Thursday, July 07, 2005

putting my foot in it

Riding the tube in the summer. Jesus.

I need to shut up for a bit. I've talked about who may be behind this on my other blog. Below is an excerpt from an email as an initial response to people who are concerned about my constant traveling and penchant for places that attract trouble.

Other than that, I'm going to be quiet as I contemplate what happened today to my next city of residence. I'm also going to keep hoping my friends in London get back in touch.

From: [isti]
To: [concerned friends]
Sent: Thu 7/7/2005 10:54 AM
Subject: RE: London

...everywhere in my life will be some degree of dangerous... whether its stepping on an electrified grate on a flooded chinatown street corner, or walking through khan al-khalili. I took the subway to work this morning just to get an email when I got explicitly asking all of us to take cabs and be reimbursed. al left me a phone message to the same effect, which of course I didn't check till I got off the subway.

I hate buying into this rhetoric, but letting it affect my life is letting them win. it's horrible. don't think I didn't immediately picture myself on the tube, having spent plenty of time transferring through king's cross this spring. unfortunately, it's life today. nothing- even being conciliatory instead of martial in our foreign policy- would prevent this. unfortunately, this is a phase- a growing, painful phase- of islam right now. guy fawkes might know something about this. as might john brown. it's what happens as the discourse is stretched and challenged. we now live in a time where the discourse is the diaspora, and we are all touched by it.

things will change. it's imperative that everyone remembers the main message of christianity- peace- was not always that message. the qur'an contains as many inconsistencies as the bible, and I know that what people who commit acts like this are reading is selective. there is an entire system which determines precedent and negation, and the vast majority of religious scholars read muhamad's ultimate message as one of peace and protection of the people of the book. it will be a while before the secularism of islam begins in earnest. think of this as the mediaeval period's final flare and implosion- it just may last a while. the inquisition sure did- and fewer people so far have been killed in islam's internal struggle than all the atrocities of christianity claimed. 100,000 through global acts of terror and war? certainly the raging tides of war in europe - the crusades alone - were responsible for as many.

I hate to speak of terrorism so glibly- oh you should see how I put my foot in my mouth on my blog yesterday- but as much as sometimes I think, gee, tin cans full of people are not the best idea- underground, in the air, on the roads- i'd prefer to lose my life in a bomb than isolate myself. even more importantly- i'd prefer to keep riding public transport and wean myself off of petroleum-based transport- that's a huge part of the problem now, isn't it? a true cynic might say that these terrorists just want us to drive more, drive alone, and up-armour ourselves into 5 mpg oblivion.

so i'll go abroad, i'll take the tube, i'll keep my eye out for loose knapsacks. it's all any of us can do. that, and express our resolute determination to continue. we'll celebrate the olympics in London in 7 years time, and when we do, we'll remember the 40+ people who died today. we'll also find inspiration in what humanity and humility has managed to accomplish since.


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