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  • Chapter one: the Tipping Point theory applied to terrorism


    by Sunny
    12th September, 2006 at 2:01 am    

    [The preface. The introduction]

    The problem with understanding and dealing with British-born terrorism has been the lack of a sufficiently useful narrative.

    I focus here on Britain because every country has varying factors that influence religious extremism. But that is not to say there are no similarities.

    Since 9/11 we have been provided with many explanations that purport to deal with terrorism. These have been theological (“Islam is the problem”), political (“foreign policy is the problem”), psychological (“these kids are mentally imbalanced”), sexual (“they’re not getting any, and there’s the 72 virgin thing”) and more.

    I have a slightly different take, but one that has potentially significant impact on how we approach the issue. I believe the problem of British-born terrorism is sociological and should thus be seen as a social epidemic. Let me explain.

    First popularised and outlined by Malcolm Gladwell in a book of the same name, the Tipping Point theory shows that a series of seemingly unrelated factors can come together at a particular point in time and suddenly create an epidemic that reaches its ‘tipping point’ and then explodes.

    Similarly we have to treat current events as a series of social phenomena.

    In my introduction I pointed out that violence in the name of faith has always been a scourge in religious societies. Given certain circumstances however this violence can explode and become an epidemic.

    It has happened numerous times in the past in Christian societies, with Sikhs in 1984 after Operation Bluestar and with Hindus in 1992 and 2002.

    In the British case a number of trends already in motion - the growing relevance of faith based identity, the proliferation of extremist religious groups etc - have combined with political turmoil in the Middle East and an imported ideology of using suicide bombing, exacerbated by other factors such as worsening foreign policy and media hysteria, to bring us where we are.

    There are more factors than the ones I mention and they need to be identified and explored in due course.

    To put it another way, a variety of factors have helped religious extremism explode out from the margins of society where it is traditionally banished to. This extremism has not only been given legitimacy but also recruited a much greater number of kids willing to commit mass murder in the name of their religion.

    In my view this cannot be treated as a political, criminal or theological problem. It has to be dealt with as a social problem and as an epidemic of religious extremism. Thus to deal with this epidemic we have to deal with the factors that influence it.

    Why this approach?

    The problem with current narratives is that they are not used to explain our state of affairs, but rather our state of affairs are being fitted into pre-existing agendas. Take two popular but ideologically opposed examples: the neo-con approach to terrorism, popularised in Britain by Melanie Phillips (among others), and the extreme-left approach, used by the Stop the War coalition, MCB, Respect Party and others.

    Let’s take the Melanie Phillips approach first. As I explain further in an upcoming review of her book Londonistan, Phillips and her ilk see Islamism as part of a broader problem - Britain’s declining state of moral and cultural values. According to her our general moral decay is being exacerbated by the government’s policy of multiculturalism, with minority groups (including “militant gays, feminists or ‘antiracists’”) being afforded too many rights.

    This approach is absurd for various reasons that I will delve into later. But primary among them is her denial that events in the Middle East should not have a radicalising effect on Britain’s Muslims, while simultaneously playing up links between British Jews and Israel. While I accept her insistence that our government was initially quite slow in recognising the danger posed by extremist Muslims groups, she does not offer any viable solution other than the bizarre notion that America and George Bush have the answers. That also falls flat since the country is more segregated and politically correct towards race issues that Britain and their president is stupendously incompetent on foreign policy.

    Similarly the extreme left has pounced on current events as part of its long standing anti-imperialist agenda. I will explain later why I find this patronising, bordering on racist, but it is clear that the extreme left is incapable of understanding events outside their class and anti-imperialist framework where anything America does is always bad and religious extremism is only seen through the eyes of anti-imperialist struggles.

    They see British born terrorism as a rational response to foreign policy, without taking into account previously existing religious extremists and their own agendas. As Thabet pointed out recently, it is patronising towards the vast majority of Muslims who don’t believe in violent retaliation based on teachings from the Qu’ran and elsewhere.

    Thus, neither narrative takes the other argument into account because it would be politically impossible for them to do so.

    It is worth noting another point. The modern suicide bomber has no identifiable profile that can be pinned down to a specific psychological or racial traits. Three of Hizballah’s Lebanese bombers were Christians.

    This argument works to the deteriment of both the above prevailing theories because, for the former, it focuses on local and political context and for the latter it says that religious extremism is in itself, without political context, a very dangerous force that needs confronting.

    Anyone under the delusion that terrorism only applies to people of a certain religion or race can be swiftly dealt with using historical facts. Put people in certain conditions and by and large they will behave the same. This is why terrorism has always been a social phenomenon.

    In my next chapter I will look at some of the factors.


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    1. soru — on 12th September, 2006 at 9:04 am  

      Good start.

      A couple of points:

      there is nothing specifically ´neo´ about Mel P´s conservatism, or those who share her ´Eurabia´ views. Be careful not to use neo-conservative to mean very-conservative.

      I am not sure you have correctly characterised the differences between the US and UK over race by saying they are ´more segregated and more politically correct´. It is more that they have an officially ´classless society´, in pretty much the same way that France has a ´raceless society´.

      This has pretty much the same consequences in both cases - if you deny something exists, how can you deal with it?

    2. Chris Stiles — on 12th September, 2006 at 9:45 am  

      Whats the difference between:


      They see British born terrorism as a rational response to foreign policy, without taking into account previously existing religious extremists and their own agendas.

      and


      Put people in certain conditions and by and large they will behave the same

    3. David T — on 12th September, 2006 at 9:50 am  

      Soru has said pretty much what I wanted to say re: Mel P

      Phillips and her ilk see Islamism as part of a broader problem - Britain’s declining state of moral and cultural values

      This is also essentially the line run by Boris Johnson in Farenheit 7/7: although in a less strident form.

      It is a very familiar traditional conservative trope: the notion that ‘our society is decadent and is going to hell in a handbucket’. Its a version of the “gays destroyed the Roman Empire” line.

      By contrast, I think that open and pluralist societies tend generally to win against societies which are autocratic monocultures: because they are flexible, and better an innovating, changing tack, and discovering new solutions. That’s basically what makes me a liberal.

      Mel P and the conservatives tend to worry that if our society doesn’t come together and act with fortitute to counter the undoubted danger of Islamism, then we lose and they win.

      I can see that concern: but I think it is more likely that the Islamists ultimately lose, because they are disorganised, feuding and inflexible: a terrible combination.

      But who knows - perhaps I’m wrong.

    4. Kismet Hardy — on 12th September, 2006 at 10:32 am  

      Don’t forget the Muslim world thought of Britain as friends before they went into Iraq. Anyone who has young relatives back home will have noticed a huge shift from fondness to disdain within days of the Iraq war. American ‘intelligence’ would love us to believe that they foiled a plot to blow up Canary Wharf around the same time as 11/9. Utter bollocks. Young Muslims here hadn’t heard of Al-Qaeda (let’s face it, bugger all people had before the propaganda machine built them up to be the monster it is today) and anyone who thinks something like 7/7 would have happenned if Britain didn’t lick America’s anus is a moron.

    5. Leon — on 12th September, 2006 at 10:39 am  

      Very interesting piece Sunny, also worth a read is this on “transferable grievance”: http://www.opendemocracy.net/faith-europe_islam/grievance_3889.jsp

    6. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 11:16 am  

      Kismet Hardy you come close to being an apologist for terrorism in that post. As for British Muslims not knowing extremism before September 2001 all I can say is pleeeez….who are you trying to kid? I had certainly heard of Bin Laden before 9/11 - I remember reading a massive article on him in the Guardian after the Nairobi bombings which killed 300 Africans. I also remember sharing a computer room with a group of Al Muhajiroun activists at a campus in London when I did my MSc in 2000 and sitting in disgust as they cheered when they read on the news that there had been a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv and then they went around shouting that they were going to bomb Downing Street next. I had come to expect that kind of jaanwar behaviour from those people and so could stomach my disgust; the groups of white women who were mature students in the room (some of whom could have been Jewish for all I know) were horrified and terrified.

      They also did all they could do disrupt Sikh society meetings almost leading to a full scale religious riot on one occasion and they just blatantly intimidated Hindu students with threats and piss taking.

      And guess what? One of the guys picked up in the anti-terrorist arrests 4 weeks ago is the leader of the Islamic student society at that University where I sat a module of my masters. I also remember when those two lads from Derby and Hounslow went to Israel to blow themselves up also in 2000. I remember the posters they put up all over the university for one of their meetings saying ‘Ramadan: The Time for Jihad?” with rifles and machine guns imposed on pictures of the Koran. This has been an epidemic for a long long time now.

      Bin Laden’s tapes were selling in Islamic bookstores in Derby and London before 9/11 - the Times wrote a report about this. The trouble with your references and depiction of anal arse licking and all is that it is the inverse of those who bleat that the end of the world is nigh if all Muslims are not interned. You’re just two sides of the same coin, one in denial, the other hysterical. Both attitudes stink.

      But I do think your jokes about bums tits and cocks are funny though.

    7. Sahil — on 12th September, 2006 at 11:22 am  

      Have you guys read this article, I think people are waking up from the simple huntingdon analysis:

      http://hir.harvard.edu/articles/1362/

      It’s a pretty solid analysis, and quite obvious to anyone who has first hand experience with muslim and middle-eastern culture.

    8. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 11:24 am  

      The modern suicide bomber has no identifiable profile that can be pinned down to a specific psychological or racial traits

      That’s not true Sunny. There most certainly will be identifiable psychological traits and even broad identifiable social stratas. It’s not Mrs Khan aged 54 who runs a salwaar kameez shop in Slough who is going to be a suicide bomber. It is likely to be men who have come into contact with certain ideologies and been hot housed into extremism from a variety of backgrounds - could be Pakistani, Somali or white or black convert. In seeking to deny the fixed and intrinsic nature of the problem the solution is not to deny that there are certain broad attributes, the solution is to assert that there a broad range of variables with certain common patterns, none of which are binding or exclusive or universal.

    9. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 11:30 am  

      David T

      Do you think Boris Johnson could even write a book? I think you are referring to Michael Gove’s Celsius 7/7?

    10. Kismet Hardy — on 12th September, 2006 at 11:37 am  

      Jagdeep, while I wouldn’t dream to question that those in the intellectual circle you dwell in were well versed in the disruptive influence of Laden & Co, it is an undeniable fact that the infinitely less educated youths that act upon reactions from the gut and the jerk of the knee, didn’t think of Britain as the enemy. If it weren’t for the hysteria, as you so rightly put it, that came from both pro and anti war feeling, these kids would be busy joining gangs to battle racists or rival gangs to vent their rage. Instead, the Iraq war gave them an outlet and a far bigger enemy. It gave them a cause. Am I justifying terrorists? Not really. Just highlighting an extremely probable reason for it.

      And just to reiterate the fact that bin Laden was made to become this unseen kingpin for their causes, you only have to look at Abu Hamza to see how the propaganda machine can give power to a relatively useless scaremonger into a warrior of the people

      Bottom line: If America hadn’t gone round the world directly and indirectly fucking up Muslim nations, there wouldn’t be this Islasmic unity you see today. People used to identify themselves by their country, even the tiny region in the country they originated from, now you can have an Saudi, Somalian and a Pakistani board the same plane as brothers united against a common enemy

      Well done

    11. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 11:45 am  

      KH

      I don’t dwell among intellectuals, and your contention that there wasnt murderous Islamic extremism brewing in this country before 2001 or Iraq is sententious bollocks. Muslims were identifying as an Ummah over their race or nationality since the Rushdie affair. There had even been British sucide bombers in Israel and Kashmir before that. It just doesnt stand up (ooo er) Like I said, your position is one of denial and the inverse and as helpful as that of the Melanie Phillip’s of the world.

    12. Kismet Hardy — on 12th September, 2006 at 11:50 am  

      Israel, yes. Kashmir, yes. America, yes.

      Right or wrong, all those places have given those desperate/angry/evil reason to kill

      What did Britain do?

      They went to Iraq ergo 7/7

      That’s all I’m saying

      (Look mum, someone’s talking clever to me)

    13. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 11:54 am  

      So, you do accept that there has been a massive problem of murderous Islamist extremism in this society brewing for a long time, in fact since the 1990s? Good.

      Now tell a joke about bums and tits or something to defuse the tension. It’s getting as tense as a suicide bombers arse cheeks ten seconds before detonation here.

    14. Leon — on 12th September, 2006 at 12:00 pm  

      Neither of your claims have any real context; what are the figures you both have in mind when you talk about the extent of this problem?

    15. Sahil — on 12th September, 2006 at 12:02 pm  

      “Neither of your claims have any real context; what are the figures you both have in mind when you talk about the extent of this problem?”

      Ditto, lets get a little more precise than using example like: some muslim guys made fun of me or Chavlims are running in their masses shouting for Jihad, because of Iraq.

    16. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 12:03 pm  

      Figures for what Leon?

    17. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 12:06 pm  

      Sahil - I think the existence of suicide bombers indicates that there is a problem, don’t you think?

    18. nyrone — on 12th September, 2006 at 12:12 pm  

      While any alternative approach to attempting an understanding of the crucial issues of religious extremism and it’s consequences within the UK should be applauded, I don’t see how bringing the sociological angle into the debate brings anything radically new to the table. In fact, by splitting up probable causes (foreign policy, theological) and then proposing something that naturally encompasses all of them, it feels like the main reason for this set hypothesis is to claim something different and original, but it’s neither. Also, was the ‘sexual’ reason for terrorism a joke?

      If religious extremism, like a caged animal was let out of its hole to go wild after the tipping point was reached, how did it become that way in the first place? While it’s true that a ‘boiling pot’ exists, the individual criticisms of structures, rules and laws that allowed each element to begin boiling in the first place need to be carefully examined. By accepting that the ‘tipping point’ is almost undeniably an enormous factor in the madness we have today, let’s be sure not to detract from the individual root causes that contribute towards that very tipping point.

      I think what I am having problems understanding here, is this insistence on calling it a ‘sociological’ problem that cannot be treated as either political or criminal. Surely, they must be inter-linked and therefore be subject to varying judgments based on its various elements? All the issues discussed are a complicated melting pot melee of negativities that collectively go into bringing a person to the edge of a cliff. It can never be simplified, and it should be dealt with politically and theologically, because one has ramifications on the other.

      The root causes of social problems can still be dealt with in a way that references the fact it was a criminal action. Human beings in the darkest corners still have freewill, and that means that not everything can be blamed from a behavioral perspective. .

      Nonetheless, an excellent piece of work Sunny.
      Thought-provoking and deeply-written.
      I look forward to reading the factors article next.

    19. Kismet Hardy — on 12th September, 2006 at 12:12 pm  

      Terrorists aren’t born that way. They’re made to be that way.

      Whether it’s a product of free will, brainwashing or the standard angry at the world, something triggers them into thinking: ‘Fuck this, I’ve had enough. I’m gonna kill someone.’

      Take the NF in the 70s. Not everyone involved in Paki bashing or chanting ‘trigger, trigger shoot that nigger’ were signed up to the NF or the Chelse Headhunters. But all those white kids who thought life sucked were given a common enemy: foreigners. That slowly changed because other groups turned up to give the rest of the disaffected youth were given something to strive for, be that uni kids joining anti-racist groups or Asian kids joining the Holy Smokes.

      Pissed-off kids need someone to fight. Need a group to identify with. Even the chickenshit will wear a Slipknot T-shirt to show the rest of the world that inside, he’s a mean motherfucker.

      The Muslim British Asians that turned into terrorist found all of this in The Cause to stand up to America. Imagine the glory that’s instilled in the heart of a kid who thinks life is pointless. Fuck the Holy Smokes, now he can be part of the Holy Jihad. The British government triggered this in them the day they went to war against the Muslim world.

      And just to show I’m not one-track minded by blaming all this on the British government, I think a lot of the fault lies in Asian parents who send their kids back home because they’re westernised. Imagine. You’re 18, you have an English girlfriend, you smoke dope with your pals, suddenly you’re in a madrassa in mirpur, depressed as hell, surrounded by bearded men preaching at you 27/7. It’s enough to drive anyone, well, suicidal…

    20. Kismet Hardy — on 12th September, 2006 at 12:15 pm  

      Oh okay jagdeep.

      Two bums in a bath

      One says: ‘where’s the soap?’

      The other one says: ‘it does, doesn’t it?’

    21. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 12:18 pm  

      The British government triggered this in them the day they went to war against the Muslim world

      Why were British Muslims blowing themselves up before Iraq then?

      The process of extremism that leads to the acts of suicide bombing trains and buses was not trigerred by the government, it was trigerred by Muslim extremists themselves and was brewing and in preparation for a long time.

      And just to show I’m not one-track minded by blaming all this on the British government, I think a lot of the fault lies in Asian parents who send their kids back home because they’re westernised. Imagine. You’re 18, you have an English girlfriend, you smoke dope with your pals, suddenly you’re in a madrassa in mirpur, depressed as hell, surrounded by bearded men preaching at you 27/7. It’s enough to drive anyone, well, suicidal…

      So the triggering factor is an external person who pushes them to become meat for the Jihad? Seems like you might be in agreement with me KH….

    22. Sahil — on 12th September, 2006 at 12:19 pm  

      “Sahil - I think the existence of suicide bombers indicates that there is a problem, don’t you think?”

      DO what extent? That’s the point. If you believe that all muslims in the UK subscribe to Al Muhajiroun’s views, I’m pretty sure you’re wrong. Just as you were arguing on another thread that not all white people are skinheads. Do I think there is a problem? Yes I do, but I also think there is a lot of hype, which various parties are benefitting from, whilst many others are getting screwed.

    23. Sunny — on 12th September, 2006 at 12:20 pm  

      Jagdeep - That these Chavlims existed and went around calling for Jihad during Ramadan is undeniable. I’ve not discounted that in my narrative. Religious extremism does exist in all Asian societies and a series of factors made it grow larger in the Muslim community. That is my honest observation.

      But what we’re talking here is about the growth of that extremism out of its traditional circles into a wider pool, that makes it much more easier for these extremists to gain support and recruits.

      I would have been happier if the authorities were more vigilant initially in stopping Al-Muhajiroun and Hizb ut-Tahrir in their tracks and stopping them taking over uni campuses. But I guess they were happy to turn a blind eye. Now we’re only making things worse.

    24. Kismet Hardy — on 12th September, 2006 at 12:21 pm  

      ‘Why were British Muslims blowing themselves up before Iraq then?’

      Were they? Where? Not in Britain they weren’t. Educate me.

      But really, you guys are making the mistake of looking for intellectual reasons behind a stupid young kid blowing himself up

      It’s really quite simple

      He’s. A. Stupid. Young. Kid

    25. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 12:21 pm  

      KH I like you too much to argue with you on this. Let’s agree to disagree.

    26. nyrone — on 12th September, 2006 at 12:22 pm  

      Speaking of tension and blowing-up in 10 seconds….Has anyone seen the superb Indian movie ‘The Terrorist’? The one with the gorgeous cinematography?

      It follows a young girl to the place where she may or may not detonate herself, I loved that film for how non-judgmental it was. It simply showed us her journey, without ramming their politics down our necks.
      rite! Play.com it is….

    27. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 12:26 pm  

      If you believe that all muslims in the UK subscribe to Al Muhajiroun’s views, I’m pretty sure you’re wrong

      Yeah I would be if I thought I said that. But I don’t. So your response is, kind of superfluous.

    28. Kismet Hardy — on 12th September, 2006 at 12:27 pm  

      Oh Jagdeep, my mum’s online. Let’s just agree that I won, you lost and now mum has to let me out of my cellar because I’ve proved I can look after myself and I promise I won’t touch the bus conductor’s boobies like I did the last time I was allowed out

      See mum. See? I can talk to people. People LIKE me. I didn’t ask to born, you know

      Please give me food

    29. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 12:29 pm  

      Are you on the sex offenders register KH?

    30. Kismet Hardy — on 12th September, 2006 at 12:34 pm  

      I tripped for fuck’s sake. Her boobies just got in the way. It cushioned the blo. Softly, gently, like squishy pillows

    31. Kismet Hardy — on 12th September, 2006 at 12:36 pm  

      wet, juicy, squishy pillows. Like a dog had slobbered all over it. Big round bouncy bouncy

      Need toilet

    32. Sahil — on 12th September, 2006 at 12:38 pm  

      “Yeah I would be if I thought I said that. But I don’t. So your response is, kind of superfluous.”

      Well you’ve said there is a problem, I’m asking you: to what extent is there a problem? Are whole sections of muslim society ready to blow up, or is it just a few nutters? SOme kind of precision or research would be useful. How is that superfluous?

    33. Sunny — on 12th September, 2006 at 12:42 pm  

      Other points:

      Soru - you’re right. I need to differentiate between MP’s views and those of the neo-cons a bit more. Will do it soon.

      Chris - Sorry, have to run but will explain more. Briefly, the first quote refers to them trying to legitimise suicide bombing whereas I think it requires a particularly huge leap of faith and specific conditions (that don’t make it a “normal” position to take) that they are discounting. Those conditions don’t go away (such es extremism) even if you take away the original cause (political warfare). And I don’t think their analysis is sophisticated enough.

      David T - agreed.

      Nyrone, thanks

    34. Sunny — on 12th September, 2006 at 12:47 pm  

      Can we please keep the conversation on topic here.

    35. Kismet Hardy — on 12th September, 2006 at 12:52 pm  

      Sunny… It’s Jagdeep’s fault. I was happy talking about terrorism, but he insisted I talk about bums

      Anyhoo, we should consider the fact that terrorists don’t actually see themselves as such. A lot of them see the western goliaths bombing the shit out of Muslim countries and the David in them can’t help but notice the lack of Muslim armies fighting back. They are self-appointed soldiers and the western world gave them Osama as their general-in-command

    36. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 12:52 pm  

      Sahil, I don’t think that all Muslims are in league with the Al Muhajiroun mindset. So your question:

      If you believe that all muslims in the UK subscribe to Al Muhajiroun’s views, I’m pretty sure you’re wrong

      You see, I dont believe that, so your question to me is superfluous in the first place, because I do not believe that.

      Now, there is a problem. The extent to which the problem exists in quantifiable terms as to the numbers of people is difficult to say. It might be complicated by the amount of people who have closet sympathies with the extremist mindset but are otherwise normal people and are not actively involved in plots to kill people.

      But for example there are many hundreds, if not thousands, who are actively involved in plotting acts of terrorism. There are also various polls which indicate a certain degree of support for extremist acts and views, although I always take opinion polls like that with a certain amount of scepticism.

      So, the problem exists. It exists to a significant enough extent in a minority to be unhealthy and poisonous to our society, affecting the relations between individuals and groups, breaking bonds of trust, fomenting hatred and bigotry, and is actually at some level a threat to life.

    37. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 12:56 pm  

      I think the Davids are the people on the Underground and on buses with nothing but their sandwiches and newspapers and the Goliaths are the men with bombs strapped to their chests.

    38. Kismet Hardy — on 12th September, 2006 at 1:01 pm  

      In that case, David is a paranoid fucker. The Goliath they fear so much are more products of their imagination than based on everyday reality

    39. Kismet Hardy — on 12th September, 2006 at 1:08 pm  

      I’m sorry but just because they say there are thousands of Muslims in Britain today who are plotting mass murder doesn’t mean it’s true. This intelligence comes from the same people who shoot innocent people by mistake, keep people locked up without trial, provide little satisfactory evidence after whipping up hysteria on a global scale, and get their information by torturing people

    40. Sahil — on 12th September, 2006 at 1:13 pm  

      “But for example there are many hundreds, if not thousands, who are actively involved in plotting acts of terrorism. There are also various polls which indicate a certain degree of support for extremist acts and views, although I always take opinion polls like that with a certain amount of scepticism.

      So, the problem exists. It exists to a significant enough extent in a minority to be unhealthy and poisonous to our society, affecting the relations between individuals and groups, breaking bonds of trust, fomenting hatred and bigotry, and is actually at some level a threat to life. ”

      Can you give me a source that says there are thousands of terrorists in the UK plotting mass destruction? Not even the government has said that, so I don’t know how you make these claims.

      As for the polls, like you said, vary significantly with the framing of the question posed: do you agree with the values of the British Govt compared to do you agree with the values of the British? Pretty close, but totally different things, but papers never bother mentioning their methadology or sampling.

      I don’t think anyone’s got any numbers in relation to the no. of nutters ready to blow themselves up now. What you do have is a media, that selects the loudest commentators and portrays their comments as representative. LIke I said before people are not monolithic, they have free-will, and they should be treated as such.

    41. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 1:15 pm  

      No KH, I really do believe that if I am on a train wearing my new silk tie that my wife just bought me, my briefcase and i-pod in hand, thinking of my children as I squeeze into the compartment taking us into work, and there is a guy standing next to me with a bomb strapped to his chest, thinking of becoming a martyr for what he is about to do, I really think that in that situation I am the David and he is the Goliath.

    42. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 1:18 pm  

      Sahil the police recently said that it was monitoring thousands of people. However, if you are of the belief that they are lying, then it won’t mean anything to you.

      I don’t think anyone’s got any numbers in relation to the no. of nutters ready to blow themselves up now. What you do have is a media, that selects the loudest commentators and portrays their comments as representative. LIke I said before people are not monolithic, they have free-will, and they should be treated as such.

      Right. So essentially it is the medias fault, and is all a fabrication, and there is nothing to worry or be concerened about?

      Why are you specifically arguing against me? You are erecting a lot of straw men in my direction. When did I say or suggest that people are ‘monolithic’? And what does denying people ‘free-will’ have anything to do with what I have said?

    43. Leon — on 12th September, 2006 at 1:24 pm  

      If we’re going to talk about polls I’d suggest reading and thinking over the following: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/731

    44. Kismet Hardy — on 12th September, 2006 at 1:32 pm  

      Well if we’re going to talk polls and statistics, you’re 98765000.7 times more likely to get robbed, stabbed or bumbanged on your way to Tescos than you are getting blown to smithereens

    45. Sahil — on 12th September, 2006 at 1:35 pm  

      “Sahil the police recently said that it was monitoring thousands of people. However, if you are of the belief that they are lying, then it won’t mean anything to you.

      I don’t think anyone’s got any numbers in relation to the no. of nutters ready to blow themselves up now. What you do have is a media, that selects the loudest commentators and portrays their comments as representative. LIke I said before people are not monolithic, they have free-will, and they should be treated as such.

      Right. So essentially it is the medias fault, and is all a fabrication, and there is nothing to worry or be concerened about?

      Why are you specifically arguing against me? You are erecting a lot of straw men in my direction. When did I say or suggest that people are ‘monolithic’? And what does denying people ‘free-will’ have anything to do with what I have said?”

      SO monitering 1000s of people is the same as 100s or 1000s of Jihadis planning attacks? Where does that sematic jump come from? BTW could you link me to that police report?

      I’m not saying the media’s fabricating anything (bit off topic), I’m saying that they frame the debate. SO only having the loudest voices on, is not exactly respresentative, is it? Where are the muslim lawyers, or teachers, or doctors. Nobody is asking them their views, rather they keep asking these nutters from Al Muhajiroun to keep coming on newsnight.

      What do you mean I’m only arguing against you, I don’t agree with your analysis, so I write that I don’t agree with you and why, that’s what this blog is for, no?

      As for the straw men, I’m sorry if that’s not your belief, but you do make sweeping generalisations without any evidence. You argued in another thread about the skinheads planning attacks that extrapolating their views onto all white people is wrong. I totally agree. I’m not sitting here asking for ‘white’ community leaders to condemn neo-nazis, or look at this ‘deeply rooted problem’ in ‘white’ society. I’m saying these guys are nutters, who acted in freewill and should tossed in jail, thats it. I’m not going to draw specious conclusions from this incident. Why can’t the same be said of these nutters who blow up people?

    46. David T — on 12th September, 2006 at 1:36 pm  

      Do you think Boris Johnson could even write a book? I think you are referring to Michael Gove’s Celsius 7/7?

      Whoops - had to rush off to a meeting and my brain was not in gear!

      The trouble with your references and depiction of anal arse licking and all is that it is the inverse of those who bleat that the end of the world is nigh if all Muslims are not interned. You’re just two sides of the same coin, one in denial, the other hysterical. Both attitudes stink.

      Spot on.

      We might also ask why Germany was targetted a fortnight ago.

      Abu Hamza was treated as a clown - more gob than action - by everybody from the gutter press to the security services. However, he was in effect running an academy from which graduated a series of national and international terrorists.

      Ummah consciousness is a product of the failure of socialism and nationalism, and the success of religious-political movements: which are very often the only political opposition movements capable of operating in authoritarian states, which have stifled any other form of dissent.

      In the UK, the relatively low - but worrying - level of jihadism is largely a manifestation of identity crisis manifesting itself in terms of individuals choosing a rather exciting and subversity ‘gang’ identity.

      I like the idea of “Chavlims”

    47. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 1:39 pm  

      Sahil, you just did it again. You just set up your straw man again. You keep doing this. I don’t believe or state that the extremists represent all Muslims, you are making a straw man, stuffing him, sticking a hat on him and standing him up and shooting at him. I can’t discuss things with someone whose argument to me is based on an hallucination.

    48. Sahil — on 12th September, 2006 at 1:45 pm  

      “Sahil, you just did it again. You just set up your straw man again. You keep doing this. I don’t believe or state that the extremists represent all Muslims, you are making a straw man, stuffing him, sticking a hat on him and standing him up and shooting at him. I can’t discuss things with someone whose argument to me is based on an hallucination.”

      How are you getting this impression from my post?

    49. Kismet Hardy — on 12th September, 2006 at 1:45 pm  

      You lot are wasting your time with straw men. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack (assuming your penis is shaped like a needle and you keep losing it when you’re fucking it). Convert you fools. Convert to inflatable sheep

    50. Sahil — on 12th September, 2006 at 1:46 pm  

      LOL

    51. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 1:46 pm  

      SO monitering 1000s of people is the same as 100s or 1000s of Jihadis planning attacks? Where does that sematic jump come from? BTW could you link me to that police report?

      The ‘semantic jump’ is another hallucination Sahil.


      Terror police ‘monitor thousands’

    52. Rakhee — on 12th September, 2006 at 1:47 pm  

      I think this discussion is slightly confused because I’m not sure what the fundamental question is within this thread (and no KH, it isn’t anything to do with anyone’s private parts ;) )

      Some of the core questions are:
      1. What causes people to conduct acts of terrorism?
      2. How do we best deal with terrorism as a country?
      or
      3. What is fuelling the spread of terrorist activity in the UK?”.

      I know they are all intrinsically linked but the debate is too large at the minute and I get the feeling we seem to be losing direction.

      There is a difference between root causes (e.g. anything from activists bearing grudges from what has happened in history to a young kid feeling loss of identity, resentment and thus easy prey to recruit and brainwash), adding fuel to fire (e.g. the idiot that is George W Bush, the media etc) and the best way to deal with it (sociologically or otherwise).

      Can anyone help me out here?

    53. Kismet Hardy — on 12th September, 2006 at 1:49 pm  

      Sahil & Jagdeep: you’re like a married couple

      Jagdeep: I don’t like this
      Sahil: You never like that
      Jagdeep: I do like that. I’m saying I don’t like this
      Sahil: You said you didn’t like that
      Jagdeep: No i didn’t. I said I like that but I don’t like this. Can we talk about this?
      Sahil: Oh we always have to talk about what YOU want to talk about don’t we?
      Jagdeep: No, I’m just making the point that I was talking about this but you keep insisting I’m talking about that
      Sahil: Why do you have to twist everything I say?
      Jagdeep: Look, can we stop this.
      Sahil: Ha! Now you want to talk about this don’t you, now that it suits you?
      Jagdeep: Where did you get that from?
      Sahil: Admit it. You hate my mother

    54. nyrone — on 12th September, 2006 at 1:50 pm  

      @ Kismet

      That might be true, but the ramifications of terrorism are (sadly) more interesting to behold because they present drama and theatrics! It’s showbiz baby!
      Rags to riches, mild-mannered kid turns psycho, planes blowing up mid-air, collective punishment heaped upon communities, opposing factions that spit bile at each other, martyrdom, long fluffy beards….WE NEED OUR DAILY DOSE OF BLOODSHED!

      I am of course…only half-joking.
      I perpetually question whether debates end up becoming football-sparring matches, where people attempt to do what they criticize others of doing…trying to convert other people to their way of thinking.

    55. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 1:53 pm  

      Sahil you’re being disingenuous. I don’t really care about that, but when you come out with lines like this:

      As for the straw men, I’m sorry if that’s not your belief, but you do make sweeping generalisations without any evidence.

      And then caricature (hallucinate) my views and contrast them with yours:

      I’m saying these guys are nutters, who acted in freewill and should tossed in jail, thats it. I’m not going to draw specious conclusions from this incident. Why can’t the same be said of these nutters who blow up people?

      When I told you already I don’t believe that the extremists are anything other than a dangerous minority, you’re just debating in bad faith, and disingenuously. You see, it doesnt actually make any difference to my opinion on things, but if you keep misrepresenting my views and beliefs, or set up straw men, or try to implicate me into another set of arguments, it’s all so pointless.

    56. Kismet Hardy — on 12th September, 2006 at 1:53 pm  

      (devil’s advocate warning)

      1. What causes people to conduct acts of terrorism?
      Anger at the way the western governments are killing innocent Muslims.

      2. How do we best deal with terrorism as a country?
      Stop killing innocent Muslims.

      3. What is fuelling the spread of terrorist activity in the UK?”.
      The fact that most people in Britain are now on the side of those that kill innocent Muslims

    57. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 1:54 pm  

      That sounds more like you an me debating KH

    58. Leon — on 12th September, 2006 at 1:54 pm  

      ROFL @ Kismet!

    59. Sahil — on 12th September, 2006 at 1:55 pm  

      “The ’semantic jump’ is another hallucination Sahil.”

      WHat hallucination. You said in a post above that 1000s of people are actively involved in terrorist plots. I asked you where you got this info from. You said the police was monitoring 1000s of people. I asked how does monitering people, make them actively pursuing terrorism? Frankly I totally understand the need to monitor 1000s of people, as the bigger the torchlight, the more likely you’ll pick up terror activites. But not everyone monitered need be actively involved in terrorism. I’m not calling you anti-muslim or anything, I’m saying I don’t agree with your analysis, and you’re being imprecise with you statistics and conclusions.

    60. nyrone — on 12th September, 2006 at 1:55 pm  

      Just picked this up..
      Could Bush’s speeches get any more epic?
      pssssh! Wanker

      Below: article from Bloomberg

      By Catherine Dodge and Kim Chipman
      Sept. 11 (Bloomberg) — President George W. Bush will tell
      the American public tonight that the outcome of the war against
      terrorism will “set the course” of the world for the rest of
      the century and determine the destiny of millions of people.
      “If we do not defeat these enemies now, we will leave our
      children to face a Middle East overrun by terrorist states and
      radical dictators armed with nuclear weapons,” Bush will say,
      according to excerpts of his speech to the nation later tonight
      that the White House released.

    61. Sid — on 12th September, 2006 at 1:57 pm  

      ROFL @ Kismet 2

    62. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 1:57 pm  

      1. What causes people to conduct acts of terrorism?

      -Extremist ideology

      2. How do we best deal with terrorism as a country?

      -Combatting the extremist ideology at root and through policing and intelligence.

      3. What is fuelling the spread of terrorist activity in the UK

      - The dissemination of extremist ideology and apologists for that ideology within society.

    63. Sahil — on 12th September, 2006 at 1:58 pm  

      “Sahil & Jagdeep: you’re like a married couple

      Jagdeep: I don’t like this
      Sahil: You never like that
      Jagdeep: I do like that. I’m saying I don’t like this
      Sahil: You said you didn’t like that
      Jagdeep: No i didn’t. I said I like that but I don’t like this. Can we talk about this?
      Sahil: Oh we always have to talk about what YOU want to talk about don’t we?
      Jagdeep: No, I’m just making the point that I was talking about this but you keep insisting I’m talking about that
      Sahil: Why do you have to twist everything I say?
      Jagdeep: Look, can we stop this.
      Sahil: Ha! Now you want to talk about this don’t you, now that it suits you?
      Jagdeep: Where did you get that from?
      Sahil: Admit it. You hate my mother”

      LOL, don’t any of you punks make fun of my mummy, I’ll do a Zizou ;)

    64. Kismet Hardy — on 12th September, 2006 at 1:59 pm  

      (PS while it’s an undeniable fact that a lot of hardcore mullah types want to board the jihad express and recreate ottoman on earth, it’;s worth considering that most young dissafected youths who are sympathetic to their causes don’t want to see the west go back to the dark ages. They see images of dead kids in palestine and Iraq and in their heads, they are standing up to injustice)

    65. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:01 pm  

      Standing up to injustice by killing people on trains?

      KH, you know in India there are Hindu extremists who think they are involved in a millenarian struggle against Islam and Muslim aggression and stand up to the injustices of Hindus being killed by killing innocent Muslims in India?

    66. Leon — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:01 pm  

      ROFL @ Sid 1

    67. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:04 pm  

      Sahil I like you, because you say things like this:

      I asked how does monitering people, make them actively pursuing terrorism? Frankly I totally understand the need to monitor 1000s of people, as the bigger the torchlight, the more likely you’ll pick up terror activites. But not everyone monitered need be actively involved in terrorism.

      Hmmmm yeah….so there are thousands of people being monitored for being involved in some way with the planning of terrorist offences, but because some of them may not be involved, it is in no way an indication that there is a serious problem with people being involved in this, and so there is nothing to worry about.

      God bless ya!

    68. Sid — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:05 pm  

      Jagdeep

      You seem to have one single point which, with much padding, histrionics and self-eulogy, you make time and time again. And the point is:

      British-born terrorists are most likely to be Pakistani lads from polarised, insular communities who are more likely than most to gravitate towards nihilstic interpretations of Islam as espoused by extreme political outfits from Hizbut to Hamas.

      This we know. Has anyone doubted this? No one on PP that I’ve read. But more importantly, do you have any solutions?

    69. soru — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:07 pm  

      Rakhee: good questions.

      Personally, I think the starting point for the debate should be the fact that terrorism isn´t actually illegal under UK law. If you travel to India or Algeria, shoot an armed policeman, and travel back, you have, as I understand it, committed no prosecutable or extraditable crime under UK law. Consequently, newspapers will refer to you as ´ínnocent´ even if they hold photos of you standing over the dead man´s body with a gun in hand and your foot on his chest, smiling.

      It´s an old English tradition that dates back to Byron in Greece, Cochrane in South America, the Spanish civil war, and so on. Going and joining in someone else´s war for fun or profit is hardly even discouraged by the authorities. Half the mercenaries in the world are british.

      The thing is, if people are routinely going off and doing that, and the police talk of hundreds of british who have killed in Kashmir alone, there can be little surprise if some of them sometimes decide to work from home instead of commuting.

    70. Sahil — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:11 pm  

      “Hmmmm yeah….so there are thousands of people being monitored for being involved in some way with the planning of terrorist offences, but because some of them may not be involved, it is in no way an indication that there is a serious problem with people being involved in this, and so there is nothing to worry about.

      God bless ya! ”

      Okay this is the opening paragraph of the article you’d linked:

      “Police in the UK are keeping watch on “thousands of people” who may be involved in terrorism, Scotland Yard’s head of counter-terrorism says.”

      Do you see the word MAY. How does that translate into definately planning appaling attack. A simple example: my buddy Emaad’s phone was tapped and he got a visit from the police at his place. Luckily me and him had a bit of a bender at his place the previous night, and the floor was littered with beer cans, and some pot. They quickly realised that we’re a bunch of drunk bums and decided not to monitor Emaad’s phone anymore, as we’re not likely to go blow up people on the tube.

      As for god, forget about it, we have issues ;)

    71. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:11 pm  

      Hi Sid

      Nice to meet you too! This is just me shooting the breeze, I’m sorry for personally offending you. Solutions? Combatting the delusions of those who think there is not a problem or that the problem is not one with deep roots nurtured over the last ten or fifteen years (see discussions here and elsewhere) will help in some way.

      Also see my post number 62 in which I suggest this very same thing.

    72. Sid — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:13 pm  

      soru

      thats some dry-ass humour that you’re throwing down there, you scamp.

    73. Kismet Hardy — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:13 pm  

      ‘Standing up to injustice by killing people on trains?”

      There were only four of them

    74. Sahil — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:14 pm  

      “Personally, I think the starting point for the debate should be the fact that terrorism isn´t actually illegal under UK law. If you travel to India or Algeria, shoot an armed policeman, and travel back, you have, as I understand it, committed no prosecutable or extraditable crime under UK law. Consequently, newspapers will refer to you as ´ínnocent´ even if they hold photos of you standing over the dead man´s body with a gun in hand and your foot on his chest, smiling.”

      Really?? That’s fucked up. Do you have any links that I can get more info. Thanks

    75. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:16 pm  

      Sahil

      Our discussions have already been satirised, and I think you are engaging in semantic sophistry on this matter, so we aint going to get anywhere fast and I can’t help smile when I read your comebacks now, because they are fine examples of something or another. So, what’s the weather like where you are?

    76. Kismet Hardy — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:17 pm  

      It’s hot in here. Perhaps it’s time for a new gimp suit

      Mother!

    77. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:17 pm  

      There were only four of them

      Oh yeah, I forgot. That’s alright then.

    78. Sahil — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:18 pm  

      “Sahil

      Our discussions have already been satirised, and I think you are engaging in semantic sophistry on this matter, so we aint going to get anywhere fast and I can’t help smile when I read your comebacks now, because they are fine examples of something or another. So, what’s the weather like where you are?”

      Well okay, so you’re not going to give me a source that says, 1000s of muslims ACTIVELY pursuing terrorist attacks in the UK.

    79. nyrone — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:19 pm  

      EEEAAANNNNYWAYS, Kismet, you may be right that’s it’s just one angry kid and his simple reasons for doing what he does are not hard to understand, but this rigorous dissection of contributing factors in this madness is necessary because this bullshit is gonna affect our prevailing generation and scar the world in various ways for a long time.

      I think that much of what happens to people in Palestine, Iraq and Tibet is beyond our comprehension. It’s like the ‘heart of darkness’ where Marlon Brando is, that black oily darkness that we can only read about or see, never feel, a tunnel of fear. Another example is that when you and someone you hate (possibly a family member!) have a MAD BLISTERING LAST-DAY-ON-EARTH argument, you CAN get to that point where you are shaking hard, trembling, and have little control of your faculties, it’s almost like the circumstances have raped you, and all it takes is a pin drop for you to explode.

      A pin falls and that last space of refugee is removed.
      People are deeply unhappy, why don’t we figure out why that is?

      My personal feelings are that the psychological root causes for this insanity hold the most valuable answers in assisting our attempts to successfully understand and solve the numerous problems.

      Greed, selfishness, arrogance, ego….let’s start discussing the REAL root causes here!
      A train conductor stands behind a counter, he won’t serve you, he’s doing something else looking at you from the corner of his eye, why does he do this?

      To put you in your place.
      To hold power and authority over you
      To say: “look, you listen to me. I am somebody”
      So now, where does THIS desire grow from?

    80. Kismet Hardy — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:21 pm  

      Compared to the number in India, Palestine etc etc, yeah, that is actually closer to all right than all wrong. A bit of perspective please

    81. Kismet Hardy — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:22 pm  

      Nyrone, any man that alludes to colonel kurtz is alright by me :-)

    82. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:29 pm  

      Sahil I love you man.

      KH I think you talk absolute bollocks on this issue but if I met you I’d probably gay you up.

      You know what the crappy Asian stand up comedy scene is missing is a Bangladeshi Frankie Howard.

    83. Kismet Hardy — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:35 pm  

      Jagdeep, one man’s absolute bollocks is another man’s prized gangoolies. I’m not sure what that means either

      And please, Bangladeshi Bill Hicks

      I have an ego to feed here

    84. David T — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:36 pm  

      nay nay and thrice nay!

    85. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:40 pm  

      Soru number 69 (ooo er)

      I just read your post. I thought that the government had passed legislation about carrying out terrorist operations or training to do so overseas?

    86. Sid — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:43 pm  

      Is David T suggesting he’s hung a like a horse on #84?

    87. Rakhee — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:43 pm  

      => Greed, selfishness, arrogance, ego….let’s start discussing the REAL root causes here!

      Ok, lets.

      Some people believe that politicians are the most arrogant, selfish, egotistical people on this planet and are almost completely responsible for fuelling terrorism in to the state it is today (and for what is to come in the future).

      Discuss.

    88. Kismet Hardy — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:46 pm  

      Rakhee, politicians are no different from terrorist leaders. Both want to use power to get what they want. Except one gets to emply an army and sway public opinion through the media; the other resorts to dirty tactics

      They both use propaganda to brainwash and force to control

    89. Sahil — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:47 pm  

      “Sahil I love you man.”

      I love you too dude, but I’d love you even more if you gave me a source that says, 1000s of muslims ACTIVELY pursuing terrorist attacks in the UK.

    90. Rakhee — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:47 pm  

      => Personally, I think the starting point for the debate should be the fact that terrorism isn´t actually illegal under UK law. If you travel to India or Algeria, shoot an armed policeman, and travel back, you have, as I understand it, committed no prosecutable or extraditable crime under UK law.

      Soru, really? So as a British citizen, I would not be penalised under UK legislation for committing murder?
      I find that hard to believe. Also, shooting an armed policeman doesn’t really define a terrorist act as I understand it today.

      In fact, how do you define a terrorist act?

    91. Kismet Hardy — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:50 pm  

      “shooting an armed policeman doesn’t really define a terrorist act as I understand it today.”

      No. But having a beard and living in an Asian area with your mum does

    92. Rakhee — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:51 pm  

      => Personally, I think the starting point for the debate should be the fact that terrorism isn´t actually illegal under UK law. If you travel to India or Algeria, shoot an armed policeman, and travel back, you have, as I understand it, committed no prosecutable or extraditable crime under UK law.

      Soru, really? So as a British citizen, if I went out and killed a person in another country I would not be penalised under UK legislation for committing murder?
      I find that hard to believe. Also, shooting an armed policeman doesn’t really define a terrorist act as I understand it today.

      In fact, what is a true definition of a terrorist act?

      Sounds like an obvious question to ask but someone once told me the answers to your questions are sometimes in the question itself. If we define what we mean to be an act of terror, surely it is easier to understand and identify the root causes, triggers and influencers.

      I’ll stop asking questions now..!

    93. Kismet Hardy — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:53 pm  

      “how do you define a terrorist act?”

      When someone blows something up, which has happenned all of once in Britain and twice in America in the past 20 years.

      The rest is ‘terrorist possibility’ and for a definition of that, well, pick up any newspaper and the panic’s spelled out

    94. Sahil — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:54 pm  

      “Ok, lets.

      Some people believe that politicians are the most arrogant, selfish, egotistical people on this planet and are almost completely responsible for fuelling terrorism in to the state it is today (and for what is to come in the future).

      Discuss. ”

      Is it a surprise that many terrorist organisations have political wings e.g. Hamas. Terrorist exist because they feel they cannot change public policy, so they threaten people to toe their line. If people always did as a terrorist organisation wanted, you’d not have terrorist attacks, because they’ve already got what they want. Governments on a international level act sometimes like terrorists, when for example they break UN resolutions etc, because the UN is the only international body that symbolises most of ‘world’ community/govt. But govts are also supposed to have a monopoly on violence in given defined border, the UN has none, so it can’t really stop countries from attacking each other and behaving as terrorists to each other.

    95. Leon — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:55 pm  

      what is a true definition of a terrorist act?

      Leaving aside the odd use of the word true here’s one version:

      The US Code for defining an “act of terrorism” is an activity that — (A) involves a violent act or an act dangerous to human life that is a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State; and (B) appears to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping.

      http://blog.zmag.org/node/2502

    96. Leon — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:56 pm  

      Wikipedia has a good article covering varying versions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Definition_of_terrorism

    97. Kismet Hardy — on 12th September, 2006 at 2:56 pm  

      That was crude. Not when ‘When someone blows something up’, but when a muslim blows up westerners in the name of allah or whatever

      Anyhoo, I’m bored defending people that beat women on the streets for wearing nailpolish

      Fuck terrorists. Fuck Bush. And for the love of god, someone please fuck me.

      Peace out people xX

    98. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 3:00 pm  

      Sahil you remind me of my younger brother and the way that he argues with me.

      Now, I have provided you with a link stating that thousands of people are under surveillance because they are believed to be involved in planning terrorist incidents. This gives an example of the scale of the problem. You have rejected this on the grounds that….well, because you have. I believe it gives an indication that there is a serious issue and that the number of people involved is significant. But you don’t accept that. So there’s nothing I can do about what is self evidently evidence of an alarming phenomenon, which you don’t accept. Going round in circles.

    99. Chris Stiles — on 12th September, 2006 at 3:01 pm  


      Sorry, have to run but will explain more. Briefly, the first quote refers to them trying to legitimise suicide bombing whereas I think it requires a particularly huge leap of faith and specific conditions (that don’t make it a “normal” position to take) that they are discounting. Those conditions don’t go away (such es extremism) even if you take away the original cause (political warfare). And I don’t think their analysis is sophisticated enough.

      Okay - so I’m guessing in your second revision of this piece you’ll go into more detail than just “Put people in certain conditions and by and large they will behave the same.” because that makes it sound like you do in fact believe that it is the ‘normal thing to do’ - and that by extension you are subscribing to the naive form of the lefty argument above.

    100. nyrone — on 12th September, 2006 at 3:01 pm  

      But isn’t it a lot more complicated than that?
      The psychology of the madman is encouraged in these difficult times.
      A crude form of social Darwinism is how a lot of the world runs (sadly)….Might is Right
      We are the biggest so we get the most cake
      We get to choose things because we have the most.

      It’s a culture of competition, not co-operation.
      How are we supposed to get away from madness, when society practically encourages it?
      Dishonesty is something you can put on your CV these days
      Doing something wrong is fine, as long as it doesn’t hurt the shareholders.
      What’s the deal here? People avoid this as if I were sprouting obscure texts from Sade, I’m not there is a much larger problem at hand, and it’s about human greed, selfishness, arrogance and ego.

      Its obvious Bush doesn’t want peace, but a permanent state of war
      So, why is war encouraged? Because it’s profitable
      Bottom Line: Margins

    101. Kismet Hardy — on 12th September, 2006 at 3:07 pm  

      (parting shot) Christ Stiles: Most civilised, decent people think going into a country and killing countless innocent men, women and children is ‘the normal thing to do’

    102. Sahil — on 12th September, 2006 at 3:13 pm  

      “Sahil you remind me of my younger brother and the way that he argues with me.”

      That’s cute

      “Now, I have provided you with a link stating that thousands of people are under surveillance because they are believed to be involved in planning terrorist incidents. This gives an example of the scale of the problem. You have rejected this on the grounds that….well, because you have. I believe it gives an indication that there is a serious issue and that the number of people involved is significant. But you don’t accept that. So there’s nothing I can do about what is self evidently evidence of an alarming phenomenon, which you don’t accept. Going round in circles.”

      Have you read my post, or even the first paragraph of the article. The police are monitoring people who MAY be involved in planning or carrying out terrorist attacks. The fact that the police have no idea where to being is reflected in the fact that they are tapping up 1000s upon 1000s of muslim men. Does that mean these people are terrorist, no! It means the police needs to make sure they have a wide net to make sure they maximise their chances of catching terrorists who may have slipped under their surveillance. Because even if one terrorist manages to blow something up, a lot of people are dead. That’s why people like my friend Emaad were also monitored: not because the police found his behaviour suspicious, but because they don’t even know where to begin in finding terrorist cells.

    103. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 3:20 pm  

      Yeah Sahil I read your paragraphs! They were unique. It is indicative of a serious problem, isnt it? You agree with that, dont you? Good - then we are essentially in agreement, that it is indicative of something alarming. Excellent. Lets move on!

    104. soru — on 12th September, 2006 at 3:35 pm  

      ´Also, shooting an armed policeman doesn’t really define a terrorist act as I understand it today. ´

      I wouldn´t recommend relying on that as a defence if you shoot one of the guys standing round Heathrow.

      ´So as a British citizen, I would not be penalised under UK legislation for committing murder?´

      If a combatant kills another combatant, it is not considered murder. The definition of ´combatant´ is pretty fuzzy, armed police will often count, and there doesn´t seem to be any solid legal definítion of what a war is.

      As someone pointed out, you might get caught under very recent specific anti-terrorist legislation, but I don´t think you would face a murder charge, at least not if you did it in a third world country.

      Of course, you might just find yourself on a night flight to Guantanamo…

    105. David T — on 12th September, 2006 at 3:41 pm  

      not because the police found his behaviour suspicious, but because they don’t even know where to begin in finding terrorist cells.

      This is the concern. Don’t underestimate how at sea the security services have been in relation to islamist terrorism. Until 2001, their main focus was the provos, and then the “real IRA”, who were in fact blowing things up (and killing asian shopkeepers, as it happens) in the UK. They’d basically completely infiltrated the IRA by the stage that they decided to give up the “armed struggle”.

      By contrast, jihadism and islamism was an enormous concern to really only the French, who’d had Algerians (operating out of Abu Hamza’s Finsbury Park Mosque), and to a less extent, the US (who had Abu Hamza on their radar as a result of his family’s activities in Yemen, and the Oregon training camp project). The UK security services knew about Hizb/Muhaj activities on campus, and its links to Pakistani/Kashmiri activity, and the ‘convoys’ to Bosnia etc. But the attitude was essentially that it was all happening in other people’s countries, and wasn’t a matter of primary concern to them.

      Of course, all that changes post 9/11. Suddenly they’re playing an enormous game of catch up.

    106. Rakhee — on 12th September, 2006 at 3:48 pm  

      => ´Also, shooting an armed policeman doesn’t really define a terrorist act as I understand it today. ´
      I wouldn´t recommend relying on that as a defence if you shoot one of the guys standing round Heathrow.

      LOL, thanks for tip Soru! I think you know what I meant. I mean if you asked the average person on the street today for their definition, they would probably add the words ‘muslim’, ‘extremist’, ‘bomb’ and ‘murder’ together and you’d get your answer.

      Essentially, I see today’s terrorism not just as an act of crime or “a violent act or an act dangerous to human life that is a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any State”, but by combining this with extreme actions as a method of installing fear and hatred in to a society. The ‘extreme twist’ is the fact that terrorists are telling people they are doing it for GOOD and under the grace of GOD.

    107. Leon — on 12th September, 2006 at 4:11 pm  

      Dave T strikes on an important point regarding Intel work. It took good twenty or so years to infiltrate the IRA to that extent. They were a localised organisation (although with global links) and easier to target, with Al Qaida they present a new challenge because of the cell structure of the networks and its affiliates.

      Last year, at a conference, I got talking to someone from the US security services and they told me about the shock it’s been to the intelligence services system regarding the new threats their dealing with. They’ve only really started to get their heads round it since Sept 11 and even then they’re coming up against serious problems with idiot politicians (on both sides of the Atlantic, this was a sore point with them too, apparently a lot of Intel agencies are none to pleased with the current crop of politicians).

      Factor the time it takes to reposition and reconfigure Intel assets etc, the time it takes for funding to come on stream along with the physical amount of time it takes to insert agents into organisations, work their way to trust. Add the cell structure of the AQ networks and you have a real mess to deal with.

      My view; intelligence isn’t equipped to deal with this and will take a long time to catch up, military as it stands doesn’t work and if anything adds fuel to the fire diplomacy, while flawed, is the only serious way this situation can be worked out.

      We need to call AQ etc bluff and offer negotiations aimed at a settlement (it’s what the pro war lot should be calling for if they had any sense; I’ve known plenty of anti war types who would back military operations if proper negotiations were tried and failed). But first Palestine and Israel needs sorting because that will undermine them in the negotiations…

      Of course, all that is easy said than done but there you go.

    108. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 4:27 pm  

      I’m even more fucking depressed after reading that David T and Leon.

    109. Leon — on 12th September, 2006 at 4:33 pm  

      Some thoughts here: http://www.poliblogger.com/?p=10699

    110. David T — on 12th September, 2006 at 4:44 pm  

      Hey, when you’re depressed, do what I do: dance*

      * this is a lie. I actually listen to the Smiths.

    111. Sid — on 12th September, 2006 at 4:56 pm  

      The Channel 4 documentary “Cult of the Suicide Bomber” was the most engaging and depressing thing I’ve seen on TV in a long long time.

      Listening to Dudley Perkins to get over the depression.

    112. Leon — on 12th September, 2006 at 5:04 pm  

      Interesting, none of this depresses me. All this information gives an insight, understanding is a great way to counter lamentable moods…

    113. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 5:07 pm  

      I guess you don’t have children Leon? When you do, shit like that makes you feel extra depressed, because you worry about the future and the society they’ll grow up in more. At least it makes you more sensitive.

      Anyway. I have cheered myself up by ordering Nirpal Dhaliwal’s novel from Amazon, and I have my i-pod full of Prince to listen to on the way home - been blasting ‘Sign ‘o’ the Times’ for the last three days - fuckin’ genius!

    114. Sid — on 12th September, 2006 at 5:12 pm  

      pr-nce is g-d.

    115. funkg — on 12th September, 2006 at 5:23 pm  

      Please don’t feel depressed my friends, anyone growing up post 1945-90 had the nuclear threat to contend with, growing up in the 80s most of my essays spoke of an imminent nuclear war. Then we had the doomsday adverts around AIDS, which kicked off just as I was looking forward to starting college and meeting women (nice). Alongside this we had acid rain, peados, global warming etc. besides if like me you attended ‘born again’ Christian churches, most of them spoke of Armageddon and the ‘end of days’ so trust me these type of scares are nothing new.

    116. Amir — on 12th September, 2006 at 5:28 pm  

      Sunny, Sunny, Sunny…

      (I) ‘These have been theological (”Islam is the problem”), political (”foreign policy is the problem”), psychological (”these kids are mentally imbalanced”), sexual (”they’re not getting any, and there’s the 72 virgin thing”) and more.’

      SO… what you’re trying to say is this: in order to better understand the appeal of Islamic extremism and its political manifestation we need not bother with theological, political or psychological explanations? Boy, that’s a pretty stupid thing to say, isn’t it? I can think of a few amusing parallels: One does not need to know anything about mechanical engineering in order to fix a car engine or repair a chasse. One does not need to learn anything about aviation in order to fly a plane or monitor air traffic. One is not required to engage with one’s brain in order to solve a quadratic equation. And so forth.

      (II) ‘First popularised and outlined by Malcolm Gladwell in a book of the same name.’

      Having read the book myself, I’d have to concur with a comment made by Publishers Weekly, in which it described The Tipping Point as a ‘facile piece of pop sociology’. Gladwell’s thesis clearly violates some very important axioms guiding intelligent scholarship: correlation does not imply causation (and the fact that two events happened on one occasion at the same time does not necessarily imply correlation), and the idea that a theory is bankable because one instance of anecdotal evidence exists. The book, so to speak, is a pile of wank.

      (III) ‘In my view this cannot be treated as a political, criminal or theological problem.’

      I hate it when commentators refrain from mentioning negative features of religion, singling out only the positive ones as if there is no connection between a religion and the fundamentalism it produced. The effect of this tendency, however, is to denature what one is looking at: Shi’a violence during the 1980s, for example, hinted at the higher lethality of religious terrorism. They were responsible for nearly 30 percent of all fatalities, but just 8 percent of all reported incidents. Indeed, some of the most significant terrorist acts of recent years have all had some religious element present. (read this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and this).

      (III) ‘It has to be dealt with as a social problem and as an epidemic of religious extremism.’

      Vague. Please explain the chain of events that preceded the aforementioned “social problem”? Moreover, could you describe to me the way in which in the epidemic broke out?

      (IV) ‘Thus to deal with this epidemic we have to deal with the factors that influence it.’

      Which “factors” are you alluding to? Political? Economic? Theological? Psychological?

      (V) ‘The problem with current narratives is that they are not used to explain our state of affairs, but rather our state of affairs are being fitted into pre-existing agendas.’

      This is a classic case of ‘pot calling kettle black.’ I do not believe any such a thing as a ‘neutral point of view’ has ever existed, does exist, or will exist. The truth does exist but has to be discovered, often through arduous effort. The idea that it will be discovered by people trying to pretend that they have “pre-existing agendas” is absurd. Majority opinion in the English-speaking world, especially among the under-40s who tend to be over-represented on the web is generally egalitarian, agnostic, and tends towards the cultural Marxism known as political correctness. As far as I’m concerned, your narrative is just as polluted as the hysterical neo-con narrative.

      (VI) Phillips and her ilk see Islamism as part of a broader problem - Britain’s declining state of moral and cultural values

      I, for one, happen to agree with Melanie Philips on the decline of morality in Judeo-Christian societies (Timothy Garton Ash is mildly sympathetic towards this view also).

      (VII) ‘Similarly the extreme left has pounced on current events as part of its long standing anti-imperialist agenda.’

      There is, to be sure, a scrap of truth buried within the anti-imperialist sandbox. In many of Islam’s teachings the term ‘imperialist’ is given a distinctly religious significance, being used in association, and sometimes interchangeably, with ‘missionary,’ and denoting a form of attack that includes the Crusades as well as the modern colonial empires.

      What is truly evil and unacceptable for radical Moslems is the domination of infidels over true believers. For ‘true believers’ to rule misbelievers is proper and natural, since this provides for the maintenance of the holy law, and gives the misbelievers both the opportunity and the incentive to embrace the true faith. But for misbelievers to rule over ‘true believers’ is blasphemous and unnatural, since it leads to the corruption of religion and morality in society, and to the flouting or even the abrogation of God’s law.

      This may help us to understand the current troubles in such diverse places as Ethiopian Eritrea, Indian Kashmir, Chinese Sinkiang, and Buddhist Thailand, in all of which Moslem populations are ruled by non-Moslem governments. It may also explain why spokesmen for the new Moslem minorities in Western Europe demand for Islam a degree of legal protection which those countries no longer give to Christianity and have never given to Judaism.

      But of course, the anti-imperial lens is muddied by its own falsehoods and misconceptions. For example, if the hostility is directed against imperialism tout court, why has it been so much stronger against Western Europe, which has relinquished all its Moslem possessions and dependencies, than against Russia, which still rules, with no light hand, over many millions of reluctant Moslem subjects and over ancient Moslem cities and countries? Far from being the target of criticism and attack, Russia has been almost exempt. Even the most recent repressions of Moslem revolts in the southern and central Asian republics of the USSR incurred no more than relatively mild words of expostulation.

      (VIII) ‘Put people in certain conditions and by and large they will behave the same.’

      This is all a bit vague and slip shod. Where are your references ?, i.e., case studies, clinical evidence, behavioural testing, sponsored research, etc. Nor have you paid any attention to conflicting accounts of human behaviour in psychoanalysis, cognitive psychology or biopsychology.

      Amir

    117. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 5:30 pm  

      funkg

      You know what? You are right. Maybe it’s just my age. The thing about this, quite apart from the actual threat itself, is that it touches on so many faultlines and racial and religious feelings, that it feels so depressing, that those things can drag us down. For a while back, say 5 years ago, even after 9/11 for a little while, I really thought things were getting better as a whole, I mean Asians with white people and all. I still think it’s getting better generally, but simultaneously its like this big shadow is cast on us. It dredges up so many fears and stuff that it gets to your nerves quick. So maybe it’s just me worrying too much.

      I’m going to listen to ‘If I was Your Girlfriend’ and be all androgynous now to take my mind off things. Maybe I’ll try and seduce the missus after listening to it. Knowing my luck I wont succeed and that’ll be even more depressing.

    118. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 5:36 pm  

      I’ve done sod all work today. But I just went onto the Guardian website and had a really good laugh at a beautifully un-ironic Guardian lefty sandal wearing hippie Guardian headline:

      Is it ethical to use olive oil?

      LoL! The ethics of using olive oil! How do they sleep in Hampstead at night?

    119. funkg — on 12th September, 2006 at 5:42 pm  

      Your right Jagdeep, Prince is the man.
      I will go home and give my wife a cuddle, but i dont think i will get much more then that, its still only tuesday.

    120. Amir — on 12th September, 2006 at 5:50 pm  

      Again: excellent posts from Jagdeep, David T, and Chris Stiles. 8)

      Keep it up.

    121. Jagdeep — on 12th September, 2006 at 5:51 pm  

      Wives can use terrorist tactics sometimes too, holding your libido hostage for a ransom. Damn them, wives, damn them to hell for their tactics.

      Good night everyone! get home safely and thanks for the distraction!

    122. विक्रान्त Vikrant — on 12th September, 2006 at 6:58 pm  

      By contrast, jihadism and islamism was an enormous concern to really only the French

      Dont forget Indians, first buyllet in Kashmir jehad was fired in London when Indian diplomat Ravindra Mhatre was killed by a bunch of Mirpuris back in 1987.

    123. Jackie Brown — on 12th September, 2006 at 7:03 pm  

      Amir—I have some problems with Tipping point- but this was *after* I read his next book Blink. He seemed to back away from his first thesis – concerning the drop in Crime in NYC.

      Out of curiosity I tried to Google your comment ascribed to publishers weekly as calling this facile-but it appears that you need a log in and pw (£££) to read the article [by PW]that calls the book facile? “From Publishers Weekly The premise of this facile piece of pop sociology has built-in … One criticism: Gladwell gave an example of the Tipping Point of an … nukebiz.com/amazon-buy-0349113467.html - 118k2- this is the only link I found

      Could you post that article? What is YOUR problem with the book? Do you think its all garbage?

    124. PFM — on 12th September, 2006 at 10:18 pm  

      damn thats alot of reading.

      [In the UK, the relatively low - but worrying - level of jihadism is largely a manifestation of identity crisis manifesting itself in terms of individuals choosing a rather exciting and subversity ‘gang’ identity.]

      David T.

      i was actually speaking to somebody about this about how sociological models of subculture could be applied to this. theres a PHD in that for someone.

      anway a few points, im not a regular poster so please go easy on me.

      somebody mentioned infiltration, this is near impossible. Mainly due to the fact that many muslims do not trust the police and do not want Dave from Mi5 ringing them on their mobile. Also, several muslims who have worked for mi5 to start with who tried to walk away now sit uncomfortably in belmarsh.

      further, the breeading of a terrorist is about education and then brainwashing. the education (or lack of) occurs at the local mosque, where the person is taught little or nothing about islam. Just how to recit for 10-12 years. once thats done off they go and become a friday muslim. they attend friday prayers and listen to the imam in udur/punjabi yap on about something they dont understand and how they spend ten minutes going on about who gave how much money.

      then one day, they meet someone, who talks to them about islam in english. and educates them, soon there is a desire to learn about ‘their’ religion that they spent years reciting. this is the real ummah, guys who call me brother, treat me with respect not the fools who push me over at friday prayer whilst i try and put on my air max. they tell you about how the right hand should not know what the left hand gives in charity, this is after you you spent 10 mins of every friday listening how shahid akhtar gave 20 quid, jamil sheikh gave 15 quid….

      this is where the problem starts, people feel betrayed and used. imagine going to school for 10 years and being able to read and recite french but never knowing what you had said.

      this is where people use literism. to brainwash.

      the mosques need to start a proper educational program, when i say mosques i mean the pakistani/brelvi community to educate their children rather than hording their money.

      the issue is about education. education gives knowledge, knowdlege gives beleif and its this beleif correctly interpreted that we need.

      but then if you get one teacher teaching this literalist point of view to ten kids…

      hmmm

    125. Sid — on 12th September, 2006 at 10:55 pm  

      Amir

      I agree with almost everything you say except the gratuitious Sunny-baiting and when you start straying into that wierd ethically authoritarian territory you let yourself get into. But o/w, thanks for the links.

    126. soru — on 12th September, 2006 at 11:47 pm  

      PFM:
      as I understand it, almost all non-Sufi mosques in the UK teach one of two things:

      1. how to be a peasant

      2. how to be a citizen of an Islamic state

      Neither is particularly relevant to current circumstances, so when some itinerant guy shows up and teaches ‘how to be a holy warrior’, they get takers amongst anyone who thinks there is a war on.

    127. Sunny — on 13th September, 2006 at 12:43 am  

      PFM - excellent points. The worrying thing is, and I don’t think many people really get this, is that Sikhs are exactly in the same bind. Urdaas in a Gurudwara (a sort of a prayer) is about how much money some twat gave. You do your prayers but no one tells you what the hell is being said. There have been plenty of attempts by young Sikh groups to try and get more prayers and programmes in English but the old guard doesn’t want it because they want to control the Gurudwaras and don’t want to stop the money coming in, to line their own pockets.

      Is it any wonder idiots up and down the country fall for the the pseudo-ideological Khalistan propaganda and then want start seeing Hindu RSS agents everywhere. It is a sad state of affairs.

    128. Amir — on 13th September, 2006 at 12:50 am  

      Sid,

      ‘gratuitious Sunny-baiting’

      I have a lot of respect for Sunny. He’s got a big heart and a big brain. If I come across as slightly aggressive and ‘overly polemical’, then it is because I take him very, very, very seriously. Yes, you heard me.

      We probably have a lot in common (despite our political antagonisms).

      *Peace*

      Amir

    129. Sunny — on 13th September, 2006 at 1:16 am  

      I thought the long standing arguments above between Jagdeep, Kismet and Sahil were a bit superfluous.

      I’m with Sahil on that just because the police are monitoring thousands of Muslims, it does not mean they are all guilty. Given the police’s existing record not only of arrests (more than 90% released after arrests on terrorism charges) but their record on incidents such as Forest Gate, Ricin plot, Manchester grounds bombing plot, Charles De Menzes etc - their intelligence is way off.

      So while I don’t want to underplay the idea that there are Muslims out there who hate this country, possibly thousands, that does not indicate all of them will blow themselves up. Many of them are also “Chavlims”, the kind who will mouth off when they have nothing else to do, or part of pseudo-intellectual groups like Hizb ut Tahrir who go around praying for a Khalifah tomorrow and pose little threat.

      Soru - interesting points. You are right about the previous actions of British mercenaries, but I’d like to think we should have higher standards than that.

      PFM - Your point about prior Muslim MI5 recruits ending up in Belmarsh is one made many times on comment is free too, especially by a Turkish guy called agitpapa. I’d love to see a proper newspaper investigation into this but I have a feeling a lot of this is being hushed up.

      Chris Stiles - I agree and I do intend to expand on that.

      Amir - I don’t believe you read my article properly, hence your facile questions. You seem to read my articles specifically so you can eagerly fisk it without actually understanding what I’m getting at. My point was that psychological, theological and political factors do play a part, but as part of a wider sociological narrative. I’m suspicious of those who use those specific narratives only. That should address most of your points. And funny you agree with David T when he’s explained why Mel P’s argument is silly. But it again comes down to you not actually reading but trying to find ammunition for a quick fisking.

    130. Amir — on 13th September, 2006 at 1:29 am  

      Okay, here’s something a bit random [if you permit me]…

      10 Books that will change your life, compiled by yours truly [*cough* *cough*].

      1. The Bible: Authorized King James Version

      2. History of Western Philosophy - Bertrand Russell.

      3. Conjectures and Refutations – Karl Popper

      4. Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell

      5. Animal Farm: A Fairy Story – George Orwell

      6. Reasons and Persons by Derek Parfit

      7. Memoirs of a Revolutionary - Victor Serge

      8. The Decline of the West - Oswald Spengler

      9. Reading Lolita in Tehran - Azar Nafisi

      10. The Complete Maus - Art Spiegelman

      Amir

    131. nyrone — on 13th September, 2006 at 8:25 am  

      Where is ‘the curious incident of the dog in the night-time’? This list is rubbish….just kidding, quite a good list, but how about some poetry? I propose Walt Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass’ and anything by J Krishnamurti or Rumi. I’d also add stuff by Kafka, Nietzche, Huxley and Descartes.

    132. Jackie Brown — on 13th September, 2006 at 9:57 am  

      Amir—what did you find wrong with the book Tipping point? You mentioned that you read it- but you didn’t give any of your personal criticism of it. In your post # 116 (ii) you state Publishers Weekly called the book facile—but that may not be the case see link (my post # 123 ). Can you expand on your comments?

    133. Jackie Brown — on 13th September, 2006 at 10:09 am  

      ^^ the “correlation does not imply causation … the book is wank”. There are several case studies in the book- are all of them anidotal [wrong] in your view?

    134. Kismet Hardy — on 13th September, 2006 at 10:11 am  

      “I have cheered myself up by ordering Nirpal Dhaliwal’s novel from Amazon”

      Jagdeep. Do yourself a favour and just rip out your testicles with a pair of pliers now. Cut out the middle man

    135. Chairwoman — on 13th September, 2006 at 12:24 pm  

      Kismet - I love it. You may finally leave the Naughty Corner.

    136. Rakhee — on 13th September, 2006 at 2:10 pm  

      Chairwoman, Kismet was in the naughty corner all this time? Crikey.

    137. Anas — on 13th September, 2006 at 2:52 pm  

      What is it with everybody? It’s as obvious as the nose on your face: British and American policy *is* the primary, central, overriding factor when it comes to radicalising young Muslims. Basically, yes there are other secondary factors, but foreign policy is the key motivating factor. In other words remove that as a factor and immediately you’ve removed the principal source of greivance that young British Muslims have with the West, and therefore the extremists’ foremost recruiting tool.

      I mean, it’s not bloody rocket science. Look at the extremist recruitment literature, the videos, the websites, the 7/7 suicide bomber’s final testaments. Listen to what Bin Laden and al-Zawhiri are saying on their videos. Why does it all focus on Iraq, Israel, Aghanistan, Chechnya, etc? Personally, I think that the way you could sustain the position that Western foreign policy is not the principal motivating factor for Islamic terrorism is by ignoring most of the evidence from the extremists themselves.

      I can understand when apologists for the government or for Israel, for example, try and deny any strong causal link between terrorism and Western foreign policy, that’s part of their agenda. Obviously if they did make that connection it would mean acknowledging that there is something morally wrong with British and American conduct across the world; it’s hard to maintain that a mere imagined injustice could have such an effect. So, inevitably they’ll try and shift the onus completely onto Muslims by portraying Muslims as beligerent, anti-semitic and irrational zealots, or by claiming that Islam as a religion promotes agressiveness and violence in its adherents.

      But the prevailing view across the Muslim world — and this holds across class divides, across sects, ethnicities — is that something is fundamentally immoral about Western foreign policy and the prime casualties are perceived to be Muslims and Muslim interests across the world. This perspective posits a defiant challenge to the kinds of discourse we carry out in the West about terrorism and state violence. For example, it becomes harder to justify the use of a term like ‘terrorist’ if its only applied to the actions of Hamas, or Hezbollah and never to what is perceived across the Muslim world as the state terrorism of Israel or America ; or even ‘democracy’ when apparently it doesn’t mean election by the majority, like in Palestine.

      Now, thanks to the internet and satellite TV and the subsequent widespread availability of alternative news sources, British Muslims have far more access to images and reports from across the Muslim world, and they can see the pictures that the British TV won’t show of Iraq, Palestine or Lebanon, or hear from commentators who take a boldly anti-Western foreign policy stance. That is if the news from mainstream British sources hasn’t itself succeeded in aggravating Muslims.

      The result is an ever increasing discontent, and an almost palapable sense of injustice amongst British Muslims, and a situation in which the British government is rapidly losing its moral authority. And inevitably, the extremists are going to step in and exploit the climate of anger for their own ends.

      So what are some other reasons for rejecting the foreign policy hypothesis?

      1) It justifies terrorism.
      According to this kind of reasoning, by emphasising the link between foreign policy and terrorism you’re somehow rationalising terrorism, which is completely irrational, and at the same time in someway, vindicating the terrorists. Additionally, by acknowledging that at least some ‘ Islamic’ terrorists are motivated by what may be genuine instances of injustice, you’re also patronising those Muslims who do not react in this way to these injustices.

      The argument if it qualifies as one is absurd. You’re not making a moral value judgement when you stress the link between foreign policy and terrorism — in fact most of the people who make this link start off by explicitly condemning terrorism. And neither are you doing so by making the claim that there may be a rational basis to terrorism: in the same way as recognising that homicide often has rational motivations, in no way justifies it. As for Muslims being patronised see 3) below. We are seriously deluding ourselves if we think we can dismiss the reasons that the extremists give, or by that we can assume there is no basis for them in reality: that their motivations are completely irrational and inscrutable. How else can you explain the growing sympathy for the terrorists’ actions among Muslims? There is no question that the actions of the terrorists are wrong; especially when you look at the proclamations of the vast majority of Islamic scholars. The question is why does it persist

      2) It’s one amongst many grievances
      It may well be only one amongst several grievances that many Muslims have with the West; other grievances relating to the West’s liberal attitudes with regard to sexual promiscuity and drink, as well as the tolerance of blasphemy (when directed at Islam). But again I’d direct you to examine the evidence, what motivations do the terrorists themselves emphasise? It’s a fact that many of the Muslims who are at least partially sympathetic with the terrorist actions, or who cannot condemn them outright, aren’t strictly adherent to Islam. Rather they’re incensed by the thought that Muslims are being victimised solely because they are Muslims, not because they are Shia, or because they belong to a particular ethnicity; and in fact this may to an extent serve to overcome those divisions. I mean it is very unlikely these grievances would ever drive a young man to blow himself up.

      3) It’s patronising to Muslims
      Another absurd bit of reasoning that itself smacks of condescension. By stating that some Muslims are using the Koran and Western foreign policy to justify their terrorist actions, how are you patronising all Muslims?

    138. Anas — on 13th September, 2006 at 3:10 pm  

      Oops. The last sentence of point 2) should read “I mean it is very unlikely the other mentioned grievances could by themselves ever drive a young man to blow himself up

    139. Anas — on 13th September, 2006 at 3:11 pm  

      Oops. The last sentence of point 2) should read “I mean it is very unlikely the other mentioned grievances could by themselves ever drive a young man to blow himself up.”

    140. Sunny — on 13th September, 2006 at 3:26 pm  

      Anas I’m not sure if that point was directed to me or not but I’ll address it anyway.

      I don’t disagree that western policy is radicalising young Muslims. I’ve stated that above. But I think you’re missing my own point. Not only that, you’re simplifying this picture.

      A series of factors had already pushed that level of extremism quite high. That is - the existence of Hizb ut Tahrir and Al-Muhajiroun and the expansion of their activities prior to 2001. In fact I’ve had to deal with idiots from HuT and Al-M from 1995.

      Secondly why is it mostly British Pakistani men, and not, say young Iraqis or Afghanis or Arabs living in Britain who are blowing themselves up? Some of them may be part of these groups but they are overwhelmingly Pakistani and somewhat Somali. A few Bengalis here and there but nothing that represents their percentage of the Muslim population.

      Yes we need to have a better foreign policy. I believe Bush and Blair have lied to us and screwed our country over. However I also know that stopping the wars tomorrow will not get rid of the under-current of religious extremists - who will then try and move on to other excuses to try and recruit.

    141. Arif — on 13th September, 2006 at 3:49 pm  

      Anas, I sympathise with your points, but I have found that there is an emotional undercurrent to this debate in most contexts, including Pickled Politics. And so when you explain that it is patently obvious to you that terrorists use foreign policy as their best recruiting tool, people who want to avoid admitting this, maybe for the reasons you give, will show you what they think you want to ignore.

      Those things will include drawing attention to theological arguments deployed by Bin Laden, et al. It might include the good things achieved for Muslims by UK foreign or domestic policy. It will probably include the terrible things done to Muslims by their so-called defenders.

      They will paint a picture which creates a context where it would be irrational for a concerned Muslim to be taken in by al-Qaeda wannabe outfits. And this reflects how they see the world and why they can’t understand other people being so angry.

      You will recognise part of the picture, feel other parts are distorted, and a long discussion will ensue. When you get weary, you might suspect that people really don’t want to understand, but all of us naturally get irritated when people don’t see the world as we do, and we are apt to judge each other. And none of us like to feel judged, when we are trying to open up how we feel. So we clothe our suspicions in rational arguments and though we still try to communicate, we end up pushing each other away. Well, that’s how I see it sometimes.

      I have not been able to overcome this dynamic, so I wish you luck. As an analogy, I’d put myself in the shoes of an American trying to explain to a Pakistani how so many Americans seem to support the “war on terror” - any arguments I’d use based on the impact of 9/11 and the political capital made from manipulating people’s fear wouldn’t ring true to my interlocutor. It would seem so obvious to the Pakistani that the threat is manufactured, and they would suspect that I am infantiling Americans as prone to irrational emotionalism in order to get them off the hook of knowingly supporting evil.

      It is an inherently difficult discussion. Sahil and Jagdeep point out that they are each making guesses about what is going on. You can make sympathetic and unsympathetic guesses and make them seem rational in the context of the world as you see it. But can you expect someone to change their whole interlocking world-view in order to make space for a guess about what motivates x to do y? Would you change your own? It’s a long shot.

    142. Anas — on 13th September, 2006 at 4:04 pm  

      “I don’t disagree that western policy is radicalising young Muslims. I’ve stated that above. But I think you’re missing my own point. Not only that, you’re simplifying this picture.
      A series of factors had already pushed that level of extremism quite high. That is - the existence of Hizb ut Tahrir and Al-Muhajiroun and the expansion of their activities prior to 2001. In fact I’ve had to deal with idiots from HuT and Al-M from 1995. ”

      I was inspired to write my post by what you wrote along with things I’ve read in other blogs. I posted here cause it seemed to be very lively.
      I’m not denying that there are a multitude of factors that we have to contend with when analysing UK-based Islamic terrorism. What I’m saying is that despite the existence of all these other factors, one factor plays a central and disproportionate role in radicalising British Muslims, namely their perceptions of Foreign Policy. And it stands to reason if these perceptions of FP change for the better, it will remove the central motivating factor that drives young Muslims towards terrorism.

      “A series of factors had already pushed that level of extremism quite high. That is - the existence of Hizb ut Tahrir and Al-Muhajiroun and the expansion of their activities prior to 2001. In fact I’ve had to deal with idiots from HuT and Al-M from 1995.”

      Are you claiming there was nothing wrong with Western foreign policy or that Muslims didn’t perceive there to be prior to 2001? Again, what were the arguments these groups use to recruit people prior to 2001 and were they not focused on foreign policy? And are you denying that these groups haven’t enjoyed more success post-Iraq, Afghanistan.

      “Secondly why is it mostly British Pakistani men, and not, say young Iraqis or Afghanis or Arabs living in Britain who are blowing themselves up? Some of them may be part of these groups but they are overwhelmingly Pakistani and somewhat Somali. A few Bengalis here and there but nothing that represents their percentage of the Muslim population.”
      I’m gonna go with the obvious answer in terms of demographics. The majority of Muslims in this country are of Pakistani origin, therefore it stands to reason most radicalised Muslims will be Pakistani. And yes, there may be other factors relating to the difference in attitude between first generation and second/third generation immigrations. I don’t deny that. What I do deny is that foreign policy isn’t the key motivating factor.

      “Yes we need to have a better foreign policy. I believe Bush and Blair have lied to us and screwed our country over. However I also know that stopping the wars tomorrow will not get rid of the under-current of religious extremists - who will then try and move on to other excuses to try and recruit.”

      Yes, you’ll always have an “undercurrent of religious [extremism]“. But my contention is that by denying the terrorist recruiters this opportunity you will erode their support in Muslim communities, you will cut short the creeping sympathy for terrorist actions across the world. If the British and Americans have the moral highground in the war in terror it will be easy to convince Muslims that any terrorist acts that are perpetrated are absolutely wrong.

    143. Sunny — on 13th September, 2006 at 5:07 pm  

      What I’m saying is that despite the existence of all these other factors, one factor plays a central and disproportionate role in radicalising British Muslims, namely their perceptions of Foreign Policy.

      I’ve not disagreed with that. But we have to look at this in context.

      FP is being used by extremists as a proxy for their own agendas (clash of civilisations, establishment of a Kalifah, encouraging Muslims to reject the western system entirely and join in their own struggles).

      And yes I do agree that not bombing innocent people in the Middle East will make it much harder for extremists to recruit people to their own goals.

      I’ve already stated this in my initial post too. But let me put my point another way. Did you see Channel 4′s recent film “Cult of the Suicide Bomber”? The people interviewed in that film, those who had not blown themselves up, were not saying - “Apart from our foreign policy Britain is great and allows me to live as a proper Muslim”.

      No, they were saying - “We will not rest until Britain has submitted to Islam”. Al-Muhajiroun were saying this way before 2001. My point is that even if FP was a lot more ethical, we would not get rid of some people who would use any excuse to blow themselves up or try and recruit others to do the same.

      That is an issue Muslims themselves have to recognise and deal with, before it engulfs us all in a never-ending “clash of civilisations”.

    144. Don — on 13th September, 2006 at 5:18 pm  

      Anas,

      I largely agree with your point that ‘If the British and Americans have the moral highground in the war in terror it will be easy to convince Muslims that any terrorist acts that are perpetrated are absolutely wrong.’ and I find it depressing that the Bush administration has chosen to disregard this and side-line ‘soft power’ in favour of shock and awe. But how would you suggest that high ground be recovered? If The UK and US governments saw a realistic exit strategy from Iraq I am sure they would grab it with both hands, but there isn’t one.

      However, I’d take issue with your statement;

      ‘Obviously if they did make that connection it would mean acknowledging that there is something morally wrong with British and American conduct across the world’

      As it stands, that would seem to imply that a policy which angers large numbers of muslims is ‘obviously’ morally wrong. Which is not the case.

      The Bali bombings, for example, were in response to Australian intervention in East Timor.

      Intervention in Darfur would certainly provoke fresh anger. Would it be morally wrong?

      In many cases the mere fact that the West/the USA is currently the dominant group in the world is enough to inspire lethal anger, regardless of the specifics. OBL never gave a stuff about the Palestinians.

      Anger, however intense, is not an argument and can’t be engaged with as though it were.

    145. Amir — on 13th September, 2006 at 5:18 pm  

      Jackie Brown,

      I vehemently apologise for the late reply…

      I am currently writing a review of the ‘Tipping Point’ for my forthcoming blog. Anything I say now will sound like pure verbatim, so I’m going to be a bit of an arsehole and ask you to wait patiently.

      Thank you for reading my contributions. I hope we debate soon.

      Amir :-)

    146. soru — on 13th September, 2006 at 5:23 pm  

      ´foreign policy is the key motivating factor´

      How do you propose not having a foreign policy?

      You might as well say all terrorists breathe, and noone who doesn´t breathe is a terrorist, so air is the primary cause of terrorism.

      Causes are things you can change, that could be otherwise.

    147. Anas — on 14th September, 2006 at 3:06 pm  

      First of all, Arif. You are right, it’s all too easy for any discussion on a topic this emotively charged to rapidly lose its way. But I’m of the opinion that if you sincerely want to understand why so many British Muslims are willing to support acts of terrorism, or to sympathise with extremist organisations — and you’re willing to overcome any preconceived notions about Islam as a religion of violence or terror — then you’ll come to appreciate just how banal, how obvious the FP argument actually is. The fact that such an argument can and does incite so much controversy really says something about the state of discussion in the West.

      In the face of this, I can only give you my experience — as a young British Muslim man — and try to convince you through rational argument and debate. Though I fear it’s not enough.

      Secondly, Sunny. It seems as if we’re going round in a circle. I say FP is the one issue that does more than any other to radicalise Muslims. You say you accept that, but it’s too simple an analysis. I reply that regardless it’s still the most biggest source of contention, among Muslims. You say you accept that…ad infinitum.

      “FP is being used by extremists as a proxy for their own agendas (clash of civilisations, establishment of a Kalifah, encouraging Muslims to reject the western system entirely and join in their own struggles)”

      That confirms rather than disproves my argument. Why would these groups exploit Muslims’ perceptions of FP as the chief means of recruiting Muslims over to their own agenda, unless it was by far the most effective means of doing so? (As George Galloway says, FP does half the extremists work for them.) And why is it the most effective such means? I’m convinced, though maybe I’m being overly optimistic here that if you keep asking these questions will eventually stumble upon the obvious truth.

      Yes I did see “The Cult of the Suicide Bomber,” and I felt that it raised some very interesting issues, but at the same time I felt that ultimately it was evasive. It didn’t give a satisfactory answer to what must be the most crucial question we should be asking themselves, namely what would compel an educated young man with a family to blow himself up in a crowded public area in the name of his religion — when his religion on most interpretation obviously forbids this? Worse than that why do so many other people sympathise with this action or refuse to condemn it outright?You could answer, and a lot of people do, that it’s because of the growth of extremism. Its an explanation, but it’s nowhere near sufficient; it merely postpones the answer to the question because naturally then we can ask, well what is fuelling the growth of extremism?

      I agree there are several issues that Muslims have to deal with within their own community. I accept there will always be a lunatic fringe of Muslims who will insist that as British Muslims our central objective must be to turn the UK into an Islamic state. There will be an even smaller fringe, who will insist on using violent means to attain this objective. If we isolate these people within the Islamic community, I’m confident that they won’t pose a threat at all, because essentially what these people are saying is anathema to most Muslims. However, the problem is that it’s becoming harder to isolate them, and they are gaining more support. Why? I’m arguing that the only reason these nutcases have any influence whatsoever, the only reason they ellicit any sympathy within the Muslim community, and the only reason they pose a danger to society, is because Muslims have been so alienated by FP, because the West has lost so much of its moral authority among British Muslims, because mainstream maulvis have so little affinity with young people, some Muslims perhaps through overwhelming ignorance are starting to see these groups as a real alternative. It’s certainly an absolutely stupid and utterly immoral, thing to do, to give groups like these support simply because you disagree with Western FP, and ultimately it is completely counterproductive. But, that doesn’t stop it from being the best explanation as to why these extremists are gaining more support. And yes, we as Muslims have to recognise this and to especially recognise the alienation young Muslims was who struggle to find a voice among the mainstream Muslim leadership. We have to do more. Personally, I think we should start by encouraging angry young Muslims to see themselves as part of a wider anti-imperialist cause, which means finding common cause with say the oppressed in South America and in Africa.

      Thirdly, Don asks how I would suggest that the high ground be recovered? I’ll suggest one very simple thing that will probably turn around worldwide Muslim opinion. And that is to force a settlement in the Middle East in which Israel completely gives up any claims on the West Bank and Gaza, and allows for the existence of a viable Palestinian state. Iraq and Afghanistan demand some more discussion.

      “As it stands, that would seem to imply that a policy which angers large numbers of Muslims is ‘obviously’ morally wrong.”

      My sentence doesn’t imply that at all. For a start you missed out the second part of that sentence: I was making the point that it would be hard to accept both the FP argument and still remain convinced of the righteousness of UK/US foreign conduct. Hard but not impossible, you could maintain that Muslims were simply misinformed of the truth about FP, but again it is hard to do in face of all the evidence. Essentially, though maybe I didn’t make it clear enough, my point is more tautological: ‘An obviously morally wrong policy that angers large numbers of Muslims is obviously morally wrong.’

      And then you make the most patronising assertion ever:

      “In many cases the mere fact that the West/the USA is currently the dominant group in the world is enough to inspire lethal anger, regardless of the specifics.”

      Yes, these suicide bombings are merely the result of intense jealousy of de white man. Those irrational and barabaric Muslims still living in Medieval times can’t over the fact they will never be able to catch up with the West! That Palestinian teenager living in Gaza who’s lost his mother or his father to an Israeli homicide bombing, who’s forced to live in poverty and search for food in rubbish tips, who’s forced to live in the world’s largest prison camp according to the whim of people who are still occupying his land, and who ends up wanting to blow himself up is obviously driven by an insane jealousy and envy of the luxuries afforded by a Western lifestyle.

      “OBL never give a stuff about the Palestinians”

      Neither did Saddam when he used to send money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. The point is most Muslims *do* give a stuff, which is why terrorist agitators feature the Palestinian cause so prominently in their propaganda.

    148. Don — on 14th September, 2006 at 5:46 pm  

      Anas,

      I agree that a just settlement in Palestine is the single most constructive (and possible) policy with which to ease tensions. how it could be ‘forced’ is another matter.

      I started my comment on the sentence in question with; ‘As it stands, that would seem to imply…’ in order to make it clear that I did not believe that was your intended meaning, but that the sentence read that way.

      Patronising? I don’t think so. The plight of the Palestinian you describe is indeed appalling and I would never deny that ordinary Palestinians have been treated abominably (and not only by Israel). But it is not Palestinians who are bombing or attempting to bomb civilians in the UK (or the US, Spain, Canada, Germany etc.) That is more likely to come from the likes of Jawad Akbar and his urge to blow up dancing slags. OBL and most of those involved in the September 11th attack were from privileged backgrounds. They were not motivated by humanitarian concerns, nor had they seen family members killed or brutalised. They were driven by an ideology of resentment and leached onto actual and undeniable injustices.

      I rather resent your characterisation of my point as ‘… jealousy of de white man. Those irrational and barabaric Muslims still living in Medieval times …’ I didn’t say that, I didn’t imply that, that’s not how I think. Do you deny that a major part of the AQ ideology is the belief that the dominance (economic, military and cultural)of the west and the presence of western forces and organisations in ‘Islamic lands’ is per se an offense that requires a campaign of slaughter? I would suggest that this is not a belief which arises spontaneously in those unfortunate enough to be caught up in the bloody consequences of Foreign Policy. Such victims may well turn on those they see as immediately oppressing them; it takes education and a lot of discussion groups to arrive at the conclusion that a cleaner on her way to work is the enemy. Indeed, Hamas were quick to condemn the London bombings and reject any justification by way of citing the situation in Palestine.

      ‘The point is most Muslims *do* give a stuff,…’

      We are discussing terrorists, not ‘most Muslims’.

    149. Anas — on 18th September, 2006 at 3:32 pm  

      I’m going to write a more comprehensive analysis of the FP argument and try and incorporate some of the criticisms people have levelled at its proponents.

      But it is not Palestinians who are bombing or attempting to bomb civilians in the UK (or the US, Spain, Canada, Germany etc.)

      But it is Palestinians who are trying to bomb civilians in Israel.

      That is more likely to come from the likes of Jawad Akbar and his urge to blow up dancing slags. OBL and most of those involved in the September 11th attack were from privileged backgrounds. They were not motivated by humanitarian concerns, nor had they seen family members killed or brutalised. They were driven by an ideology of resentment and leached onto actual and undeniable injustices.

      Yes it wouldn’t be such a problem if it was just a case of a few people on the fringes. The fact is they are successful in recruiting impressionable young Muslims who are motivated by an undeniable empathy for the Muslim influence in Iraq, Palestine, etc. My argument is that these loony groups become a real threat when they can convince others that they are the only ones who are acknowledging the very real suffering of Muslims across the world.

    150. Anas — on 18th September, 2006 at 3:36 pm  

      The fact is they are successful in recruiting impressionable young Muslims who are motivated by an undeniable empathy for the Muslim influence in Iraq, Palestine, etc

      I mean the Muslims victims.

    151. Sunny — on 24th September, 2006 at 6:22 pm  

      Anas - Going over your points I don’t think I find a huge degree of contention.
      FP is the main problem, not denying that. I call that the source of the ‘tipping point’, which pushed some people over the edge into suidice bomber territory. But we still have to consider that many of these kids were quite radicalised even before 2001.

      To say that they will be isolated and easy to deal with - I’m not so sure about that given the spineless nature of the “Muslim leaders” and their ideological background. And I extend this to the other communities too - the “Sikh / Hindu leadership” is equally useless in dealing with these extremist factions because they are partly of the same strain, but just a bit more moderate.

    152. Chairwoman — on 24th September, 2006 at 6:48 pm  

      Sunny - All ‘community leaders’ tend to be lily-livered. Have a look at the letters page of this week’s Jewish Chronicle to see what the Jew-in-the-street thinks of our community spokespeople. You don’t have to agree with what the community (don’t you all just hate what that word has come to represent?) wants its leaders to say, this is about how far from the people it purports to represent the so-called leadership has strayed.

      Not unlike Tony and Dave.

    153. Anas — on 26th September, 2006 at 4:32 pm  

      Hey Sunny, I’m writing a kind of extended piece on this at the moment in which I’m gonna go into detail about the points that have been raised in this and other discussions on the role of FP. However, to give a brief answer to your point, I would say, that of course there were radicalised young Muslims before 2001, basically many Muslims were angry at FP before that.

      I would argue that yes, they would be isolated within the community, at least more than they are now, if they couldn’t rely on the anger and distrust brought out by Muslim reactions to FP. But I’ll try and go into more detail in the piece I’m writing.

    154. Sunny — on 26th September, 2006 at 4:50 pm  

      You’d have to give me evidence of this Anas, the isolation I mean. Just a bit more is not enough to stop them from blowing themselves up, is it?
      Where are you writing this piece?

    155. Anas — on 28th September, 2006 at 10:19 am  

      I’m not sure where I’m going to post it, I’m thinking of starting up my own blog and putting it there. At the moment my essay’s only at the draft stage, but I’ll have a link for you when I’m finished it.

    156. Anas — on 11th October, 2006 at 3:30 pm  

      Here it is, my first essay on my first blog(well that is worth reading anyway):

      http://anask.wordpress.com/

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