I just can’t believe it. Actually, yes I can. But still, it was shocking to read the news this morning, in fact not even an hour ago. An attack on London Bridge has left 7 dead so far, with 48 hospitalized – many with life threatening injuries. A white van plowed into pedestrians around 10:00 Saturday night, and people were stabbed at a restaurant called the Black & Blue by men brandishing knives who jumped from the van immediately after it came to a stop. Knife-wielding men also ran into the El Pastor restaurant, the Southwark Tavern where a journalist was stabbed, the Kaztenjammers Bierhall, and the Mudlark Pub. 3 suspects have been shot dead by police near the Wheatsheaf Pub. Apparently, several people have been arrested in Barking (East London) but there is no confirmation that they were behind the attacks as of yet.
As of 2010, Europe was home to more than 13 million Muslim immigrants.Germany and France had the largest number of Muslims in the West, but Russia – a country that is well known for its racism – has more than 14 million. The total Muslim population in Europe as of 2010 was 44 million, 6% of the total population of 743.1 million (2015). There are only 3.3 million in the United States – that’s just 1% of the total population of 321.4 million (2015). Pew Research Center conducted a survey on European attitudes towards Muslims and what follows are the results:
In spring 2016, we asked residents of 10 European counties for their impression of how many Muslims in their country support extremist groups, such as ISIS. In most cases, the prevailing view is that “just some” or “very few” Muslims support ISIS, but in Italy, 46% say “many” or “most” do. The same survey asked Europeans whether they viewed Muslims favorably or unfavorably. Perceptions varied across European nations: Majorities in Hungary, Italy, Poland and Greece say they view Muslims unfavorably, while negative attitudes toward Muslims are much less common in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Northern and Western Europe. People who place themselves on the right side of the ideological scale are much more likely than those on the left to see Muslims negatively.
I’ll be you my last dollar that the Brits and French are now re-thinking their opinions on Muslims now. And the Europeans are so fond of stating how much safer their countries are compared with the United States. You couldn’t pay me to travel to Europe in these times. I think my days of visiting Paris, London, Berlin, Vienna, Amsterdam, Brussels, Prague, and Rome are pretty much over.
From the Telegraph: Scotland Yard has so far been unable to confirm whether the the armed police operation in Barking has any link to the attacks. Nizaur Rahman, 33, lives opposite the block of flats where the raid took place. She said: “I was woken by the sound of a loud bang like a gunshot or explosion before 7am. I looked out of the window and saw nine CID vans and then ambulances.” Ali Nabi, 35, lives in the flat above the raid in Elizabeth Fry flats, Barking. “I have lived here three years but never seen them before,” he said. “I heard the police shouting ‘get down, get down’, I looked out of my window and they were laid on the floor. All Asian men in black religious robes. A woman was with them but later released. “One was in his 50s, another had a white beard, the third was in his 30s and the fourth was younger. They were all laid down with their hands cuffed behind their backs. I think it was someone on the ground floor but I’ve never seen them.”
Prime Minister Theresa May has just emerged from Downing Street to make her statement. Mrs May said many of the 48 people injured in the London terror attack have “life-threatening” injuries. She said: “The police responded with great courage and great speed.” She added: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their loved ones.” The Prime Minister said there was “far too much tolerance of extremism in our country” and called for it to be tackled head on.
For many in London, Saturday’s attack will be a grim reminder of the events on Westminster Bridge on March 22, when Khalid Masood drove a car into pedestrians, killing four and injuring 50, before stabbing a police officer to death at the entrance to parliament. The attacker — who reportedly had a criminal record and may have had connections to violent extremism — was gunned down by a police officer. The attack also comes less than two weeks after Salman Abedi, a suicide bomber, killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. The authorities also confirmed that there would be no change in the threat level which is currently set at “severe” which is one below the highest level of “critical”. “The critical level went up because in Manchester the police had to be absolutely sure that there was no additional material — explosives — out there that could mean there might be a follow-up attack,” British Home secretary Amber Rudd told ITV. “We don’t believe that there is additional elements that could be carrying on the attack we saw from last night — or JTAC has rather made that assessment — so they haven’t recommended threat (level) going to critical.”