The spirit that brought our country together in our campaign for the plight in Africa, and united us against the injustices in our world, must lead us to overcome and overwhelm the evil of those who are prepared to commit such horrors.
There are people claiming responsibility for these atrocities, calling on the "nation of Islam and the Arab nation to rejoice" as these acts are "retaliation for the massacres Britain is committing in Iraq and Afghanistan". These people give the lie to religion. Whatever people feel about the current UK foreign policy, this cannot be used as an excuse to murder innocent people going about their business.
Islam does not sanction such murder. Indeed, there is no one with a genuine belief in God who can have sympathy for such evil acts. The pursuit of justice cannot be used as an excuse for committing injustices against others. People who have lost their way in life have challenged our values. We must reply with a united voice.
Two of the areas targeted have large Muslim communities. In fact, one in seven Londoners is a Muslim. This should make us all realise that the perpetrators of these crimes do not believe that any life has value: Christian or Muslim, Jew or Hindu, Buddhist or Sikh. They value no race either. Rather, they revel only in the indiscriminate killing of the innocent, and thus we are all their victims.
However, out of such darkness there can be a dawn. Although there will be some who use these atrocities to sow division and hatred, amid some hate mail to UK Muslim websites there have been many messages of concern. People simply wanting to extend the hand of friendship and to make sure that as Muslims we do not feel vulnerable and exposed, as was the case after September 11. Such is the great spirit of London that I am convinced Londoners of all faiths and none will stand firm and resolute against this aggression.
They are right, insofar as the routine association between Islam and terrorism is often expressed in simplistic and loaded terms. But the tired mantra of denial also evades a real problem within Muslim communities, one that has sharpened and deepened since 9/11: the way that an increasing number of Muslims are turning to the rhetoric and religious justification of literalist, jihadi scholars...