In articles with headlines such as "For decades London thrived as a busy crossroads for terror" (New York Times) and "Continent's Issues include Geography and Open borders: Bombers travel freely, police cannot" (Wall Street Journal), the American press argue that London is a global hub for Islamic fundamentalism and terrorist cells.
"If London became a magnet for fiery preachers, it also became a destination for men willing to carry out their threats," said a front page report in the Times on Sunday. "For a decade, the city has been a crossroads for would-be terrorists who used it as a home base, where they could raise money, recruit members and draw inspiration from the militant messages."There is now debate in the US about whether Britons should be able to enter the US without a visa.
Link via hairyears, who points out that, more than that, London is a hub of open debate of the sort suppressed in the Middle East, and the liberals and reformists greatly outnumber the Wahhabi exterminationists:
This is the world's largest population of educated middle-class Arabs in an open society. As a consequence of our tolerance, all shades of opinion are expressed here, from Hamza and the exterminationists to governments-in-waiting, to exiled monarchs and all manner of opposition newspapers that are banned and smuggled into the 'home' country by travellers and relatives. Small cabals of nutcases in bedsits with bombing videos and extremist tracts, attending Arabic-speaking private mosques? Yes, we've got them, too. What's Arabic for Unabomber? Madmen have existed here since the Anarchists came to London a century ago, with their futile factional extremism and their bombs, but it never amounted to anything much. London's politically lively - raw and strident, if you know where to look - but it's no hotbed of violence: politics, not warfare.
It is also well worth pointing out that the suppression of moderate Arabic opinion has been condoned by successive Washington administrations, who do not grant political asylum to embarrassing critics of strategically-useful despots. That's why the moderates are here, not in New York's great melting-pot.
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