Leaders across the world react to terror strikes in a very predictable manner .They use slick words and clichéd phrases to express their horror and dismay. I would not stoop so low as to even discuss the most common myth,”terrorism has no religion.” For the sake of political expediency, leaders across the world have decided that terrorism is a secular activity, even if it is termed Jihad by its perpetrators.
Well,so be it.
But there are some other glaring mis-statements and trickery of words that go around with impunity.
The most common one being-”This is an attack on DEMOCRACY.”
Who cares for democracy anyway? Nothing can be further away from the truth. Radical Islam understands that weakness of Europe comes from democracy at both national as well as the EU levels. A non-democratic Europe could catapult ‘far-right’ parties into power, which shall act strongly against immigration and radicalization, and also put restrictions on free doles being handed over to immigrants. It is democracy ,free media (supposedly) and importance of minority vote that prevents NLF (Marie Le Pen), or Greet Wilders (in Netherlands) from ascending to power. It is liberal democracy that allows an unholy alliance of politicians, media and academia ,together termed as the Establishment, that acts as a bulwark against Far-right. Radical Islam wants democracy to remain strongly entrenched as it makes social change impossible in the existing policies on doles,immigration and national security. At the EU level ,’too much democracy’ ensures countries like Poland and Hungary who want curbs on immigration are outvoted ,as well as UK which wants to restrict benefits of welfare ,play along for fear of being ostracized.
Democratic government are fundamentally peace-time systems which cannot serve the cause of war. Why else would so many nations resort to formation of National Governments during crises and emergencies ?
Another myth that is being perpetuated with impunity is that the actions of the terrorists are ,”SENSELESS and COWARDLY.”
Far from it.
A terrorist is “someone who uses violence, or threatens the use of violence, in order to achieve a political, religious, or ideological aim.” He carries out bombings,kidnappings,hijackings or gun attacks,not because he is disturbed mentally, rather in pursuit of some aim.That aim can be to terrorize general population, to send a message to a particular nation or the world, propagandize, enlist recruits , or pursue some political or ideological objectives. Terrorists attacked Charlie Hebdo because they wanted to send a very specific message that any insult to the Prophet won’t go unpunished. Terrorists struck in Mumbai and killed hundreds because they believe its ‘our’ govt that keeps Kashmir under subjugation. They bomb civilians in Brussels or Paris because they believe that in a democracy, general populations are responsible for the actions of their respective governments that attack and kill civilians in the Middle -East.I wonder how do we label these strikes as “senseless”,then. They do make sense to European leaders who accept some guilt anyways. Obama ,in his Cairo speech 2009, admitted so himself.
Besides, IS has taken responsibility for the March 22nd Brussels Attacks, as well as for the November 2015 Paris Attacks. They have borne the brunt of the Allied coalition in Syria as well. LeT took responsibility for Mumbai-26/11. Obviously they were prepared for any retaliation by India.I don’t quite understand how this can be dubbed as “cowardly.”These are open challenges thrown by the terrorist groups,and there is nothing timid or meaningless about them.
Obviously it’s a fact that a terrorist doesn’t announce his or her intentions to bomb a site , or open gunfire, but then such are the rules of the game. This is proxy war. Even otherwise, do we call the actions of individual military men cowardly ! Which soldier drops his identity card along with bombs in Syria ? They represent a state,the same way terrorists represent non-state players.
One can sense a lot of heartburn over the supposedly unequal importance given to terrorist casualties in the developed world on one hand, and in the Middle-East or Africa on the other. Well,the killings in Afghanistan and Syria, Iraq or Yemen are results of battles between two sects of the same religion. If Shias and Sunnis are hell bent on killing each other, as also the Kurds, these are basically internal problems of the Islamic world. As for Africa,ethnic wars have been fought inconclusively for ages. The bombings and killings in internecine conflicts can’t be put on the same pedestal as an attack on Charlie Hebdo or the Battaclays Theatre.These are attacks on democratic, peace-loving people who have welcomed Islamic refugees with open arms , sheltered them and fattened them on welfare packets. In the same light, its not fair to even compare cross-border terrorism practiced by Pakistan in India (except maybe in Kashmir) with bombings in Pakistan and the Middle East. It is naïve to argue that a bomb hurled by a Sunni extremist in a Kurdish ghetto in Ankara has the same political overtones as a blast in the London Tube,or in a Spanish train.
It’s the business of political leaders to keep people ill-informed, and maintain a basic level of opaqueness. What else do we expect the PM of Pakistan ,or the President or Turkey to say except ,well, ‘’terrorism has no religion. This senseless and cowardly act should be condemned by one and all.’’
The joke is upon us, you and me- the potential and actual victims of terrorism, including Jihad.
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