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Throughout the Muslim world, there have been mixed reactions to the recent terror attack in London, which resulted in the murder of 4 people. Some radical Islamists have praised the recent terror attack. Many more are still ambivalent. And yet, there are brave Muslims who are standing up and speaking out against the recent terror attack.

Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Throughout the Muslim world, in Iran, Turkey, Kurdistan, the Palestinian Authority, in the Muslim American community and on the Arab Israeli street, there has been mixed reactions to the recent terror attack in London, which resulted in the murder of 4 people near the British Parliament building. Some radical Islamists have praised the recent terror attack.  Many more are still ambivalent.  And yet, there are brave Muslims who are standing up and speaking out against the recent terror attack.

British-American Muslim dissident Qanta Ahmed proclaimed on her Facebook page: “Absolutely proud of my fellow British medical colleagues in London tonight and the London Metropolitan Police and the members of the British public responding to this devastating and despicable attack. It brings back memories of my own from the 7/7 attack 12 years ago in 2005 as I too waited for causalities after a lucky escape myself. London will overcome. Britain will be steadfast and the vermin responsible will see the long arm of British justice with the full fury of the British people. May all of my friends and colleagues in Britain be safe and sound; God bless every British policeman, policewoman and security officer for standing in the line of fire for our precious democratic values. You are so brave and valued and so precious to us. We salute you. God bless Great Britain. God save the queen and God give our Prime Minister with every strength and wisdom in the difficult days ahead. Britain will prevail.”

Iranian Kurdish rebel Mohammed Alizadeh, who is part of a dissident group active in Iraqi Kurdistan, stressed that his nation condemns the brutal terror attack in London and the sentiment on the Kurdish street is very much in support of the terror victims: “We share the grief of the British nation and feel for the victims’ families. Kurdistan always condemns acts of terrorism. We pray for the health of the wounded.”

Palestinian dissident Mudar Zahran told JerusalemOnline: “It is safe and appropriate to say that most Muslims did not approve of what happened yesterday in London.  Usually, Muslims do seem to mostly support the attacks carried out against Israel but in this case, the view is different. Still, let’s not forget that the attack yesterday was identical to terror attacks carried out against Israelis, which Jordan’s state media began promoting a year and a half ago with a music video aired on Yamouk TV in Amman which proclaimed: ‘Run over the settlers.’ Again, this was from Amman, not Gaza.  We should all seek to destroy the roots of terror and not only the branches. Rest assured, the Arab regimes must be told to stop promoting terror. Their empty words of condolences don’t mean anything.”

Turkish Jewish dissident Rafael Sadi was not pleased with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s reaction to the recent terror attack in London for he viewed it to be empty words of condolences. Erdogan stated that nobody is safe anywhere in the world. For Sadi, this sounded like blackmail: “He wanted to say that if you go against the Muslims, you will be hurt or I sympathize with your pain.” He claimed that Erdogan’s statement can be interpreted either way: “Everybody can take Erdogan’s statement as they want.” However, Sadi did note that the Turkish government did send condolences to Great Britain. Also, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirum sent his best wishes and said that there is terrorism everywhere that must be fought against.  According to Sadi, “The Turkish people suffered a lot from terrorism and they appreciate people that deal with this. Nobody is safe anywhere in the world.”

Turkish-based Iranian journalist and human rights activist Kaveh Taheri also condemned the terror attack yesterday but offered commentary regarding why it happened: “Terror attacks also known as suicide missions by extremist Islamists have been on the rise around the world in the past two decades.” According to him, even though the Iranian regime repeatedly supports terrorism, the Iranian people always condemn acts of terrorism similar to what happened in London yesterday.  However, he believes that Western policy is to blame for what happened yesterday: “Now is the time to face the reality behind these Islamist groups and their agenda behind the terror attacks. ‘The people we are fighting today, we funded 20 years ago,’ former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated. The West empowered Islamic groups to weaken the former Soviet Union. However, the sweeping truth under the carpet is that they set the world on fire. There is a saying in Farsi: ‘He who blows into the fire will get sparks in their eyes.’  We must find the roots of this catastrophe because it was derived from Western policies.”

However, not everyone in the Muslim world is a human rights activist, dissident or a common Turk or Kurd fed up with terrorism. An anonymous source in the Israeli Arab community told JerusalemOnline: “London is not on our radar. Almost nobody heard of it. The only news they get is from Al Jazeera and we know how they feel about the terror attack.” On the Facebook live feed of the terror attack yesterday on Al Jazeera, numerous users posted smiley faces in the comments section. Similar reactions were also recorded on France 24’s Arabic Channel. But this does not mean that the majority of the Israeli Arab street or even the broader Arab street supports terrorism: “People here don’t watch the news and if they do, it’s Al Jazeera. Therefore, they don’t know it happened. There is no feelings for something that they did not know happened.” According to this source, Panet, the biggest Israeli Arab news outlet, posted about the London terror attack but there were no shares and no comments: “The Israeli Arab MKs were silent.   Some twitter users condemned this in the Israeli Arab street.”  

According to the Express, Ahmet Yalya, a professor of criminology and a former counter-terrorism police chief in Turkey, stated that an ISIS telegram declared: “Cheering for the #Westminister #Westmattack #London #ISIS.” In other places, ISIS talkbacks proclaimed alongside the news of the terror attack: “Allahu Akhbar.” Similarly, the Jewish Press reported that there was an ISIS supporting tweet, which showed a photo-shopped image of the London Tower on fire and declared: “Soon. Our battle upon your land. Not started yet. Be upon you. Only waiting.” Yalya noted regarding the ISIS telegram: “This is the same account that posted the Islanbul #Reinaclub attack video.”  However, he emphasized that so far, the official ISIS outlets have not claimed responsibility for the London terror attack even though several of their channels are praising it.