Is today indicative of a change in world opinion about suicide bombing?

I tend to stay away from the policy-centric conversations about the “War on Terror” and the like… but today, watching BBC World News (and then the NBC Nightly News) I noticed something quite different.

Now - I am aware of the fact that news reporting can be a subjective process - but the latest suicide bombing in Iraq showed several of the victim’s parents berating the cowardice of the suicide bomber who killed their kids. One man said words to the effect, “the jihadists are destroying families here in the community.”

I’ve also heard and read much more anger directed at the bombers in London by Muslims than I recall hearing after 9/11 and the Madrid bombings. Here in the US, I don’t feel we knew much about the people murdered in Madrid, but I am struck by the multinational, multiethnic nature of the victims of the London bombing. I don’t know if that was as evident in the world community after 9/11, though I certainly noticed the same thing after the terrorist attacks here. I don’t know if those outside the US saw that as well, or if the perception is that the 9/11 victims were all middle-class, White, blue-collar workers.

Maybe I’m paying closer attention, perhaps the media is choosing to highlight these stories… but there seems to be a gentle upswell that this form of political action - suicide bombing - is not an expression of justified rage against the West, but a horrific, brutal action that has no regard for the experiences of the Muslims that are left behind. (I’m referring specifically to the concerns that Muslim leaders in the UK have voiced about increased tensions toward, and violence toward Muslims.)

So what do you think? Am I noticing something in the reactions to these two acts of violence that is different from what I’ve seen/heard before?

I don’t know if anyone’s opinion has changed; I’d think it’s more likely that moderate Muslim groups are making more of an effort to be vocal about it. I have heard statements like that from Iraq before.

Random non-consecutive points:

Proportionately, the Muslim population of Britain is much larger than that of America. This alone has a big influence. (Pick your stats from the sources you want - 2m Muslims out of a 60m population is a common ballpark figure.) So ‘Muslim communities’ aren’t some small group that isn’t noticed, but they’re a part of every city and every town.

Muslims in Britain know that they are the potential targets for undeserved criticism. The East London Mosque (only a stone’s throw away from one of the bombs) held what was essentially a ‘press conference service’ on Friday, in which the attacks were thoroughly and completely denounced. Was this different on 10 Sept 2001? I don’t know.

Nobody saw 9/11 as an attack on middle-class white-collar workers. Just as with the London bombs, it was an egalitarian target…to put it simpley: the Mayor of London and quite a few MPs travel to work by tube, as do the people that clean their toilets.

Well, if they had denounced the attacks on 10 September 2001, that would have been very suspicious… :wink:

Yeah, good point :smack:

A slightly unfortunate turn of phrase given the retaliation mosques have suffered since last thusday… :frowning:

I worry most for race relations in Yorkshire now - the attitudes in Leeds when I lived there a few years ago used to freak me out - the revelation that the bombers were from Leeds will surely give the white racist thugs some grist t’ mill…

Originally posted by GorillaMan

GorillaMan… glad you caught and fixed my error in the OP. I meant to say “white collar.” But I have to disagree. The fact that the 9/11 attacks were on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon made it clear that the terrorists were targeting two centers of commerce and military might. Of course, the reality was that people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and racial/ethnic groups were murdered that day. But I think this is a fact that those behind the bombings ignored.

I also want to make it clear that I am not suggesting that if the only casualties were accountants at Cantor Fitzgerald that this would be any less of a barbaric, tragic event. Just that I believe every “atypical” victim of the 9/11 attacks - children, working class women of color - diminished the “righteousness” of the attack in the minds of the terrorists. I see the Madrid and London bombings as quite different, as one would expect the victims of the attack to be from across the economic, racial, religious, and political spectrum.

The press is certainly trying to give greater attention to the Iraqi kids killed… but the london Bombing seems the same as other suicide attacks in Europe.

The western world has never thought of suicide bombings as legitimate tactics… these recent attacks won’t change that for westerners. If it will change muslims is still a hard thing. Soon some other US fighting in Iraq will gain pre-eminence to them. The Sunni insurgents in Iraq are out to kill and provoke the Shia… so children seem like a good target.