British media buries its head in the sand

The killers of soldier Lee Rigby said their motives were to do with UK foreign policy.

In the wake of yesterday’s incident at Woolwich, the British press has linked the murder of a British soldier to foreign policy but isn’t directly addressing it, Dilly Hussain says.

The right wing press have clearly linked the Woolwich attack to British foreign policy yet remain absolutely reluctant to actually question it directly, intentionally or unintentionally.

The Mirror’s Chris Hugh’s suggests that though British foreign policy may have an element of influence, the main concern is how public beheadings on the streets of Britain is the main worry as opposed to bombs and explosives. There was no mention of Afghanistan or Iraq anywhere in the Daily Mirror except in reference to the killer’s videod comments.

Similarly, The Daily Star mentions no direct link to British foreign policy either or how future attacks like yesterday’s could be prevented. They do however talk about various influences, Al Qaida, Anwar al Awlaki and the Inspire magazine. National unity and intolerance to Islamic extremism in support of Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech yesterday seems to me the general tone at the Daily Star.

The Left wing press have surprisingly made no overt link or criticism of British foreign policy in the Muslim world either. Michael White of the The Guardian criticised PM Cameron for calling an emergency COBRA meeting to discuss whether yesterday’s incident was at a national terrorism threat level – “obviously not Mr Cameron”.

The Independent concentrated on the link between the suspects and banned Islamist organisation Al Muhajiroun. With an interview with former leader of the banned group Anjem Choudary, they have indirectly through his words made a direct link between the Woolwich attack and British foreign policy.

Mr Choudary said to The Independent:

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“My position is clear. There is a covenant which says that in return for Muslims being allowed to live peacefully and practice their faith in Britain, then it is forbidden to attack the British authorities, soldiers, in the UK. When people go abroad then the inhabitants of those countries have a right to defend themselves. The biggest aggravating factor we have today is British foreign policy.”

“If you are saying that you are radicalised by saying that British foreign policy is wrong then there are whole load of other organisations and anti-war groups who have said the same.”

Like The Guardian, The Independent have also suggested that it may have been other external influences coincided with discontent over British foreign policy that influenced the suspects – Anwar Al Awlaki and the Al Qaida linked magazine Inspire.

Former chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee Baroness Neville-Jones said: “There is a much bigger problem, potentially.”



The press have unequivocally condemned and criticised the English Defence League (EDL) but have highlighted how the Woolwich attack will inevitably increase their support and attract sympathizers.

None of the press have mentioned any talk about leaving the Muslim world, the double standards of the British government’s domestic policies or the blood it has on its hand under the War on Terror campaign, its support for Israel or fueling of the conflict in Syria.

It will be fair to say, that the press have been too busy glamourizing the fact that one of the suspects, Michael Adeboloja who converted to Islam in 2003 and renamed himself “Mujahid” meaning the one who engages in jihad. Whilst they all make very loose links to Muslim discontentment over British foreign policy, none have actually addressed it head on or suggested otherwise.

Its all been blood and gore at the hands of the Nigerian and Romford based Islamist radical who was previously affiliated to Al Muhajiroun and already known to the security services who wreaked havoc in the streets of London.


You can follow Dilly Hussain on Twitter @DillyHussain88

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