influence; organisations which openly embrace the destruction of the state of Israel and espouse overt anti-Semitism; organisations now intent on subverting the Palestine Authority and undermining the peace process. For those who truly believe in democracy and civil society, regardless of their views on the politics of the Middle East, there can be only one legitimate position which is an unqualified condemnation of all suicide bombing whether in Western Europe, Iraq,Turkey or Israel.
Brian Brivati (Professor of Modern History, Kingston University, London)
To understand solidarity think about what all human beings have in common. We want a better future for our children. What does better mean? For most people in the world it means predictability. It means a predictable material future that is free from want. It means a secure future in which states or others cannot arbitrarily steal our freedom in furtherance of their own ends. It means freedom to develop ourselves. Freedom from tyranny, freedom from want and freedom from chaos. The question each of these bomb attacks must make us face is very simple: do the people who plan these suicide bombs (and delude these young people to give up their lives while they themselves hide) offer the future that we really want? Do we want to live in the world these people will create? Or rather, do we want to live in the world, flawed, imperfect but open to endless free and effective criticism, that forms - Christian based, Islam based or secular based ? liberal democracy? Do the actions of states like the UK and USA who take the fight to the terrorists, take us further towards the freedom we all want or further away? We must defeat them, militarily by bringing them to justice, politically by meeting the legitimate aspects of their critique of the world that makes many more moderate people give them aid, and ideologically by showing that their fascism like all fascist creeds is based on inhumanity. I think we all want the freedom to be more like ourselves and therefore we all oppose those fascists who would deprive us of that right. I think this common humanity will defeat the fascism of our generation as it did the fascism of the 1940s but only if it combines winning arguments, with winning wars.
Peter Tatchell (Human Rights campaigner, London)
We are witnessing one of the greatest betrayals by the left since so-called left-wingers backed the Hitler-Stalin pact and opposed the war against Nazi fascism. Today, the pseudo-left reveals its shameless hypocrisy and its wholesale abandonment of humanitarian values. While it deplores the 7/7 terrorist attack on London, only last year it welcomed to the UK the Muslim cleric, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who endorses the suicide bombing of innocent civilians. These same right-wing leftists back the so-called 'resistance' in Iraq. This 'resistance' uses terrorism against civilians as its modus operandi - stooping to the massacre of dozens of Iraqi children in order kill a few US soldiers. Terrorism is not socialism; it is the tactic of fascism. But much of the left doesn't care. Never mind what the Iraqi people want, it wants the US and UK out of Iraq at any price, including the abandonment of Iraqi socialists, trade unionists, democrats and feminists. If the fake left gets its way, the ex-Baathists and Islamic fundamentalists could easily seize power, leading to Iranian-style clerical fascism and a bloodbath. I used to be proud to call myself a leftist. Now I feel shame. Much of the left no longer stands for the values of universal human rights and international socialism.