The West Bank Arrives in West Yorkshire
If the London terrorists were home-grown, will British stoicism be enough?
9:45 AM, Jul 13, 2005 • By ROGER BATE
Police investigating the London bombs are now focusing on finding those who masterminded the suspected suicide attacks. Detectives believe three British men of Pakistani descent died carrying out the first attacks of their kind in the United Kingdom. The fate of a fourth man on the bombed Piccadilly Line train remains unclear. One man was arrested in West Yorkshire, where three of the suspects were from. But local terrorism experts say the men may have been guided by a "controlling hand," who may not have been from Britain.
Leeds, one of the towns in West Yorkshire where the suspects hailed from (220 miles North of London), is most famous for sporting success. Its soccer team has periodically ruled the roost, similarly home-grown talent in rugby and cricket have dominated the world scene. The countryside is lovely because it rains often and the local pubs welcoming with great pies and fine ale.
Like much of the North of England there is considerable unemployment and latent racism against immigrants, notably from Pakistan. Leeds and its surrounding suburbs have faired better than most, but the area still has a considerable number of jobless, and the attendant problems for disaffected youth that this creates. But while some apologists for radical Islam are apparently preparing the groundwork for a defence of their actions based on this excuse, local anger and disbelief is considerable. Television and radio stations are playing continuous interviews with those from local neighborhoods and there are concerns about violence against the Pakistani community--although so far no incidences have been reported.
Immigrant communities have flourished in Leeds and Bradford because property and living is cheaper than in the South of England. But a strong religious upbringing, which had historically been seen as helpful in keeping crime at a low level, and making the immigrant communities strong, is now being seen in a different light.
Charles Clark, the Home secretary, was asked today whether he would condone arresting or deporting radical clerics whose teachings may breed hatred and resentment of fellow Britons: "we're going to look into that," he said.