British Muslims and 7/7

Today’s papers are filled with articles reporting the Channel 4 poll of British Muslims. Typical headlines read “Muslims: MI5 behind 7/7” (Daily Mirror), “25% of Brit Muslims think 7/7 bombers innocent” (The Sun), “7/7 bombs staged by agents say one in four Muslims” (Daily Telegraph) and “24% of Muslims think 7/7 raids were MI5 plot” (Daily Express), while the Daily Mail goes with “59pc of UK Muslims believe there was a cover-up over 7/7”.

The background to the poll – not least the fact that the fraudulent propaganda used to justify the Iraq war has destroyed the government’s credibility among Muslim communities – is of course omitted from most of these reports. The Mail does at least quote Inayat Bunglawala of the Muslim Council of Britain, who puts the findings into context:

“Most people who would examine the facts with a level head would realise that this (7/7) is not some conspiracy. But as with the assassination of JFK, regrettably these kind of incidents become a cause celebre for conspiracy theorists. I think that this particular government has also engendered a lot of distrust. Some people will always be determined to believe that Muslims could not have been behind such an act of mass murder and to this end they are vulnerable to conspiracy theorists. The Muslim Council has always asked for a public inquiry into the July 7 bombings and that inquiry would have put this scepticism to bed for good.”