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One year on -- UK prepares to commemorate 7/7 bombings
Preparations are underway to arrange a series of national events to commemorate the first anniversary of the London bombings this Friday.
The main commemorations are being organized by the Department of Culture, Media and Sports to reflect the views of the bereaved families and survivors of the series of attacks on the capital's transport system last July.
Apart from the two-minute silence, floral tributes and memorial plaques are being laid at the sites of the four coordinated 7/7 attacks that killed a total of 56 people, including four suspected suicide bombers.
An open-air ceremony, including a memorial service, is also being held and being broadcast nationally on television, during which the names of those killed will be read out.
Amongst other events is a conference on the 'Necessity of Interfaith Dialogue in Preventing Another 7/7', organized by the Dialogue Society, established originally by a group of Turkish-Muslim intellectuals, academics and volunteers in 1999.
The conference at the London School of Economics said it was seeking to go beyond a mere description of the problem by considering the nature and causes of terrorism.
The need for dialogues was to eradicate the root causes, 'namely prejudice, alienation, misunderstanding, suspicion, fear, animosity and hatred', the organizers said.
The British statesmen's response to the bombing has been criticized by Muslims for failing to listen to community leaders and for refusing to hold a full judicial inquiry into the events of 7/7.
In its latest edition, the Muslim News castigated the government for focusing on enacting more 'draconian' anti-terrorism legislation and approving only three out of more than 50 recommendations made by Muslim taskforces instigated by Prime Minister Tony Blair.
"The horrific events of 7/7, if anything, should have been a wake-up call to reassess previous strategies that apparently have failed to work," the monthly said in its editorial.
It suggested as a starting point, there must be 'some consideration of the underlying causes, which the government appears to want to remain deaf, dumb and blind to any confirmation that they may have something to do with the excesses of discriminatory foreign policies, the conduct of the war on terror and the invasion of Iraq'.
"The refusal of independent inquiry leaves the public no wiser one year on from the London bombings. To its cost, the government seems to be burying its head in the sand over issues it does not want to hear.
But it leaves consequences, for which the Muslim community is paying a heavy price," the Muslim News said.
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