What causes Extremism?
Here we are, more manipulated than ever… It’s difficult to know what to think or believe in, which makes it easier for those with bad intentions to go about their ways. Without in any way excusing the deplorable terrorism we’ve seen both yesterday and since 1999 surely we need to step back a moment and ask what has to happen to people to feel so desperate as to be so angry as to be willing to take their own lives and indiscriminately take the lives of others? They must have either seen so much destruction in their own lives or see nothing worth living for to perpetrate such acts. There must be so much inequality from which we in the developed world are privileged enough to look away from.
Suicide attacks are without doubt the most potent and at the same time cowardly act that we can bear witness to, yet is a drone attack not equally potent and cowardly? What won’t be discussed today is how drones are remote controlled from the military base in Rammstein (Germany) without the express agreement of the German people. What won’t be discussed today is the utter destruction wrought on Afghanistan by first the British, then the USSR, then the Americans, British and Nato. Thinking we can look the other way as profiteering war-mongers continue to spark conflicts in far away places without these at some point coming back to us at home is clearly something that must be called into question. How is it possible that we look the other way as military budgets grow whilst aid and development projects represent a mere fraction of the money and effort spent to help countries develop stable societies in which people can have a meaningful life where they can do things we do… you know, have a safe place to live, go to a job, feed and clothe our families… The world has easily enough resources to do this, yet somehow we fall for the lie that because we are born where we are we are far more deserving than the others “ those brown people somewhere… well it’s kinda their fault, their culture is in some way defective and they’re different” is a lie that we are constantly exposed to as some kind of pitiful justification to just ignore suffering and keep on consuming.
The simple fact is, regardless of whether you’re in Kabul, Berlin, Washington DC, Jakarta or in fact any place on this earth you have a basic human right to live free of fear — if there’s any doubt, we are at war… it’s just that the nature of war has changed and the real battle is the battle for our minds. Every terror attack kills indiscriminately, yet the impact is on all of us. It would be easy to seek scapegoats — and that may happen, yet this would be a mistake. We have to think carefully how we act — that means thinking about who profits from war and suffering, because it is a business. If we avoid buying products from companies that actively finance arms manufacture and war it’s a start. These are mighty uncertain times for us all, we need to make sure we don’t cave in to the consensus that will be pushed through the media demonising Islam and migrants, those are distractions from the bigger picture — namely the failure of humanity to be human.