Powerful column in the UK Independent by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown:
First, read this unconditional acceptance of facts that cannot be denied nor excused. Islamicist terrorism has inflicted atrocities and diffused panic and amorphous, long-term anxiety from east to west, south to north. Citizens of Nairobi and Baghdad, Madrid and London, Bamako and Dar es Salaam, New York and Bali, Mumbai and Damascus, Moscow and Karachi and now Boston, other places too, have had their lives and sense of safety blown apart. Those unaffected personally are haunted by the images and stories. Trepidation has entered their bones, our bones. Almost as chilling as real attacks are those thwarted by intelligence and security services. How many plots are still being planned? What if? Why? What do they want?
Millions of irreproachable Muslims are bewildered and enraged by this global vendetta which seems determined to annihilate modernism, occidental values, and also to destabilise some of the poorest and most hapless of nation states for reasons not made clear at all. Why are they trying to destroy Mali’s old culture for example? Some of us feel ashamed that Islam has become a byword for sinister, guerrilla warfare and is now regarded as a monstrous, rogue faith, easily turned into a killing call, most effectively for young men for whom life lacks meaning and direction. Women are now joining in too. The “spiritual leaders” behind the mayhem are wicked and psychologically manipulative men interested only in high body-counts and lurid publicity.
OK, now let’s turn to the most dominant countries in the world – and their finessed, widespread, extreme tactics used against people, some evidently fanatic and dangerous, others totally innocent. This is state-sponsored, state-activated, state-engineered terrorism which we are just meant to accept as a proportionate response to the evil above. More people are victimised by the unaccountable, secretive actions of the western nations – the US and UK most notably – than all those victimised by Islamicists. Most brainwashed and genuinely frightened westerners just accept what their governments do in fighting a nebulous “war on terror”. Hundreds of thousands are killed, physically and psychologically maimed and shocked and awed by western weaponry. It is fair enough and sensible to use intelligence and prevent plots home and abroad, but what is happening and has been since 9/11 is not defensible, moral, right, just or sane.