So the London bombings inquest begins today. Sky is covering it as unfolds: 7/7 Inquest Live: The Hope For Answers .The events of that dreadful day will be regularly paraded across our TV screens and newspapers for the next few months. It does not take any remarkable forsight to predict that while the official focus is on the security services, police etc and what could have been done on their side to stop it, there will a subtext in the proceedings that will regularly be drawn out by the media to stand alongside it. Islamic extremism, Islam and ordinary Muslims will once again be under the spotlight.
The power of the media to multiply and perpetuate the impact of an event is at times like this begas many questions. Terrorism thrives on this ability to captivate our minds with ... terror. A time limited event can now more powerfully be imprinted on our minds. The media in a highly questionable way does the job of the terrorist in reminding us of what happened. "Never forget!" can easily be replaced by "We won't let you forget!"
And quickly "Never Forget!" becomes wedded to "Never Forgive!" Already this morning we have had interviews with Julie Nicholson who as a Church of England priest found she was unable to forgive the murder of her daughter on that dreadful July day. Bombers "should not be forgiven" says priest. [I'll link to the BBC interview later.]
Mine here is not to write again about forgiveness. Julie's article in The Times in 2006 explaining her position is behind the Times paywall and I am not going there. However there is a long piece written around her story here on Rachel from North London's blog whose article appeared with it in the The Times that day. I may venture forth on that subject another day, but for now my focus is not on forgiveness, nor really on forgetting, but rather moving on.
My hope is simply that we can move on, and quit forever stirring up the anger associated with that event. We need to move on.
And we need to stop beating the very very large majority of the Muslim population who were deeply shamed by 7/7. I'll write more on that, but for now I am stating my position.