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Thursday, July 14, 2005

The development we had to have

The discovery of British suicide bombers is a shocking development in the London bombings. It is, of course, the worst possible situation. To understand why a group of young, British men decided to inflict maximum damage upon their own countrymen and women is almost too hard to understand and yet we must examine how it happened. Life in Leeds goes on but will never be the same again.

Pakistani blogger Zuffar Hali explains how the London attacks affect each and every Muslim:

"A tolerant, moderate Muslim feels as threatened by these as any one not Muslim - or indeed anyone under attack. And that's a simple fact which needs to be realized and appreciated by those readily pointing fingers in the predictable general direction of the 'Muslim Problem', et al."

The Sydney Morning Herald, aka Murdoch-lite, encourages a greater military commitment to Iraq and Afghanistan and yet appears unwilling or unable to understand the concept of cause and effect. Such deployments will only increase the chances of further attacks on Western cities.

We need to understand how these British men became indoctrinated and seemingly programmed to inflict carnage on July 7, 2005. Dismissing them as mad or simply bad will not be sufficient. The rate of suicide bombings in Iraq is extraordinarily high. What is driving these men to such acts? Indeed, if some of the bombers in Iraq are foreign fighters, is their ideology similar to the London attackers? If so, why?

Australian Zionist leader Colin Rubenstein argues that Islamic terror is created solely in the Islamic world while the West has no responsibility for that region's frustrations or anger. Rubenstein's world is akin to Bernard Lewis (who he quotes approvingly): Western values are good, wholesome and benign, while Islamic values are twisted and perverted.

Such racism may be acceptable in the Melbourne Age but they fundamentally misunderstand the source of terror and its root causes. The London attacks must force us to look at Islamic extremism as well as our own government's policies. They do not operate in isolation.


Anonymous Simon said...

I don't think 'Zionist' leader Rubinstein is saying Western values are benign; simply that values of democracy, freedom, limited government, etc, produce superior outcomes to despotism and dictatorship - labelling the former Western is inaccurate as Western encompasses a wide range of values and ideas, from Marx to Smith, from Aristotle to Neitsche, etc.

The bigger problem is that Islam has never been able to square itself philosophically/theologically with the secular state - creating the deadly certainties of the jihadis and their sympathisers. You can't argue that the Muslim world has not fallen behind, nor can you blame that entirely on the West - there are systematic problems with the way the culture organizes itself. I don't say this to be racist, but if you keep half your population sequestered at home making babies; support leaders who whether secular or religious do not respect the rule of law and rights to life and property; and believe that the greatest thing that could ever happen is the restoration of the mythical glory days of the Caliphate (with all the social structures that entails) with everyone ruled by the will/word of Allah, you are going to fall behind.

Lots of people are 'oppressed' in the world, or identify with others who are. Very few of them strap bombs on themselves and blow up innocents for glory and 72 virgins in the afterlife...(and who the hell wants 72 virgins anyway? I like my ladies with some experience! These dumb schmucks now have an eternity of springing for a really nice dinner without getting too drunk, paying for a classy hotel rooom, setting up candles around the bathtub, and awkward bad sex followed by tearful cuddling ahead of them! Hah!)

Thursday, July 14, 2005 11:33:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Multiculturalism must certainly be a sick system where people who are born and bred in a country are encouraged to have no allegiance to it. No doubt these suicide bombers would describe themselves as Pakistanis not British.

This same mindset could be found with the Lebanese gang rapists in Sydney. Despite being Australian born, they called themselves Lebanese and targeted Australian girls.

The van Gough murderer in Holland is another example of a 'native foreigner'.

It's not immigrants that are the problem, it's the children of immigrants. I wonder how long before assimilation is again considered by government as a sensible policy.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 11:34:00 am  
Anonymous the young-lib brigade said...

What the facts about the suicide bombers in London do is further undermine the whole 'poverty causes terrorism' school of thought.

What other reasons then could be given for what they did? Was it the invasion of iraq? I dont see the connection, these kids where from pakistan, they had never been to iraq, and totally not involved with the conflict. So nationalism can't be the reason for what they did.

We are left with the only available answer, fundamentalist islam. And remember we have had fundamentalist muslims carrying out terrorist attacks since the 60's.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 11:48:00 am  
Blogger Ambrose said...

I would usually leave most comments to the 'keeper' but anonymous predictable tirade against 'multiculturalism' cannot be left unchallenged.

So a whole policy which has allowed thousands of people to feel welcomed in Australia is 'sick' because of some bombs in London? or because some sexual criminals were of heritage which was not 'Australian' (whatever that means). If my memory serves me correctly some of the victims were also from a Non-English-Speaking Background, so where are they allocated in the scheme of things?

I have some misgivings about 'multiculturalism' because I always believed was a bit of a con. Migrants are only allowed to show their culture when it is seen as 'safe' (ie. food, dance etc) other cultural traits are not encouraged if they challenge the mainstream idea of a white predominantly anglo/celtic-centric Australia. That may not be necessarily a bad thing - but let's not delude ourselves that Australia is truly 'Multicultural'.

Coming back to the main point the experience of Australia in welcoming people of different cultures has been overall a success. Straw 'persons' are not going to alter this fact.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 2:28:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Thank you Guido, well said.
Yet another clueless 'Anon' strikes.
Back to the meat pies and three veg, racist Anon...

Thursday, July 14, 2005 2:48:00 pm  
Anonymous doylie said...

Simon, does your theory of Islamic states and secularism apply to Indonesia?

Anon, does your thoery of "native foreigners" apply to Australian bushrangers?

Thursday, July 14, 2005 3:52:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meat pies and three veg. But I'm of swedish background.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 3:56:00 pm  
Blogger Iqbal Khaldun said...

"Lots of people are 'oppressed' in the world, or identify with others who are. Very few of them strap bombs on themselves and blow up innocents for glory and 72 virgins in the afterlife...(and who the hell wants 72 virgins anyway? (sic)"

You are quite right, although perhaps not in the way you intended. I don't think the young girls trained by the Tamil Tigers or the Vietcong to blow themselves up bought into the who virgins in paradise thing. What about the flower of European youth which obediently trudge onto battlefields only to be mowed down by gattling guns?

Those who commit acts of terrorism do not consider their acts of terror. They consider them acts of war, and suicide attacks merely a weapon more readily available to them than cruise missiles or other more conventional weapons. They consider civilians legitimate targets. Why would they think this way? Because powerful nations do exactly the same thing. And because violence remains the most effective immediate method of coercion. That's the story of human history, championed by Western nations.

Of course an aggressor who possesses a sophisticated social set up (eg a nation state) has the luxury to have a regular army, media officers, etc. Not to mention the capacity to divest large portions of its population from the immediate focus of the violence. So, for example, after the French ethnically cleansed portions of Algeria, French settlers began creating communities on land to them might as well have been terra nullius (sound familiar? Probably not.). As we speak some of the finest scientists in the world are developing new bacteriological agents in laboratories in the US.

Now none of this provides a justification for acts of terrorism. In fact we need to actively combat such justifications, somehow. But it does aide in the process of beginning to understand what's going on. At least, that's what I think. Unfortunately people like Osama bin Laden more readily understand what more sensible people like us do not. That violence will instigate a response where more passive forms of resistence will not. As Malcolm X once said, the only thing that power respects is power. Then again, the Mahatma was also fond of maxims, and once said an eye for an eye makes the world blind. That might explain why no one trusts high school debaters.

The point of my rant is this. Even if we are aiming for a more benevolent world, we must first understand the language of cynacism. That process isn't helped by absolutist statements that completely avoid cause and effect, be they from the 'left' or 'right'.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 10:28:00 pm  

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