Friday, August 11, 2006

Across the great divide

So it seems the Met have foiled a terrorist plot that could have led to as many as 10 planes being ripped apart by exploding Gatorade bottles halfway across the Atlantic. These are indeed interesting times, although I must admit I could do without the interest of discovering what state the check-in at Stansted will be like next week when I head off to Berlin for a few days. Still, I'd rather the police were over-cautious than under-cautious, given the circumstances.

What I find troubling is that I've noticed a difference in reaction to the "foiled plot" between, one one hand, the white people that I've spoken to, and, on the other, the Muslim and Asians I've discussed it with. In a nutshell, the former are terrified while the latter are completely sceptical that the threat even existed in the first place. Okay, so it was only a straw poll of just a few people, but still.

This is the fallout from the flop at Forest Gate, I suppose. But has that police disaster made all of us equally cynical about surveillance activities into other alleged terrorist plots? Judging from some of today's front pages, I would say no. But has the Muslim community (I hate this term, surely Muslims can be parts of other communities too) disproportionately felt unjustly targeted, to the point that they think it's all a huge conspiracy against them? If so, it's a serious issue that will serve to further divide opinion and alienate one part of Britain from the other.



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