7/7: The London Bombings, Islam & the Iraq War

Milan Rai, Author . Pluto $18.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-7453-2563-7

On the anniversary of the July 7, 2005, London subway/bus bombings popularly known as "7/7," peace activist Rai (War Plan Iraq ) explores why four young, modestly successful U.K.-born Muslims would massacre fellow citizens by becoming suicide bombers. And did Iraq—despite official rejection of a causal link—have anything to do with it? Rai grounds his meticulous analysis in newspaper accounts, sociological research, the literature on brainwashing, survivors' accounts and the video confession of lead bomber Mohammad Sidique Khan. With sober, conscientious detail, he argues that the men's callous violence and moral delusion were rooted less in al-Qaeda brainwashing than in disaffection and "humiliation" felt for the suffering of Muslim people worldwide at the hands of Western powers or their proxies, particularly in Iraq. This, Rai argues, is central to the proper explanation for their actions, which Blair's administration has resisted, at least publicly. Pointing to leaked internal documents, however, Rai asserts that the British government actually believes that U.S./U.K. aggression in Iraq has increased the threat of domestic terrorism. Though Rai's openly anti-imperialist bias leads predictably to a call for withdrawal from Iraq and paying reparations, he marshals a persuasive amount of grassroots, expert and government opinion spanning the political spectrum in making his case. (July)

Reviewed on: 05/22/2006
Release date: 03/01/2006
Hardcover - 208 pages - 978-0-7453-2564-4
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