Observations from a strange planet
“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence, you may murder the liar, but cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence, you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact violence merely increase hate. So it goes… Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness — only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate – only love can do that.” Martin Luther King
Communities strive to rebuild Al Jazeera 7 July 2007, London. Exactly two years after the first suicide bombs tore through three subway trains and bus in this city in the first of a wave of attacks, community leaders, politicians and ordinary citizens on this island are looking to the future. Some are asking if the Sir David Peckham Community Solidarity Feature - more popularly known as The Wall - which stretches for more than 124,796 kilometres through parts of London, Birmingham, Manchester and other major cities, and completely encircles Bradford, was necessarily the right answer. For its supporters, the Feature represents a necessary evil. "Peace can only be built on justice. And justice can only be built on order, and trade" says Peter Mandelson, supreme plenipotentiary of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to which the fiefdoms of Greater England pay tribute in wine, oil, young virgins and teabags. But to its detractors, "The Wall" is a blight upon all they hold dear. Alfred Boosey, 88, of Whitechapel in East London is one such. Mr Boosey survived a direct hit by a 500lb incendiary bomb on his bedroom during the Blitz (it failed to explode but cracked a chamber pot) and dodged doodlebugs and V2 rockets on his trusty bicycle. "That bleeding thing runs five times through my alotment", he says, pointing to the nine metre high reinforced concrete barrier with barbed wire, motion sensors and machine gun nests, and painted with scenes of little girls in hijabs cuddling rabbits. "I used to be able to walk over to the rhubarb patch in a few seconds. Now I have to go round via Hackney Marshes, and it can take three hours on a good day - more than twice that when they are doing full body searches". The trouble started for Mr Boosey when some Asian lads accidentally kicked a footbally into his carrots, and the area for three metres on either side was declared Dar al-Harb. Other Britanistanians shrug in weary resignation. After the infamous "Corgie bombings" at Ascot in 2006 - in which the Royal canines were stuffed with plastic explosives and let loose in the Lady's Enclosure, draconian measures were never far off. (Adolf al-Jihad, formerly known as Prince Harry, has consistently denied responsibility from his hideaway in South Wazirstan Institute of Hermaneutics).
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