Monday, July 25, 2005
What is behind terrorism? from Sherif el Sebai
Sherif El Sebai has a very interesting blog Salem(e)lik (In Italian). I’m taking the liberty of translating a segment of one of his latest interventions, "Fallaci: il Dio Buono e il Dio infanticida". This article is also available in French on his site.
“… Military strategy though, as it is normal that it should be so, is accompanied by a hammering and constant propaganda commissioned by those lobbies that have every interest in removing the attention of their own citizens from problems of daily life, and they can’t wait to justify their own political line. Even if it is a failure seeing that it is essentially set up to enrich some multinationals in which it is the principal investor.
The uncomfortable truth is that these lobbies, Ms Fallaci, and together with them various minor versions that are turning up every day through the national newspapers, want to hide to the general public that there is no such thing as terrorism that is born out of nothing. And therefore, there can not even be a terrorism that is born from a “senseless” hatred of the West, of its civilisation and values. To put it briefly, there is no such thing as a terrorism that is aggressive as an end in itself, because terrorism is nothing more than a method that part of a specific social reality uses in order to obtain a political result. The truth is that terrorists do not attack because they are “jealous of the Twin Towers” or of the “Western metropolis’s”: all it takes is for a quick look in some Arab cities to assure oneself of this. They don’t care one way or the other about how Westerners dress and what their TV stations propose at two o’clock in the morning.
And they don’t attack because they want to “destroy the West or conquer or convert it to Islam”, even if their pompous rhetoric seems to sound that way to non-experts. The terrorism of Al Qaeda is not at all a religious terrorism, even if it is tied into religion: it is a political terrorism, with methodologies and finalities that are plainly geo-strategic and economic.
Al Qaeda does not kill the English, the Spanish or the Americans because they are “Christians”, even if it makes rhetorical use of the term “infidels” (the Egyptian ambassador whose throat was cut, with wife and daughters wearing veils, had been in fact also defined as ambassador “of the infidels”).
Why, according to the perverse logic of Al Qaeda, are citizens who have decided with their free vote to support governments that have brought about and maintained politics considered unjust not only by those fanatics that – in a barbaric and unacceptable way – have self-assumed the duty of “defending” and “vindicating” their communities, but even a large part of the public opinion of the Middle East, Christian Arabs included. The terrorists aim at overthrowing the Middle Eastern governments sustained by the West, especially in countries rendered unstable – and therefore substantially made “appetising” and “accessible” – to Western military intervention, such as in Iraq, or to reinstate fundamentalist governments that had previously existed, such as in Afghanistan.
Until they have reached their goal, the attacks will continue because they are functional to their image of themselves as “vengeful heroes” for the Arab masses, continually put to the stress and pain of photograms of the victims of American bombs or of torture perpetrated by Western soldiers. Islamic terrorism, with great banality, models itself after all of the terrorist movements that have political demands, while conserving the religious rhetoric that is functional for justifying – always according to the extremist point of view – certain actions before the Middle Eastern populations who are, essentially, populations that are religious believers and sensitive to the calls of their religion. But these populations are also driven by serious situations of social, political and economic deprivation, which as lasted a long time both in the Middle East as in Europe, where the integration of the Muslim community is – differently from the United States – substantially a failure. It is certainly not for the fault of Islam or of the Muslims themselves, but for the fault of the European governments who have ghettoised the Muslim communities, inducing some of its members to follow the fundamentalists who rather accept them with open arms, notwithstanding the sentences and useless requests of extradition advanced by their countries of origin. Fundamentalists who have been coddled and pampered and not, as some would have us believe, in the name of democracy and the freedom of thought, but to exercise ulterior pressure on the Arab world, which is already wrung through and through by Western military threats, by embargos, by social conflicts between the rich who are always more rich and the poor who are always more poor, from the demographic explosion, to unemployment and illiteracy."