Anniversary Post: Harrods Bombing

Harrods Department StoreOn this day in 1983, the IRA exploded a car bomb at Harrods department store in London. Six people were killed and 90 others were injured. I wouldn’t bring it up, but I am constantly amazed at how many people are unfamiliar with the Troubles and the fact that it was largely a Catholic movement. Now I’m sure that intellects as great as Bill Maher would tell me that I’m wrong about it being a religious conflict — that it was much more complex than that.

The things is: I agree! It was more complex than that. It was a political fight based as much on Irish nationalism than anything else. It was also explicitly a reaction to UK rule and some bad policy. And I’m sure I would agree with Maher and his ilk about most other conflicts the world has ever seen. Where we disagree is regarding Muslim terrorism. In that regard, Maher has a convenient exception for our current official enemies. For that, it is all about the religion!

According to the Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Strategic Communication (pdf) in 2004, it ain’t about religion, “The overwhelming majority voice their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights, and the longstanding, even increasing support for what Muslims collectively see as tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan, and the Gulf states.”

I think the reason I find this so annoying is because what is said about the Muslims today is what was said about the Soviets when I was growing up. The point seems to be that I was growing up. Over time, I got to see that the Soviets had certain interests that they were pursuing. It wasn’t that they wanted worldwide domination. They were just another country pursuing what they thought was their best interests. And so we see the very same thing with Muslims. You could go point by point and compare.

My question for the Bill Mahers and Sam Harrises of the world is why they haven’t managed to learn this basic fact about people. But notice: I’m interested in why they haven’t learned this. I’m not interested in yet another apologist to explain why they are right to not have learned this lesson. I’ve heard it all before and it is exhausting without a hint of illumination.

3 thoughts on “Anniversary Post: Harrods Bombing

  1. They have learned it, they just ignore it in favor of their prejudices or at least their reluctance to give humanity to someone else who they don’t identify with.

    As for the Troubles-being able to pick your religion is something that shows how much control some other country has on you so it is not a surprise they wanted to stay Catholic. A friend of mine from Northern Ireland though said that his area would be devastated economically if they did win freedom from England. They don’t have black gold anywhere around their lands so it is different then the Scottish situation and the Republic does not have the resources that England does to cover the needs of the people in Northern Ireland.

    • I don’t take a side. The British were right to be concerned that protestants would be oppressed if the Catholics took over. On the other hand, I understand the desire for unification.

      I know that elites haven’t forgotten about it. But your average American is remarkably ignorant. Most people don’t have a clue about this or most other things.

      • Nah, they are too busy throwing a fit that some teacher dared to try to lift the veil of ignorance on Arabic calligraphy.

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