Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fighting Islamic Terror with Help from Muslims

One of the most dull and wrong-headed ideas you hear of is all the bollox about islam being fundamentally violent. Yes, there are islamic extremists and they are nutty and brutal fuckheds but - and this is a huge but - all religions have their nutters. I don't want to be killed by some idiot with delusions of martyrdom, so I also have an interest in stopping radical islam. The question is what works - and time and time again it is shown that the Bu$h approach of 'with us or with the terrorists' is a simplistic and violent and counter-productive way to go about it. The shouting angry grrr of the BNP/EDL is also counter-productive, forcing moderate muslims into the arms of radicals who'll say 'see, we told you there is a war on islam, you must join us blah blah infidels blah glory of god'.

Back in 2005 I quoted from Jason Burke's book on the best way to stop islamic terrorism;

"Currently military power is the default, the weapon of choice, in fact the greatest weapon available in the war on terrorism is the courage, decency, humour and integrity of the vast portion of the worlds 1.3 billion Muslims. It is this that is restricting the spread of al-Qaeda and its warped world view, not the activities of counter-terrorist experts or the military strategists."

So here's an example of how that approach gets results, from the New York Times/Observer section on 20th December and the quote is by Audrey Kurth Cronin of the National War College (can't find a URL!) talking about the arrest of some guys who were allegedly plotting some terror attacks;

"To me, the most interesting thing about the five guys is that it was their parents that immediately when to the FBI. It was members of the American Muslim community that put a stop to whatever those men may have been planning."

My guess would be that the parents are prepared to shop them in partly because they didn't agree with their sons actions and partly because they believed that this administration would give them a fair trial and not ship them off to be tortured. Another victory for human rights.