Terrorism

Dr Lobster*
Posts: 2013
Joined: Sat 30 Aug, 2003 20.14

Of all the terrorist attacks that have been committed in my lifetime, the attack in Manchester, seemingly targeting little girls going to a concert and having fun with their friends and family, somehow rates as one of the most abhorrent. It is truly disgusting, beyond words.

The government and others who are intellectually and emotionally abstracted basically tell us to stay strong and live with it with some meaningless diatribe about never giving in to terrorism,etc.

Perhaps it's old age, but does this really cut the mustard anymore?

Can we just go on like this forever, putting up with this?

If you were in charge, what would you do to stop these senseless attacks?
all new Phil
Posts: 1645
Joined: Sun 13 Feb, 2005 00.04
Location: Next door to Hell

This time it's really horrible. I tend not to get overly affected by things like this, but I had tears in my eyes driving into work the morning after whilst listening to it on the radio. Ariana Grande is someone my 10 and 8 year old nieces listen to. They idolise her. To me, it feels like someone now sees them as a worthwhile target.

But I can't even begin to think what can be done to stop it. One good thing to come out of this is that there seems to have been a real effort by the Muslim community to condemn what has happened, and people seem to be accepting that. But despite this, which I really do welcome, there is still the feeling that there are a number within this community who don't share these sentiments, and I fear that this number is significantly more than we think.

I suppose we won't solve the issue until we understand why it is that these things happen in the first place. What could a 22 year old British-born (I think?) Muslim seriously feel strongly enough about that he feels that the answer is to blow up innocent young people who are out having a good time? Why do they hate us so much? And if they do hate us so much, why are they here? These fundamental questions need to be asked - I'm not sure who to, but until we have the answer, nothing will change.
Thought this was a nice forum, clearly not.
Alexia
Posts: 2972
Joined: Sat 01 Oct, 2005 17.50

all new Phil wrote: Wed 24 May, 2017 22.10 there is still the feeling that there are a number within this community who don't share these sentiments, and I fear that this number is significantly more than we think.

There's the problem - right there. "We" think. You're being (deliberately or otherwise, and I suspect it's probably the latter) exclusionist, adopting an us and them mentality, differentiating yourself for a particular reason, whatever that is. That's dangerous for a start. Immediately you're creating a barrier - adopting the perceived mentality that only "we" - i.e. native white British people, can make the judgments on numbers and amounts and sentiments. You're setting yourself up as an arbiter in possession of right of judgment based on nothing more than accident of birth.

Also there is little to no evidence of the actual numbers of Muslim people who either sympathise or agree with the actions of Monday night. We can make a judgment based on hearsay and some blowhards who preach hate in the street and shout abuse at soldiers' funerals. But then one could also make an equally unsound judgment that all white British people are violent racists based on a cursory glance at Britain First patrols, EDL marches and thousands of NF, BNP and UKIP voters. Extrapolation based on visual extremism is a dangerous game. There have been some "scientific" surveys done of some areas of Muslim society, many of which construe sympathy from several tenuous and often innocent statements based on articles of faith and laws of god.

Finally a point I want to make about the word "community" - the Muslim Community isn't the Masons or the Borg. It's not some secret society who meet up and collaborate. Nor are they psychic or share the same hive mind. They are a group of people who all happen to have a similar ethnic origin and who all believe in the same made-up fairy godfather in the sky. In fact they don't even all share the same approach to believing in the same made-up fairy godfather in the sky. Otherwise you lump Jason Mohammed in with Abu Hamza. The idea that Muslims because they tend to be large family units and all live in the same part of town all know exactly what each other is getting up to is laughably daft and simplistic. I don't know what my neighbours get up to half the time. I don't even know half the people in my street. To assume that Muslims do is putting an unfair burden on them - unshakeable and undefendable guilt by association. I have secrets I keep from my own family, everyone does. You can't get blood out of a stone and if a terrorist is plotting something in any "community", all the suspicions and interrogations and Imam words of advice won't do anything.

What happened on Monday night was appalling. But the next MEN Arena bomb won't be stopped by putting the 2 million Muslims in this country into concentration camps, or beseiging them with impossible demands, unfair expectations and unwise and uneducated slurs. Nor will it be stopped by right wing blowhards like KTH, Piers Moron and Allison Pearson emboldened by a Brexity xenophobic society spouting their guts out in unabashed false rage. Nor will it be stopped by a wet liberal lassaiz-faire approach. The cork is out of the bottle. We've invaded Iraq, sold arms to Saudi Arabia and bombed Syria. We've got a Daily Mail comments section of a media, a weak and wobbly PM and an ineffectual opposition. None of this is a reason, but it is all part of the cause. They are all ingredients in the hideous pie of life we find ourselves baking at the moment. And no-one seems to want to pull it out of the oven. Everyone just wants to keep ramping up the heat until we end up with a burnt out husk with no filling - a bitter tasting inedible shell of a country. You wanna stop terrorism? Fund the police. Negate hate speech on both sides. Listen to the 99% in the middle who are crying out for a quiet ordinary life. Stop listening to the 1% on either side who are wagging the dog at the moment. Then maybe we can get on with shit and stop worrying about our kids getting blown up.
all new Phil
Posts: 1645
Joined: Sun 13 Feb, 2005 00.04
Location: Next door to Hell

You appear to have made a lot of assumptions there based upon how you interpret my use of the word "we". For what it's worth, by we, I mean everybody apart from those who wish to cause harm to others. I include the vast majority of Muslims within "we". Don't tarnish me with the Daily Mail / EDL / Katie Hopkins stick please.
Thought this was a nice forum, clearly not.
Martin Phillp
Posts: 1019
Joined: Wed 11 May, 2011 01.28

There was a Muslim guest on Sky News who had the most realistic analysis of the radicalisation of young Muslims. The liberal way of dealing with it or blaming all Muslims won't solve the issue, but is somewhere in the middle.

Usually I'm largely immune to these attacks, but I woke up on Tuesday morning, put on the news and felt physically sick as I thought about the kids. A friend of mine's daughter lost her friend from school which brings the fact that terrorism has no boundaries.
TVF's London Lite.
Alexia
Posts: 2972
Joined: Sat 01 Oct, 2005 17.50

all new Phil wrote: Wed 24 May, 2017 23.24 You appear to have made a lot of assumptions there based upon how you interpret my use of the word "we". For what it's worth, by we, I mean everybody apart from those who wish to cause harm to others. I include the vast majority of Muslims within "we". Don't tarnish me with the Daily Mail / EDL / Katie Hopkins stick please.
This reaction illustrates my point clearly and also gives you a taste of the reaction it provokes: You immediately felt threatened and defensive when I challenged your choice of language and you also then asserted that I lumped you in with those aforementioned shitstirring filthmeisters. Read my reply back and you'll see that at no point did I assert who you meant by "we", only that by choosing to use "we" you create a subtle but powerful differentiation between yourself and the subject of your differentiation - i.e the "community". This kind of language, when used in public, especially by those shitstirring filthmeisters, reinforces, promotes and embraces the notion that those in "the community" are not part of "we/us" and more importantly can never be part of "we/us". Of all the interpretations that can be made of such a small two-letter word, it is this which is the most pervasive, the most divisive and the most damaging. I have no doubt you meant no malice by it, and I take your reply in good faith. But in a world where a gesture or a look can be fatally provocative, one must be very careful not to fall into linguistic or semantic traps, especially those traps so easily exploited by those wishing to cause mischief. Unfortunately the English language, such that it is, is limited and speakers of it have limited choice of pronouns. There are no distinctive inclusive or exclusive first person plural pronouns except by means of expansion and clumsy addenda. Such is life as an English speaker. Perhaps we* should all speak Cherokee instead.

clumsy addendum: * referring to speakers of English
bilky asko
Posts: 1171
Joined: Sat 08 Nov, 2008 19.48

Logically, there is no reason to be scared of a terrorist attack in this country. It affects a tiny number of people in terms of physical harm, and it happens very infrequently.

However, the very fact terrorism exists as a concept demonstrates that it is illogical.

I think that the idea of a group of people being responsible should be de-emphasised - the emphasis should be placed on the disrupted mental state of a person that would cause them to kill themselves and others in such a way.
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Pete
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Alexia wrote: Thu 25 May, 2017 01.31
all new Phil wrote: Wed 24 May, 2017 23.24 You appear to have made a lot of assumptions there based upon how you interpret my use of the word "we". For what it's worth, by we, I mean everybody apart from those who wish to cause harm to others. I include the vast majority of Muslims within "we". Don't tarnish me with the Daily Mail / EDL / Katie Hopkins stick please.
This reaction illustrates my point clearly and also gives you a taste of the reaction it provokes: You immediately felt threatened and defensive when I challenged your choice of language and you also then asserted that I lumped you in with those aforementioned shitstirring filthmeisters. Read my reply back and you'll see that at no point did I assert who you meant by "we"...
adopting the perceived mentality that only "we" - i.e. native white British people,

Just as you appear to have misinterpreted Phil's meaning, I appear to have misread yours as an implication that Phil's "we" meant the highlighted text.

With a topic like this can we perhaps go and make a cup of tea and re-read posts before we press submit? It's obviously going to cause emotional replies and I'd like to keep things civil.

The Metropol community has survived all sorts of wibble. It can survive a slightly slower response time so we stay friends.
"He has to be larger than bacon"
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tillyoshea
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bilky asko wrote: Thu 25 May, 2017 01.56I think that the idea of a group of people being responsible should be de-emphasised - the emphasis should be placed on the disrupted mental state of a person that would cause them to kill themselves and others in such a way.
I think this is an overlooked point. It often seems to me - based on nothing more than my own subjective experience - that narratives largely ignore individual mental illness when attacks are blamed on Islamist extremism, but are much quicker to jump to discussions of individual mental health states when attackers claim to be inspired by other motives.
Dr Lobster*
Posts: 2013
Joined: Sat 30 Aug, 2003 20.14

I think one of the most difficult things to read and comprehend is how in a lot of these cases many of the individuals responsible are flagged up and known to the authorities for one reason or another - sometimes for pretty serious offenses and often multiple times.

There seems to be serious deficiencies in how information on these people is stored, shared, processed and evaluated.

Where the intelligence agencies seem to fail is spotting the transition of a suspect who is known, might have extremist views, but is considered a loon to somebody who becomes a viable threat and then goes about acquiring the knowledge to create an explosive device.

I accept that with certain types of offender, such as one that is intent on driving a bus or lorry through a crowd of people is going to be pretty difficult to stop, I cannot accept that somebody who goes to great endeavours to build a bomb, travels to known hotspots wouldn't flag up something somewhere.

I do accept that it will be an in exact science, but as I say, the hardest thing to accept is where the clues seemed to have been there.
cwathen
Posts: 1149
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

I think one of the most difficult thingts to read and comprehend is how in a lot of these cases many of the individuals responsible are flagged up and known to the authorities for one reason or another - sometimes for pretty serious offenses and often multiple times.
That's the big thing for me. Although I do think every time a media outlet blasts 'the attacker...who was known to the authorities' out there does need to be some qualification as to what authorities they were known to, how they were known to them and for what reason. If someone is 'known to the police' because they burgled a house, that is no reason to suppose that they will go on to become radicalised suicide bombers. If on the other hand someone is known to the police because they have stood on street corners for the past year shouting hate speech and proclaiming the need to cleanse the country of infidels, or are known to the local NHS mental health service as someone who has said disturbing things about bombing shopping centres in a session, that is an entirely different matter.

The problem of course is finding an 'acceptable' point at which you can intervene - for by 'intervention' we do mean taking someone who hasn't committed any crime out of society and locking them up, with the justification that society as a whole is protected by that person being taken out of circulation. That is a terrifying prospect and an attack on 'our' way of life in itself. After an attack like this it is obvious we would have been better off with that person locked up, but at what point before one does it become acceptable to do this?

Where I live we had armed police on the streets today. Whilst I understand the gesture and wasn't particularly alarmed by it for it was obvious why they were there, the reality is that they would be no defence against a mentally ill radicalised person acting alone willing to blow themselves up in the process.

As to how we can ever stop this? At present, I don't think we can. This is not like the IRA threat. We are not dealing with a single cohesive force with a command structure and where the operatives intend to get out alive. We are dealing with disparate terrorist 'groups' who are more often than not a loose association rather than a structured operation and the individual attacks are often carried out by people who are acting alone (or as part of a very small group) which themselves may well only share the views of the 'group' rather than being a part of it per se. Oh, and their plans don't involve getting out alive either. And for all the Britain First brigade proclaiming 'send them back', in many cases these people are born here, there is no where to send them back to. Whilst I fully support swift deportation (and no more insane multi-year legal battles as with Abu Hamza) where this is an option in many cases it isn't.; 'they' are our problem and our problem only to deal with.

The problem at the moment is that we want to be tough on terrorists but we feel unable to completely brand someone a terrorist until they have actually committed a terrorist act (and are usually dead). The solution is neither a far-right EDL position, NOR a particularly liberal one either. Some middle solution has to be found, and the cold hard reality of it is that at some point we may as a society have to make a choice as to whether it is acceptable to have an increased risk of innocent people being prosecuted for terrorism in exchange for a reduced risk of terrorist attacks.
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