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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Radicalisation: a problem, not a solution

As radicalised Muslims unleash terrorist acts in the West, we now see the radicalisation of right-wing groups in the West. 

Following the horrendous and grotesque murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich, far-right wing groups responded violently, torching mosques and attacking Muslims who were not responsible for, and did not condone, the murder of Lee Rigby.

Radicalised Muslims blame the brutality of the West for their actions. Yet, many Westerners don't believe that the West is as brutal as claimed. In fact, many believe that the West is 'good', while Islam is 'bad'. Many Westerners fear the Islamisation of Western nations, yet don't understand or appreciate that the West's colonisation and brutal occupation of other nations has led to the situations that we have today.

Many Westerners refuse to accept that it is the actions of the West that have led to the radicalisation of some Muslims, while justifying the radicalisation of the West in response to radical Islam. If people are saying that it is ok for the West to respond with violence to the violent actions of a minority of Muslims, are they also saying it is ok for radicalised Muslims to respond violently to the aggression of the West?

Most Muslims were horrified when they heard of the Woolwich murder, as they were with the Boston bombings, London bombings, September 11 and so on. There was worldwide outrage in Islamic and non-Islamic communities to each of these events.

But where is the outrage in the West, when non-Westerners are killed by terrorists?

Where was the outrage in the West when the US sponsored Saddam Hussein in the 1980s as he massacred the Kurds? Where was the outrage in the West when the US used depleted uranium in Iraq resulting in the deaths of thousands of civilians? Where was the outrage in the West, when hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians were killed or injured by the 'Coalition of the Willing' in Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan?

Where is the outrage in West regarding the ethnic cleansing of Palestine? Decades of Western financed brutality in Palestine is fueling the rage that drives most Islamic terrorists. Where is the outrage in the West, when Israel deliberately targets civilian populations, killing thousands of Palestinians? Where is the outrage in the West when Israeli settlers shoot dead Palestinian children and are not punished for it? Where is the outrage as these crimes against humanity, these war crimes, are not just perpetrated, but done so with the blessing of Western governments and MOST churches! When do Christians stand up and say that it is not acceptable for Zionists to commit genocide and ethnic cleansing in the name of God because of  misconstrued scripture?

Of course, it is not acceptable for terrorists to target civilians in Israel, the US, Britain, Bali or any country. Islamists must find peaceful ways to get their message across otherwise there will be a radicalisation of civilians in the West leading to even more violence against innocent people. In addition, the West must end the brutal occupations and invasions of Muslim countries and stop sponsoring Israeli aggression.

It is understandable that people are angry and want revenge for horrendous crimes such as the Woolwich murder, BUT ... using this and other incidents to justify violence against Muslims gives legitimacy to all terrorists who feel their actions are justified by injustice. Anger must be channeled into more productive and conciliatory actions. All people, of all walks, religions, and political persuasions, must stop reacting violently if we are to see an end to violence.

In the words of Buddha:

'Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule'.