Having been born and having lived in London for many decades, I and all Londoners are outraged by the recent pronouncement by Donald Trump that “parts of London are so radicalised that the police are frighten for their lives”. This is complete and utter nonsense. I would happily visit any part of London during the day or at night and to claim that the police are frightened for their lives is simply ridiculous.
Normally I would not presume to comment publically about American politics but the thought that Donald Trump, a man with such misguided and ill informed views, is currently the leading contender for the Republican nomination and could be elected in 2016 as the 45th American President and the next ‘Leader of the Free World’ fills me and many others with horror.
There are reputedly more than 2 million Muslims now living in the U.K. They regard themselves as British and are integrated into British Society living normal, peaceful lives like any other citizens of this country. Yes, there has been some radicalisation amongst usually young men and women, but we are talking about a few hundred not thousands or tens of thousands. The vast majority of British Muslims abhor this radicalisation, which is a complete corruption of the teachings of the Quran.
You may ask why we do not just disregard the untrue assertions of Donald Trump but there are implications. London is an attraction for tourists, and some 3 million visitors come to here every year including many, many Americans. If people believe Donald Trump’s irresponsible statements they will be deterred from coming here and economic consequences for our city would be significant.
Whilst any loss of life is tragic, in conclusion let us put things into perspective:-
- The worst Islamist atrocity in New York was the 9/11 destruction of the twin towers in 2001 when nearly 3,000 people including non-American lost their lives. In 2015 alone there have been six terrorist incidents in the US culminating in the San Bernadino shooting on the 2nd December when 14 people were killed.
- In contrast the worst Islamist atrocity in London occurred on the 7th July 2005 when 56 people were killed by 4 suicide bombers Since 2005 until the present time there have only been 4 further terrorist incidents in Britain with minimal loss of life.
- The murder count for 2014 for New York was 328.
- The murder count for 2014 for London was 93.
Life involves a degree of risk although one does ones best to minimise it. However I would not be deterred from visiting New York or other cities in the US because of the above statistics. In turn I would hope that potential visitors to London will not be taken in by Trump’s ignorance and take a common sense view.
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