“We must fight them as they fight us. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” These are the words to the camera by one of the Woolwich attackers yesterday. London’s leading public figure responded in kind saying the attack was ‘unforgivable’.
And there lies the problem.
You have religious extremists in the east versus empire builders in the west both seeking their own ends, both unwilling to forgive and both willing to take revenge. To their own audiences they present a fight for God or a fight for justice. But since when did fighting solve anything?
Soon they’ll release the name and the background story of the soldier – and we’ll be moved by the human pain and loss. But before we point fingers, strive for ‘justice’, or seek retribution, let’s take a long hard look at ourselves. If we pursue Boris Johnson’s suggestion that this murder is unforgivable then the violence can only escalate.