Islamist Jihad, Freedom, Refugees and Human Rights
Capitalism, delusional masses and endless war
Terrorism and Islamic jihad is on the increase almost everywhere, from the nightly news to neighborhoods perhaps only a few miles away. The burning and oft discussed question is, “How do we end this delusional violence while protecting the freedoms and human rights of all?” Western folk often used to condemn teenage rebellion and the fondness of the young for sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. This social phenomenon seems somewhat mild compared with its Islamic equivalent. In order to have a realistic chance of ending this sickening and savage violence humanity needs to understand the causes in all their complexity and have the courage to act.
Wars fought in the name of religion are the height of stupidity and ignorance. However, such wars often have much deeper causes and issues beneath the surface.
Beliefs in themselves
It is absurd to try to coerce others as to their beliefs. People can believe what they like and nobody can stop them from this in any case. Muslims, and others, have a perfect right to believe whatever they will. Such beliefs may be illogical, self-delimiting and crazy but the person holding them can continue to do so regardless, until such time as Orwell’s thought police become a reality. In fact faced with a jihadi sword many a potential victim must have pretended to convert to the particular enforced version of Islam. Certainly, overt actions such as religious observances and rituals can be monitored but a person’s actual set of beliefs remains immune. Legislation or force cannot change a person’s beliefs. Only education and knowledge can effectively impact on humanity’s belief systems.
Actions and the Rights of Others
It would seem inherently reasonable that people can pray and perform rituals howsoever they wish as long as their practises do not harm or interfere with the rights and freedoms of others. Likewise they should be able to keep elements of their native cultures as long as that culture does not interfere with the rights of others or with the cultural traditions of the lands in which they live.
In the case of Islamic folk who reside in the west this should and must mean that the practise of their religion does not interfere with the right of free speech, including the right to criticize or satirise anything, or with long established traditions such as Christmas. Most people in western countries are able to not only tolerate but also have a laugh at religious jokes that appear amusing. It is sad that so many followers of Islam seem to have lost their sense of humor.
The Rights of Refugees
In the wake of anti-Islamic sentiment that has followed terrorist attacks and the pursuit of jihad western nations have experienced public demonstrations of opposition, and often downright hostility, to the arrival of refugees from Muslim lands. Surely we don’t want to harden our hearts against those, particularly children, who through no fault of their own are in desperate need. Genuine refugees, who appreciate the kindness of their host nations and are prepared to co-operate with the cultures and laws of their new homes, should be welcomed and assisted.
Unsurprisingly, a problem is always at the ready to spring up! In this case it appears in the guise of significant numbers of refugees who are unwilling to co-operate with the cultures, practises and laws of their host nations. These individuals cannot simply be dismissed as a few jihadis who pretended to be refugees and arrived in western countries as sleepers, ready to strike at any time. The numbers of “home grown” terrorists in western nations and jihadis who travel to the Middle East to join ISIS are too great to be explained in such a way.
A more rational explanation is that there are large enough numbers of refugees who flee countries where war, Islamic jihad and terrorism are rife, find homes in the west, and then seek to introduce, if not impose, the very elements of their original culture and interpretation of Islam that were the major causes of the destruction of their original countries in the first place. In many cases it is the children of these particular immigrants who, despite being born and raised in the west, are now active proponents of radical Islam and jihad. I take pains to emphasise that these particular immigrants, although a sizeable enough number, are still a small minority of refugees. These uncompromising jihadi types who bite the very hand that feeds them can be compared to a spreading cancer. It is these individuals and their practise of Islam that need to be stamped out and quickly. The grateful refugees should still be welcome. It is beyond obvious that refugee screening procedures should be more thorough than they have been in the past. Nevertheless, we have still to examine the underlying causes of all this wanton violence and terror!
Capitalism, War and the Arab Spring
It is no accident that the Arab Spring occurred before the rise of ISIS and the rapid increase in jihadi terrorism. For decades the despots in many of the Arab nations have stolen their populaces blind. Likewise, western nations have profited from the poverty of those populations while propping up corrupt and despotic regimes for the west’s own perceived geo-political interests. The failure of the Arab Spring to improve the ordinary people’s lives fuelled just about every kind of extremist violence imaginable. With nowhere to turn it is unsurprising that unemployed and dispossessed youths flocked to extremist calls. History tells us that it is economics more than actual notions of freedom that spur underclasses into action. Modern day China is a case in point. Despite a lack of freedom there the rulers have managed to keep a lid on discontent by substantially increasing living standards (economically at any rate) for large numbers of the population.
The young people of the Middle East have seen any vestiges of an opportunity for a decent life slip away or stolen from them. Despite the almost unimaginable horror and brutality of ISIS and their jihadi cohorts they appear relatively free from the stain of corruption that hangs over the traditional rulers and the western powers. Hence it is small wonder that thousands flock to what they see (probably unconsciously) as their last hope. Add to that the recipe of excitement and “idealism” and the mix is a very potent one. Many youngsters have joined ISIS to the horror of their own parents.
War and Capitalism
Those of us who have read George Orwell’s novel, “1984,” can probably see the ghastly parallel between his three super nations, constantly at war with each other along with the occasional change in alliance structure, and our modern world. The mega rich and their greed have their interests served by perpetual conflict and war as these assist the capitalist model nicely.
After all, those who decide on having wars don’t actually fight in them. It is ordinary folk who fight and die for the wealth and power of others. Freedom and human rights are never served by wars (in the long run at least) as nothing ever really changes for the better. Different groups of powerful mega rich keep the game running as our world society and environment deteriorate in a spiral that is rapidly running out of control.
Without fundamental reform of human society and capitalism any military victory over Islamic jihadism or any other form of ultra violence will be shortlived. There will always be more greedy and powerful individuals and more expressions of radical terror!
Self empowerment of the People
If there is any solution at all to the woes that are bringing the human species down at an exponential rate it probably lies in the anarchist dictum; “People, do not replace overthrown rulers with others that will do the same but rule yourselves from the ground up!” [my own statement]