Saturday, August 12, 2006

British Muslim Leaders Take Responsibility?

Okay, here I go again. Responsibility, dear reader, is something one takes upon him- or herself, not something that someone assigns to another, unless the other is willing and able to accept it. Business still doesn’t understand this, but I’m a training guy so I understand lots of things about real people, who make businesses work, that CPAs and MBAs don’t.
Continuing on the subject of responsibility, Robert Barr, reporting today in the Associated Press on the new liquid terrorism issue, states, “Prominent British Muslims, including three members of Parliament, said in an open letter Saturday that ‘current British government policy risks putting civilians at increased risk both in the U.K. and abroad.’
“The letter, printed in several British papers, said Britain's intervention in Iraq and the failure to secure an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah militants in Lebanon were providing ‘ammunition to extremists who threaten us all.’
“’The debacle of Iraq and now the failure to do more to secure an immediate end to the attacks on civilians in the Middle East not only increases the risk to ordinary people in that region, it is also ammunition to extremists who threaten us all,’ said the letter, which was signed by three of four Muslim members of Parliament and 38 Muslim groups, including the influential Muslim Council of Britain.”
Now I don’t want to make it sound like Britain’s involvement in Iraq and their failure to have attempted to influence Israel and Hizbollah are nothing in themselves. The Brits must take responsibility for killing Iraqis, and for getting their own soldiers and others killed. That’s responsibility enough, I think, to take seriously and act upon. What I do not accept is that some pissed off, sexually repressed, and emotionally immature band of brothers plans to blow up a plane or two because the Brits didn’t take enough responsibility.
The Muslim leaders quoted in this article are clearly writing for their own community. They are blaming the Brits, absolving themselves, and walking a fine line of their own. That fine line is that if they are blameless, then they are sinless and crimeless. This is a big part of the responsibility problem. Perhaps these prelates should have said, “We are dismayed that we live in an environment where war and violence are the first resort rather than the last. We are further dismayed that the parents of our young people have failed to teach them that killing others is a crime that hurts them, their families, their victims’ families, and everyone in society. Finally, we urge the British community to continue to respect and value societal differences, and pledge that we will urge our own community to reject and combat any terrorist or terrorist plan we come to learn about. This conforms to the law of Islam and the law of this land.”
So, when am I gonna read that letter about taking responsibility? Maybe Bush owes us one, too.


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