Monday, 6 June 2011

Time for the truth about Terrorism

The government is soon to present and release its new counter-terrorism PREVENT policies, headed by Theresa May.

Early signs seem to indicate that the government is yet to face the clear and obvious truth about what it deems to be ‘violent extremism’.

It still seeks to place it as being a religious problem (thus terming it ‘religious extremism’).

Sloppy language is employed about the motivations of terrorists – ‘they hate our way of life’, ‘they hate our freedoms’ claim politicians and pundits.

Focus is repeatedly put on the Muslim community for not doing enough to tackle extremism. The government asks academics and doctors to spy on their students and patients.

Millions of pounds of funding has been thrown carelessly at tackling extremism, giving rise to a anti-terrorist industry with self-proclaimed experts awarding themselves £80,000 salaries and creating a competitive environment where each organisation decries the other in attempts to get a bigger share of the pie.

All this because the government refuses to acknowledge the most basic and obvious fact about terrorism. Something that is clear and common knowledge to not only the Muslim community, but to MI5 bosses and CIA advisors. Yet the government (whether Labour or Conservative, Bush or Obama) refuses to accept the evident truth.

Terrorism (itself a messy ill-defined word) is the result of, motivated by, and seeks to end, LinkWestern imperialism. Terrorist groups only make sense as anti-colonialist movements.

It is not a religious movement, but it articulates itself in the dominant social medium of religion. Terrorism, which I prefer to call theologically justified political violence, is just that. It is political violence, its aim is to achieve a political result. It is not born out of a religious belief, but uses religion to justify itself in a social context where all claims, to be taken seriously, must be religious.

In the recent Arab Spring, the double standards of the governments of Britain and the USA were made clear. While hundreds of thousands took to the streets of Egypt against Mubarak, the USA was shamefaced about its $3,000,000,000 annual funding to the Egyptian Army which killed Egyptian protestors.

In Libya, Britain suddenly switches sides to support the revolutionaries fighting against Gaddafi. Gaddafi’s forces meanwhile use military equipment sold to them by Britain against its own people.

This is in a wider context of military occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, in bloody wars that 'raised [the] terror threat' rather than reducing it.

To begin tackling the threat faced by extremists in earnest, the British government, Theresa May, David Cameron and like must all own up to the cause of terrorism. It is perhaps best said in the words of Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA's Bin Laden Unit: -

Mr Scheuer said: "We are being attacked in the west and we will continue to be attacked in the west as long as we are in Afghanistan, as long as we support the Israelis, as long as we protect the Saudi police state.

In the rhetoric of our enemies there is very little, if anything, about attacking us for how we live or how we think or how we act in our own country.

It is about intervention, it is about being in the Arab Peninsula and it has nothing to do with these cultural things."

No comments:

Post a Comment