25/2: Look Back in Anger

Mark Birbeck writes that people are entitled to be angry, and they are entitled to want to discuss what exactly Islamism is, since it is a challenge for all of us. Join us in London on February 25th, to say 'No to Terror'.

25/2: Look Back in Anger
Poster for the 7/10 Human Chain Project protest on 25/2

Here's a parlour game we can all play. Grab family and friends, and try to name as many terror attacks on the UK as you can.

Straight off, most people will likely name 7/7, named after the date in 2005 on which 52 people were killed in explosions on London tube trains.

Perhaps the next most well known will be the Manchester Arena bombing of 2017, at which 22 young Ariana Grande fans were killed, and nearly 140 injured.

After these two larger atrocities, you'll probably be awarding points for remembering incidents like the London Bridge and Westminster attacks. Some of your family members might get extra points here, because they'll remember that there were two Westminster attacks and two London Bridge ones.

In 2018 a car was driven at pedestrians outside Westminster Parliament, causing injuries but no deaths. But a similar incident a year before, resulted in 52 injuries, and five deaths–four on the bridge, and the fifth being the stabbing of PC Keith Palmer in the grounds of Parliament.

The two London Bridge attacks were two years apart, one in 2017 and the other 2019. In the first, people were attacked around the bridge itself, and nearby Borough Market, resulting in eight deaths and 42 injuries. The second resulted in two deaths, and three injuries.

Once people have named these events, they will perhaps remember those attacks which are named after the victim. Award points for bringing to mind Lee Rigby, a young soldier killed in Woolwich in 2013, and David Amess, an MP stabbed to death at his constituency surgery in 2021.

If your friends and family get this far, they've done pretty well, but most will struggle to go further. That's not because there aren't many more incidents to name, but on the contrary, too many that seem arbitrary and unconnected. The Parsons Green bomb was a close call for example, as was the Streatham knife attack, and the Glasgow Airport ramming; each had no deaths, but that was just luck, and there were multiple injuries.

The Manchester Victoria Station attack on the other hand, took three, as did the Reading Park attacks. And although the terrorist managed to kill himself at the Liverpool Women's Hospital when his bomb exploded prematurely, he did still also killed his taxi driver.

Finally, some incidents that most people will have likely forgot, and so are deserving of even more bonus points. The 1988 Lockerbie bombing is the biggest attack that is often missed; Pan Am flight 103 was high above Scotland after departing Heathrow, when a bomb exploded on board. All 259 of the passengers were killed, and 11 Lockerbie residents also lost their lives as wreckage fell on the town.

And finally, who remembers the shootings in 2016, in the Tunisian town of Port El Kantaoui, where 30 of the 38 people murdered were British. Bonus points to anyone that remembers these victims of terror, that everyone would prefer not to talk about.

Look Back in Anger

It is incredible that most of these events have faded from our memories. Your family and friends could probably name a few of these, but unlikely all.

And that's no surprise.

The standard approach to a terror attack is to shut down all discussion and discourage all sentiment that might be critical of Islamism, in the misguided belief that it will spill over into criticism of Muslims. But people are entitled to be angry, and they are entitled to want to discuss what exactly Islamism is, and how it is up to all of us to challenge it.


On Sunday, February 25th, at 3pm in central London, we will be joining the 7/10 Human Chain Project's protest which says No to Terror. Details from the organisers below, to register to hear about the location when it is finalised. We'll also let people know via our newsletter:

Our “No to Terror" Rally will take place in central London (register for exact details) on February, 25th, from 3:00 PM.

We kindly ask that you do not share the location of the rally on social media.
CST and police will be in attendance.

As British MPs cower from voting due to threats and intimidation, advocating for the annhiliation of the Jewish people and the world's only Jewish state is tolerated.

Every week, London's streets echo with hate-filled, extremist marches.

This must stop.

Join us to tell the world:

No to terror.

Our exceptional speakers will include Loay Al-Shareef, Saudi social media activist, and Joseph Cohen, founder of the Israel Advocacy Movement.