Reflections on Terror

The media in the UK has been dominated these past few days by the atrocity in Woolwich. Thanks to the ubiquity of what we call mobile phones and you call cell phones, we know precisely why the murderers did what they did. They wanted to take revenge for the deaths of Muslims in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. As the main cause of death among Muslims in these places is the action of other Muslims, one might stop and wonder who educated these kids; and then, when one knows, it makes sense. They were educated by hate-preachers who batten like parasites on some mosques, and who preach a message which has nothing to do with love and everything to do with hate. They have a version of what has happened since 9/11 (and earlier) and they feed these impressionable kids with it. The questions which occur to me is why that version is so easily swallowed?

Part of the answer to that is our own MSM. It took against the wars of Afghanistan and Iraq and has preferred to peddle a narrative of blaming Bush and Blair rather than one of asking what those regimes were like and why their overthrow has been a good thing; let’s play politics, people, it isn’t as though there is anything bigger at stake.

Here, let it be said, Bush and Blair have not been helpful to their own cause. Whatever the truth of the WMD claim, it turned out to be wrong, and it may well have been an excuse to do something they thought needed doing; if so, they have both paid a heavy price for any misleading statements which may, or may not, have been made. Interesting that neither of them was prepared to make the real case – that these regimes were barbarous and needed taking down. Perhaps if they had left it with Afghanistan, where the Taliban were utterly repulsive and when Bib Laden was being sheltered, it would have been better. But what happened, happened, and the narrative in our MSM is manna from heaven to the fundamentalist Imams everywhere. They have no trouble pointing out that our own media does not believe our own Governments, which feeds into their own narrative – that there is a Crusade going on.

This is not just mendacious, it is the opposite of the truth. From Kuwait and Bosnia in the 1990s, and through to Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, the West has actually tried to save Muslims from being slaughtered by other Muslims. If there is a criticism of the West, it is that there is no crusade; there is an attempt to bring peace.

But here there may be a failure in geopolitical vision, albeit one which is understandable. Muslims are fighting each other because they unhappy with the way things are in their own countries. Their leaders, at least in the Middle East, have tended to be brutal tyrants who rule with a rod of iron – in that sense Assad in Syria is typical.  We assume that these people want what we want – peace and stability and democracy. But where, in the history of that region is there warrant for such a belief?  Take the Palestinian problem. The Arab world is plenty rich enough to have provided each displaced Palestinian with another home and money – it has chosen not to because it wishes to keep a grievance against Israel.  It is plenty rich enough to spend its money on development and not guns, but it chooses the latter.

I wonder if it has occurred to anyone in power in our countries that these people do not want what we want, and that far from thanking us for our help, they don’t want it. Not sure where that reflection leads, but thought it ought to be articulated.

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About JessicaHof
Anglo-Catholic Christian, facilitator, reader of books, multi-tasker

12 Responses to Reflections on Terror

  1. Pingback: Reflections on Terror, Part 2 | nebraskaenergyobserver

  2. giliar says:

    Excellent, Jess!!! “We assume that these people want what we want – peace and stability and democracy. But where, in the history of that region is there warrant for such a belief? “

    • JessicaHof says:

      Thank you – I really appreciate your support :)

  3. Jessica, may I re-blog this on my blog? Rebecca

    • JessicaHof says:

      You may, Rebecca, and with pleasure; thank you.

  4. azrzv123 says:

    although the murderers highlighted that they wanted to take revenge for what is happening in other countries, i wholeheartedly believe that, that was an excuse to commit this disgusting, humiliating act. It saddens me, that what happened in Woolwich that people have started to generalise ALL muslims by labelling them as ‘terrorists’. Yes, what happened was unforgivable, however it does not give people the right to judge every other muslim out there. In the UK we have people like Anjem Choudary, who agree with these terrorist ideologies, and funnily, enough one of the murderers (Michael) was part of Anjem’s group. Anjem choudary holds wahabbi/salafi ideologies. These ideologies do not reflect each and every muslim out there. There is a stark dichotomy between Wahhabi’s/salafis and other muslims. We need to condemn Chourdary and his group who openly praise terrorists. In fact, it puts me to shame that the UK government have not tried to lock up choudary seen as he promotes terorrism.

    I personally dont feel that Wahhabism and Salafism is part of Islam. These people damage the image of Islam and say they’re doing things for the sake of ‘Islam’ which in no means is this justifiable.

    I completely agree with the fact that the death of muslims is due to other muslims. An example of this is Iraq. Yesterday 60 people were killed in Baghdad due to the intervention of people with Salafi beliefs. They entered a predominantly Shia district and killed innocent individuals. But was this on the news? no.

    On the whole, this was a great blog to read. I would encourage everyone to read it. Please research Anjem Choudary and try to get others to condemn him. We do not need people like him in the UK who openly promote terrorism and violence.

    Thank you :)

    • NEO says:
        Thank you so much for your kind comment (and the follow). I will attempt to answer you, since Jess is a bit under the weather. We are aware of your view on Islam, in fact we share it. Jess has a couple of close friends from University who converted to Islam, and I’ve several, not as close, as well. If you couldn’t tell, I’m American and Jess is British, and were occasionally amazed how similar our problems (and views) are.

        One thing that would help immensely is if more Muslims would roundly condemn this violence, loudly and often. I know that it could be difficult for them but it would help us to make the difference obvious. I like your thought on Wahhabism and Salafism not being part of Islam but, am afraid its going to be very difficult to convince our populations of, however correct (and it could be argued either way). :-)

        No you do not need people like Choudary in the UK and neither do we in the US, the question comes down to, Without compromising free peoples rights, how do we get rid of them? And that’s an answer I don’t have.

        Thanks again for the kind words, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Jess get’s back to you as well.

      • azrzv123 says:

        Thank you for the kind response.

        A lot of the muslims that i know, have and are condemning this violence. Including journalists. But yes, i 100% agree that more muslims need to condemn this act and not be afraid to exemplify there feelings over what happened. There are people who are afraid to speak out because of threats by the salafis. These salafis openly say to some muslims on twitter/facebook how it is there duty to kill people… [disgusting... i know]

        However it puts me to shame that we have other muslims who feel that whatever happened was good. I guess that these people who are praising the killers are those that have been brain washed to an extent that they believe they can openly promote and practice violence.

        Its really disgusting to be quite honest. Murdering anyone, in broad daylight in the presence of young children and women is horrific. Its not even anything you would find in an 18+ rated movie.

        I also do not have an answer to how we can get rid of people like Anjem. I guess we have to wait and see. Its already been highlighted that Anjem had links to the murderer. So, im guessing after further investigations they will eventually come to a stronger consensus as to what should be done. Why the uk gov have not tried to get rid of Anjem permanently baffles me? Perhaps there is more to him which no one will ever know…

        • NEO says:

          You’re quite welcome.

          I know many do, and in many ways when we say that, it’s selfish of us, we have our firebrands as well. It’s a problem for all societies, and is exacerbated in this case because the societies are quite different in many ways.

          The main one that seems to motivate a lot of the problem is that we have almost completely divorced our churches (I think perhaps too much) from our government. I know that sounds a bit strange in the UK with the Established Church, but our systems while based on Judeao-Christianity have little day-to-day contact. One of the things that sets off alarm bells for us is when a state prosecutes a crime like apostasy. Nobody is saying that we are going to change anybody’s country but, many of us have decided that if people come to our countries, they need to join in our culture as well, not hold themselves apart from it.

          In important things, nobody cares if you eat pork or not, for instance, but when women or children are mistreated according to our traditions, it sets off important alarms in us. Hopefully, that makes sense.

          Part of the trouble is that our societies can prosecute crimes, we have no method (nor would we allow one) for the authorities to act preemptively, and part of what we are dealing with (in our loud and raucous manner) is the bias that many of us see against our indigenous population towards other than western culture, sometimes people get caught in the crossfire, and sometimes people get overlooked as well, who should not have been.

          These are hard and intractable problems and we need all the help we can find, your viewpoint is important, and I’m glad you are here and willing to engage with us. :-)

  5. azrzv123 says:

    absolutely agree with you 100%

    surely if we had more people like yourself we would notice the difference :)

    take care

  6. Pingback: Immigration: a Problem? | nebraskaenergyobserver

  7. Pingback: Murder in the UK: Reflections on Terror

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