The first is from BBC Radio WM where I was live in the studio while members of the general public called in to discuss the events in Tipton the day before. If for no other reason, the phone in is interesting for the fact that so many people called in to suggest that Muslims may have plotted the bomb themselves. Reminiscent of the scene from Chris Morris’ “Four Lions”, I dismissed such claims as ridiculous, offering to publicly apologise if any Muslims were convicted of doing so. You can listen to the broadcast via BBC iPlayer by clicking here, the phone in starts at about 9 minutes and 30 seconds in.
Second is an article for the Huffington Post which builds on an earlier article I had published in the New Statesman shortly after events in Woolwich. Titled, “Terror in Tipton: explaining the uneasy relationship the Midlands has with mosques”, the full article can be read by clicking here.
Alternatively, the first few paragraphs are reproduced below:
Sadly I wasn’t surprised when I heard that there was another attack on a mosque in the Midlands last Friday.
Little more than a week ago, swastikas along with the acronyms EDL, NF and KKK (English Defence League, National Front and Klu Klux Klan respectively) were sprayed onto the Redditch Central Mosque. A week earlier, an unexploded bomb was found outside the Aisha Mosque and Islamic Centre in Walsall.
Today the stakes were raised even more when what appears to be a nail bomb exploded behind the Kanz-ul-Iman Muslim Welfare Association Central Jamia Mosque in Tipton. Treated by West Midlands Police as a “terrorist incident”, it would be wrong to speculate about who was behind it and why the blast happened today. Still, it will not have gone unnoticed that the blast occurred just hours after the funeral of Lee Rigby, the serviceman brutally murdered on the streets of Woolwich last month.
To continue reading the article, click here.