Friday, 22 May 2009

America's home grown terrorism

Several things about the arrest of four Muslims in New York, for an attempt to bomb a synagogue, are troubling (1).

Obviously, four very wicked, evil men have been arrested. This is a good thing. But the sting operation around it is questionable - how much were these men encouraged and supported by the FBI in their attempted attack? How much were vague expressions of disgust and anger incited into a definite plan of attack? And how much of this is really to do with their faith (three of them being converts) and how much to do with them just being fuckwit scum?

I'm more interested in the last question than the first two. The answers to those will become clear as more information emerges. For the last question, we can hazard some opinion on what is already known.

I don't think these people decided to commit an outrage because they were Muslims. There adopted faith might have given their urge to violence direction, but the urge itself was implanted in them by the culture they grew up in. They sought to commit violence not because they were Muslims, but because they were Americans. They were all ex-criminals, shaped by America and radicalised by Islam. Their attempt at terrorism wasn't founded in their faith, but in the crazy American desire to do violence against something, the perversion of tough frontiersman mythology through individualism and social Darwinist ideology. This is the cultural mix that gave us Timothy McVeigh, the Unabomber, countless high school shootings and gun rampages, and a contual 'background noise' level of violence that would be unacceptable in any civilised society. If you don't like something, you fight against it, rather than learning to tolerate its difference.
1 - "Police: Men planned terror attack in New York to avenge deaths of Muslims," by Ed Pilkington, published in The Guardian, 21st of May, 2009. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/may/21/new-york-terrorism-plot-synagogues)

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