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Friday, August 11, 2006

 

The Dirty Two Dozen

I haven't picked this up on any UK media yet but The Australian is reporting that police have recovered a "martyrdom video" featuring one of the 24 detained Muslim suspects held over the "liquid bombs" conspiracy.

The story also sheds light on two of the would-be killers:
The suspects are mostly of Pakistani origin but two are white converts to Islam. Abdul Waheed, 21, changed his name from Don Stewart-Whyte six months ago after growing up as the son of a Conservative Party official.

Neighbours said Waheed, whose father died when he was 14, had abandoned a life of drugs and alcohol when he became a Muslim, and was working as a salesman at an electrical store.

Another convert, 25-year-old Oliver Savant of east London, had changed his first name to Ibrahim.

Each of the converts grew a beard, shaved his head, began wearing white robes and married an Arabic or south Asian Muslim woman.

This is interesting because on BBC Radio Five Live this morning callers were criticising the use of the adjective "Muslim" to describe the plotters. One contributor even went as far as to demand why their religion was relevant. Well it is relevant because it links terrorists of different ethnic backgrounds (remember the Shoe Bomber?) into a common, oh, let's say, jihad.

I for one am thankful that Islam and not skin colour is the common denominator here. Hopefully the public who are in the sights of these killers will realise their enemy is not identified by his ethnicity but by his religious beliefs- beliefs that can drive a man to contemplate mass murder regardless of his background.

Comments:
Howver, pakman, we must steer clear of the false argument that because these men are driven by an extreme version of their religion, it does not entail that that religion is the enemy or are most of those that follow that religion.

It was a warped version of Christianity which drove some to blow up abortion clincs and kill doctors who performed abortion but those bombings and killing are not usually ascribed to Christianity, noris Christianity the "enemy.".
 
Jo

I agree to a point- the "pro life" Christians, just like their Islamic fundamentalist counterparts, are motivated by an interpretation of their chosen religion. Given that all forms of belief are open to some element of subjectivity I think it is valid to say a version (probably warped) of Christianity or Islam has motivated some acts of terrorism.
 
Pakman

Terrorism as per usual is the enemy.

In terms of the ethnicity bit, if I was into profiling, I would have a particular emphasis on the counter ethnic indicators. I suspect that converts would feel that they have more to prove.
 
Its ok to agree with me pakman, really it is :)

Yes, its a good way of avoiding thinking if we throw the "T" word at things we dont understand and dont want to and of course could only ever fight with the same sort of "terror".
 
aileen

perhaps non Asian/ Arabic Muslims are a useful way to counter profiling.

Jo

if downing a civilian airliner mid Atlantic by way of a suicide bomber isn't terrorism I don't know what would be. If the "T" word fits, use it.
 
Yes, sure, but dont let it stop you thinking. Destroying the lives of innocents who pose no threat to you is terrorism isn't it?

Think which recent actions by a sovereign state fits that description. Does that mean that that "terror" organisation is evil and should be destroyed?
 
Pakman

I would say that if they aren't already thinking about it, they will focus more on this. I susoect that have this civered as whatever the intelligence services are doing, it seems to be working. The terorists and terrorism itself has been dealt a great blow and apart from the direct loss of life that has been prevented by this operation, the world is a wee nit safer because of it. Although we can't afford to get complacent.

I wonder what effect that this will have on our travel habits. I suspect that the measures re hand luggage will be relaxed but never go back to what they were. I think that there will have to be some new security arrangements re protecting passangers valusables from theft if you can't carry them with you.
 
Jo

are you suggesting that the State of Israels' tactics in Lebanon include the deliberate targeting of "innocents"?
 
Pakman, what I am saying is that I am sure there were times that the PIRA didnt intend to kill innocents, but ended up doing so, because what they did would to their full, reasonable, knowledge risk innocents being killed. Similarly, launching jet attacks on Lebanese villages and Beirut has ended up killing hundreds of young innocents. The fact that you dont like the political motive of the former and have some synpathy perhaps with the political motives of the latter doesnt mean that their actions can't be morally equivalent - and condemnable accordingly. Unless of course you want to meaninglessly throw the word "terrorist" at people you dont like and make excuses for similar acts committed by people you like. I tend to use words where they seem appropriate - if it looks, walks and quacks like a duck, it probably is one. :)
 
Jo

there were times when Provo attacks were designed to solely to kill innocents, but that is perhaps for another thread.

I have re-read the posts on this thread and don't see a meaningless brandishing of any word. IMHO there are certain actions that are terroristic in their nature regardless of who sanctions them.
 
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