Did we all forget the sixties and seventies when groups like Baader-Meinhoff, the Red Brigade, Black September, the Weatherman, the Simbionese Liberation Army, Charley Manson’s Family and more locally the FLQ terrorised the world ? What about Menachen Begin as leader of Irgun or his counterpart Yassar Arafat as head of Al-Fatah. Today it’s a group of Toronto teenagers who have leapt from obscurity to front page headline as terrorists for plotting comic book like scenarios of mayhem in their parents basements. Where they really planning to behead the Canadian Prime Minister or where they just playing ‘cowboys and indians’ as one reporter described the youths or is the fact that they are Muslim that raises their status from punks and thugs to that of national danger and world-wide threat ?
What of the desperate thugs in Gaza who have nothing else to do with their bleak lives then roam the streets fuelled with hatred for their Israeli masters and launch crudely made rockets into Israel or dig tunnels under the border and kidnap ‘enemies’ ? They are nothing else but a dysfunctional gang of misguided youth, none of the members over 25 years old. Their acts of desperate defiance for a life condemned to perpetual poverty and isolation provide the excuse for an all out military assault on a civilian population with fighter jets, tanks and precision bombs by the Israeli army. Who remains more terrorised ? The Israeli citizen who is media-fed a daily dose of dogmatized fear and terrorised by random suicide attacks or is it the Palestinians who are marginalised, dispossessed of land and opportunities and literally forced up against the wall built by Israel with the help of the mighty USA. Is this simply a never ending war of Jews against Muslim ?
According to Klare, my wife of 20 years, and I agree fully with her on this matter: all religions are mediaeval and their laws and tenets have little to do with the modern world or fair justice. Sharia law is sexists, punitive and archaic with no progress since Hammurabi's law of ‘eye for an eye’ nor is the Christian punishment for sins any more benign. To burn in hellfire for eternity or linger in purgatory is quite harsh and very unforgiving.
They symbiosis of terror and religion is what raises the stakes and differentiates the acts of mayhem of today’s terrorists from those of the sixties and seventies which were strictly carried out for political purposes mistaking anarchy for revolution.
Instead of fear we should preach understanding and instead of revenge and punishment we should promote forgiveness and tolerance. Is that too far fetched or too unrealistic ? Do we dare to dream of peaceful coexistence between peoples or will the strong and mighty always always subjugate the poor and weak. Is this a law of nature ? Klare doesn’t thing so.
“We are modern, educated people who know that a better world comes from co-operation, tolerance and understanding. Force, claims of divine rights and ignorance are barriers to progress and the enemy of the future. We need a renaissance and a new age of enlightenment but certainly not of the religious kind .” Klare has this aversion to all things religious but I know her to be very spiritual and intuitive. She also knows when she is right which is a lot of the time when I am wrong.
“To believe in the good of people has nothing to do with religion but everything to do with being uniquely human. It’s the gift we have, to help others who have less and to understand differences between our selves. Terror comes from a place of fear and governments use the gangs of terrorists to terrorise the population. It’s a control mechanism and an excuse for absolute power outside the rule of law.” I know Klare is right when she is all fired up about an issue. She just watched a press conference by the recently released Mohammed Arkan and his wife on the telly. He has been jailed for three years and treated worse then a mass murderer by the Canadian Security Agency for suspected involvement with Al Queda. Emphasis on suspected. What rule of law allows this sort of containment ?
Fact is that marginalised people will rise up and protest and in extreme cases opt for violent means to break their circle of misery. Policies and laws that isolate and punish a whole people, for religious or racial reasons, are equally to blame as are the acts of terror they react with. Action - reaction. Terror just to terrorise is the act of a sociopath or psychopath but teenagers, misguided and brain washed by religious zealots and bred for slaughter, cannot be controlled or stopped with missile and bomb attacks. That kind of response only escalates the cycle of violence, fear and terror.
People or a population cannot be separated by force from the social environment and the political atmosphere that produced them. We, that is me and Klare and all of you who care, must voice our opposition to forceful containment of anybody for reasons of religion, race, sex, creed or belief and we must insist and preserve our rights to dignity, choice and equal opportunity for all.
I’m taking the liberty to speak for all reasonable and peace loving individuals to fight with words and actions but not with guns or dogmas for a secular world where religions are relegated to personal beliefs and separated once and for all from the politics and administration of state and country. Amen.
All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Bruno Huber.
Published on e-Stories.org on 10.07.2006.