In the same day that the foreign ministers of Jordan and Egypt visit Israel, and the same day that a survey reports that fewer muslims support suicide bombing as a valid political tactic, terrorists bomb Iraqi football crowds, celebrating their Asia-Cup victory.
Who was it said “No, football’s not a matter of life and death, it’s much more important than that.” Bill Shankly wasn’t it ? Well forget the rationale of western governments, forget religious differences, perhaps the extremists have made their biggest mistake to attack the world’s only unifying culture.
The BBC’s Nicholas Witchell, in Baghdad, says the football team’s win was a genuine moment of national pride and pleasure which had crossed the sectarian divisions between Iraq’s different communities.
Just as the Iraqi team has Sunni and Shia Muslims and Kurds playing alongside each other, the celebrations brought members of all those communities out onto the streets, he adds.
They cheered and waved Iraqi flags, sharing, perhaps, the first such moment of national pride in recent years, our correspondents says.
How about a show of solidarity with the Iraqis at the opening games of the next football season – I mean, if Princess Margaret gets a minute’s silence … where’s our sense of proportion ? Whaddya think Sam, worth a campaign ?