7/7: Why are we already forgetting?
As six years passes since the July 7th bombings in London, why have the media and politicians been so quick to forget?
Six years ago to the day, hundreds of Londoners and tourists were killed or injured while traveling on tube trains and buses.
The atrocities of 7/7, as it is commonly known, will forever haunt those of us who were in London that day, but it seems our national media and our politicians have been too quick to forget.
The news cycle in this country is of course highly spasmodic. Knees jerk, attention fades and what were once huge, important stories end up buried on page fifteen of national papers (see: Libya). It doesn't take a genius to work out that outrage in the public sphere over the News of the World phone hackings have eclipsed the memory of 7/7 on our screens, in our papers and in our minds. This is a sorry state of affairs.
We should be quick to lambast those who would detract from this day by not affording it the type of national coverage it deserves. It is paramount that we remember those who died in the abhorrent attacks. Respect must be paid to their families and all who have suffered.
Furthermore, the sacrifices of our emergency services and members of the public who put their own lives at risk to help the victims during the commotion requires reverence and humility.
Then we must turn our attention to the existential threat that caused the loss of those lives.
Islamism and Islamist inspired terrorism both exist today not just with greater ubiquity, as the numbers of sympathisers for this philosophy grows worldwide, but also in having a more generally accepted role in many societies. This is leading to a devastating relativisation of even 'non-violent groups' like Hizb-ut-Tahrir and the Muslim Brotherhood. Once talking to Hamas is on the table for instance, we must acknowledge that the violent and disgusting nature of Islamism as a political project has been erased from those 2005 memories.
Personally, I cannot think back to 7/7 without a lump in my throat and a very heavy heart. Those moments of wondering if anyone I knew was injured or worse were excruciating. But I was lucky. There are hundreds of families who were not.
It is our responsibility to use this day to reflect, and to consider exactly what it is we are or aren't willing to do to defend liberty and the British people.
Raheem Kassam is the Executive Editor of The Commentator. He tweets at @RaheemJKassam
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