Monday, 11 July 2005

Where is the Gandhi of Islam?

Thoughtful pieces this morning from The Sunday Times, The Telegraph and Capitalism Magazine.

The Telegraph has Charles Moore asking Where is the Gandhi of Islam? and is in a similar vein to my own Condemning a Culture, though with some important differences. I'd recommend an Aquinas, not a Gandhi.
... London is part of a great civilisation.Yet there seems to me to be a radical disjunction between our heroic capacity to deal with the immediate effects of terrorism and our collective refusal to confront what lies behind it. The effects of this disjunction are, literally, fatal. [Hat tip Samizdata]
And The Sunday Times has information on a Leaked No. 10 Dossier' showing the urgency of not letting our guard down in the meantime.
Al-Qaeda is secretly recruiting affluent, middle-class Muslims in British universities and colleges to carry out terrorist attacks in this country, leaked Whitehall documents reveal. A network of “extremist recruiters” is circulating on campuses targeting people with “technical and professional qualifications”, particularly engineering and IT degrees.
Yesterday it emerged that last week’s London bombings were a sophisticated attack with all the devices detonating on the Underground within 50 seconds of each other. The police believe those behind the outrage may be home-grown British terrorists with no criminal backgrounds and possessing technical expertise.

And Michael Hurd suggests a crucial lesson to be learned from the latest terror attacks is that "terrorists are not afraid."

President Bush keeps repeating that we're not going to ever give in. No matter what they do to us, we'll stay firm. Firm in what way? In Iraq? Terrorism isn't merely about Iraq. Terrorism happens because some people want to destroy life on earth while others want to live it. Notice how terrorists don't usually go after soldiers (although they do this). Their primary targets are working people, people on buses and people on subways. Or people in airplanes. They want to terrorize "regular people" so that regular people will, in turn, compel their leaders to cave in.

Therein lies the terrorist contradiction. If we give in to terrorism more and more, then what do we get in return? In the end, a society run by religious fanatics who choke any tiny ounce of joy out of living. Why would any remotely rational person ever give in to this? This is why sooner or later (and usually sooner, rather than later), people get back onto the airplanes, buses and highways. They always have and they always will because civilization, on its worst day, beats a typical day in the life of a terrorist (or a terrorist state, such as Iran) hands down.

1 comment:

  1. Two "Ghandis" of Islam could be Salman Rushdie and Irshad Manji. For their pains, fatwas have been issued and threats of death have become a commonplace reality in their world. Easy to see why not many are stepping up to assume the mantel of "Gahndi of Islam".


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