Religious terrorism aims to divide and recruit

Terrorism aims to divide. Religious based terrorism aims to divide religions, to divide people with different religious beliefs.

They aim to disrupt societies.

By alienating one group from another, by provoking animosity and fear of each other, they think they will bolster their aim of being a superior religion.

And they aim to appeal to the disaffected of their religion, those who bear the brunt of division and animosity, because that is where they get new recruits.

Al Jazeera: Don’t let ISIL divide us

We are not united in our misery – alas, it is dividing us, for that is terror’s aim.

These terrible, daily realities are bad enough – but what makes it so much worse is the division and polarisation that such acts of terror have created. Pointless, destructive debates over the “right to offend” rage across Europe’s media landscape. So, too, do attempts to downplay or ignore the realities of either Islamophobia or anti-Semitism, as though the existence of both at the same time cannot be comprehended.

ISIL’s horrendous killing spree in Libya has prompted renewed calls for military intervention – stepping up existing bombing campaigns in Iraq and Syria, putting boots (though it is not clear whose boots) on the ground.

It is as though the endless war on terror and the horrors it unleashed – ISIL being one of them – have taught us nothing, have not instilled even the basic realisation that ideologies cannot be bombed away; that air strikes are no substitute for political so

Guardian: I was held hostage by Isis. They fear our unity more than our airstrikes

As a proud Frenchman I am as distressed as anyone about the events in Paris. But I am not shocked or incredulous. I know Islamic State. I spent 10 months as an Isis hostage, and I know for sure that our pain, our grief, our hopes, our lives do not touch them. Theirs is a world apart.

Central to their world view is the belief that communities cannot live together with Muslims, and every day their antennae will be tuned towards finding supporting evidence. The pictures from Germany of people welcoming migrants will have been particularly troubling to them. Cohesion, tolerance – it is not what they want to see.

At the moment there is no political road map and no plan to engage the Arab Sunni community. Isis will collapse, but politics will make that happen. In the meantime there is much we can achieve in the aftermath of this atrocity, and the key is strong hearts and resilience, for that is what they fear. I know them: bombing they expect. What they fear is unity.

ABC News: Paris attacks: What Islamic State is trying to achieve

If Islamist extremists can strike at will at the heart of Paris then, it seems, none of us are safe. And, of course, we all sympathise deeply with the victims of the attacks.

But while we and our allies work ourselves into another moral outrage, tighten already restrictive security provisions, and drop yet more bombs on distant targets, we seem to be missing the point.

And that point is that terrorism is, and always has been, designed to provoke exactly such a backlash. We and our allies are singing from the terrorist’s song-book.

The first aim of terrorism – and often warfare – is simple enough. It is to strike at one’s enemies, real or perceived, to punish them for their crimes. We and our allies hurt people – sometimes innocent people – where they live. IS in turn appears to have decided to hurt ‘us’ back where we live.

The second aim of terrorism is to attack specific targets, often individuals, who are seen as representing or being a leader of an enemy.

The third aim of terrorism, which is the most important, is to engender a backlash in order to bring to one’s side those who are not yet committed to the cause. The US-led invasion of Iraq created an extremist Islamist response where one had previously not existed.

This attack is intended to produce a similar backlash, to turn non-Muslim Europeans against Muslims both in Europe and elsewhere, legitimising the claim that there is war between the West and Islam. Europe’s xenophobic right-wing will be strengthened in the process, and the greatest long-term victims will be those people who have been fleeing just such terror in the Middle East.

A further aim of such terrorism is to prove that the terrorists are a force to be reckoned with and that, as such, the West will turn on itself and ultimately divide and weaken itself over its confused responses.

There are no simple answers to terrorism, and in particular this type of Islamist ideology. It is a struggle which, very likely, will be with us for decades.

However, buying into a pre-arranged narrative and responding exactly as intended is perhaps the first thing we, as a collective of nations, should not do.

If we fight amongst each other, if we fight over what sort of response is needed, if we divide along religious lines and fight, the religious terrorists are achieving their aims.

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44 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  27th August 2016

    Terrorism/War/conflict is always about land and resources.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  27th August 2016

      Exactly. Muhammad was on to that one like a rabid dog.

      Reply
    • Missy

       /  27th August 2016

      Wrong, Terrorism is about ideology. Wars between sovereign states is often about land and resources, but not Terrorism.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  27th August 2016

        semantics.

        Reply
        • Missy

           /  27th August 2016

          Very important if you want credibility when debating issues. Try it one day.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  27th August 2016

            Debating involves more than one point of view,try it…one day.Nelson Mandela was a ‘terrorist’….but morphed into a ‘freedom fighter’!

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  27th August 2016

              Off down the diversion track again eh?

            • Missy

               /  27th August 2016

              Thanks for the lesson Blazer, and yes I have tried debating – 3 years at University actually, how about you?

            • Missy

               /  27th August 2016

              Gezza, that is the sign of a bad debater, they have no arguments to put forward that challenges the argument of the debater that has gone before, so they try to divert the argument away from the original one.

          • Blazer

             /  27th August 2016

            the sign of a ‘bad’ debater!3 wasted years.

            Reply
            • Missy

               /  27th August 2016

              Ah, so you did debate, so sorry to hear you had 3 wasted years then Blazer. I am sure in time you will improve though.

            • Gezza

               /  27th August 2016

              Blaise couldn’t debate his way out of his own push-chair.

            • Blazer

               /  27th August 2016

              I’ve got some good news and some bad news,the good news Gezza agreed with you yesterday,the bad news…Gezza agreed with you…yesterday.

      • Blazer

         /  27th August 2016

        ‘”No one definition of terrorism has gained universal acceptance,” the State Department said in a report on world terrorism in 2000. ‘

        Reply
    • People, often in religious groupings, use terrorism when they feel they have no other choice, or when it suits their agenda, like the Zionists did after WW2 in Israel … As an analogy, it’s like doing guerilla graffiti until you become a recognised ‘street artist’ and have exhibitions in the big public art galleries, get accepted and go ‘mainstream’ …. become a nation, for instance …

      This is notwithstanding that individual psychopaths and sociopaths will always find something to attach their murderous insanity to. Personally I believe the Muslim religion is more likely [by some statistical measure] than Western Christendom to create such individuals … but they nonetheless exist everywhere …

      The primary reason for war and the threat of war nowadays is the conscious and organised “Americanisation of the World” …

      If we can create Free Trade Agreements we could create Peace or Detente agreements …

      It’s like a fridge magnet I saw, “If we can fly a man to the moon, why can’t we send them all there?”

      Reply
  2. Missy

     /  27th August 2016

    Pete, we will always be divided on this as long as there are those that pander to the terrorists, give leeway to those that commit the acts, put the rights of their religion and way of life over that of the values of the west, refuse to discuss the issues and problems within Islam as a religion, use words such as rednecks or racists or islamaphobics or intolerant to describe those that do question Islam.

    It is when words such as lone wolf are used to describe those committing the terrorist acts, or those committing the acts are excused as having mental health issues, or when there are those that will blame the victims because they printed a cartoon, or when there are those that think the West should be fully tolerant allowing things like Sharia Law but not expecting Muslims to adopt the values of countries they live in, that there is division in the way we deal with terrorism.

    As long as the world has people described above there will always be division and the terrorists will continue as they have been, and one day it will come to NZ, and the liberals will sit and ask why?

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  27th August 2016

      what exactly are the ‘values’ of the West?I for one can’t work them out.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  27th August 2016

        Exactly. That’s why you seem to prefer the Islamic ones.

        Reply
      • Missy

         /  27th August 2016

        Seriously Blazer, you have no ideas of the values of the west? So, if you don’t know them you don’t believe in them? Explains a lot.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  27th August 2016

          I’m all ears …lets hear them…we know what they are not…’Liberté, égalité, fraternité’!

          Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  27th August 2016

        That is the most accurate thing you have ever said, Blazer, and it is your fundamental problem. Work on it.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  27th August 2016

          I need something to work with…starting with the ‘values’ of the West….no one seems to ..know what they are in fact.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  27th August 2016

            Correction: you don’t know what they are. Educate yourself. It’s not our job. We paid to try to educate you and that is enough.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  27th August 2016

              its a failing in the system then!No one is game,because no one knows…anymore!

            • Gezza

               /  27th August 2016

              Pop on over to Saudi Arabia Blaise, or Pakistan, or Iran etc. Stand in the marketplace and tell them loudly what your views are on religion. Get back to us about their values – if you can.

            • Gezza

               /  27th August 2016

              See if you can spot the difference between theirs, & ours, after that.

            • Gezza

               /  27th August 2016

              Not keen then Blaise?

  3. Iceberg

     /  27th August 2016

    “if we fight over what sort of response is needed”

    Yes, we should all just get along shouldn’t we?

    Of course we are going to fight over what response is needed, that’s the way it works in the West. I’d prefer we carpet bombed them, you would have us do nothing. We’re extremists then. We argue until we find a way.

    But it will only take one bombing in our fair country to tip the balance my way, right? What would tip it yours?

    Reply
    • ” I’d prefer we carpet bombed them”

      That’s worked very well in the past, not. Remember Vietnam?

      “you would have us do nothing”

      That is based on nothing and false.

      “But it will only take one bombing in our fair country to tip the balance my way, right? ”

      That’s an unknown.

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  27th August 2016

      Nope. I reckon we shouldn’t carpet bomb them. We should just stop them getting a toehold here. They’ll be happy for generations carpet and car and human bombing themselves.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  27th August 2016

        And they’ll still happily sell us their oil. We should just get out of Muslim countries and leave them to it. One day they might wake up to their own religion, if they’re allowed to by their own people.

        Reply
    • Blazer

       /  27th August 2016

      ‘’Id prefer we carpet bombed them’….not …on..the beach…surely!

      Reply
    • Conspiratoor

       /  27th August 2016

      I’m a laid back kind of dude ice. For me it would be 5% of the population or 5 lone wolf attacks whichever comes first. Aus will get there first, we have another 10 years

      Reply
  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  27th August 2016

    A lot of that seems simplistic and facile to me. I don’t distinguish between state enforced oppression and murder in the name of religion and terrorist actions in the name of the same religion.

    As far as I can see both are based on a combination of bad ideas and possession of territory and resources. Both have to be tackled since they support each other.

    Reply
  5. The claim that they’re less afraid of bombing than unity is a crock.
    And for that one simple reason the air attacks should be maintained until the mad muslims sue for peace

    Reply
  6. Most enlightened Westerners can and do incorporate foreign cultures in their communities.Here in Auckland, we have one of the most diverse and rich cultures in the whole Western world. Our calendar is full of wonderful multicultural celebration. The integration of most cultures is largely seamless – incoming cultures adapt and enhance and we welcome the richness and diversity they bring.

    This degree of inclusion, I might add, happens in NO other culture, not any Asian one I can think of and not an Arabic one, where Western cultures, values and certainly the Christian religion is often outlawed. In contrast, we’ve welcomed mass migration of Polynesians and Asians for decades and we all get along splendidly. (Well most of us have – except the xenophobic WRP types and Labourites)

    Pete, it is not about us “fighting amongst ourselves”, “divid(ing) along religious lines – it is about the impact that their incoming, supremacist beliefs and the exclusivity their religion imbues them with, and the worst of them murdering innocents that’s the problem. We’re all infidels – even to a relatively moderate Muslim, we’ve got it all wrong. It is them who refuse to accept our secularity, our diversity and who fail to extend magnanimity.

    The fact is that throughout Europe all the concessions made are to them and not the other way around. Show me one other culture, apart from Europe/Au/NZ etc where the symbols of centuries-old host traditions like our Pagan/Christian Easter and Christmas are watered down, even excluded altogether to accommodate the sensitivities of Islamic religious sensitivities.

    Reply
    • Another thoughtful comment traveller.

      “Our calendar is full of wonderful multicultural celebration. The integration of most cultures is largely seamless.”

      I’d say what’s going on is ‘amalgamation’ as much as [or more than] integration? A kind of social multi-lectic evolution. I think this is what truly frightens people. The country’s not going to remain White.

      However, if it works for Pasifika and Diwali I personally don’t see why it shouldn’t work for Ramadan, provided the people of these cultures and religions are peaceable … here? Why resist Islam when we accept Polynesian Pentacostal Christianity and Asian/Indian Hinduism?

      Here’s why. You say, ” … we’ve welcomed mass migration of Polynesians and Asians for decades and we all get along splendidly” and I say, “Post-war Pommie, then Polynesian, then Indian/Asian and Chinese immigration was resisted at every turn by large portions of the NZ population including officialdom”. Don’t you remember “Bloody Poms” and dawn raids? “My God, suddenly every Dairy’s owned by Indians!” Now it’s every gas station!

      Your “Well most of us have – [welcomed migrants] – except the xenophobic WRP types and Labourites” is unbecoming of you IMHO. I see and have seen xenophobia in all stratas of society. The fact that some of its expressions relate strongly to blue collar workers and their employment is no brush to tar all xenophobes with … There must be plenty of aspirational gas station owners phobing-at-the-mouth as well …

      ” … the worst of them murdering innocents that’s the problem. We’re all infidels – even to a relatively moderate Muslim, we’ve got it all wrong.” I could say (almost) the same thing about Zionist Israelis? Mosad. Neither Muslims nor Israelis have murdered innocents in NZ so far … only the French government!

      ” … centuries-old host traditions like our Pagan/Christian Easter and Christmas are watered down, even excluded altogether to accommodate …Islamic sensitivities”

      I heartily disagree. There’s a couple of other much more powerful forces doing the “watering down” of Christianity I’m afraid, both our own Western type: Our much ‘cherished’ and evolving secularity and our neoliberal fixation with shopping. Islamic sensitivities frankly pale by comparison to these two. Christianity has muchly undone itself …

      Nonetheless, it’s also true IMHO that multiculturalism has mostly filtered down from the top, rather than up from the bottom … thanks to the likes of left-wing liberals, commies, vibrants and social justice warriors …

      And finally, what of Maori in all this? Maori, to whom we are all immigrants …

      Reply
  7. I am bemused by the lack of real news in our neck of the woods. How many are aware of the attempted bombing in a church that just occurred in Medan, Indonesia on Sunday? The bomber after failing to set off his bomb jacket stabbed the Batak padre in a Batak Christian Church in Medan (Its just across the strait from Singapore/Malaysia). The Batak people are an Indonesian ethnic group who have art and culture very similar to Maori, the majority are Christian. They provide a lot of leadership in the multi-cultural community that is Indonesia.

    The worrying thing is the continuation of anti-Christian attacks by Islamic groups in Indonesia in parts of the country where NZ tourists are likely to visit. This is not ISIS driven, Indonesia has a history of extremist Muslim activity, despite the Javanese history of being wonderful well mannered hosts to visitors are normally welcoming smiling ambassadors of their culture. Kiwi tourists should be aware and alert in Indonesia. Its too close to home!

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  29th August 2016

      the I’m alright jack’ mentality is not interested in people in muslim countries dying…..pass the peanut butter…John!

      Reply
      • Secular-Christian Military-Industrialism aims to divide and recruit … ???

        Reply
        • Plenty to worry about in “Indonesia” beejay, another ‘nation’ fabricated by the West …

          “The name dates to the 18th century, far predating the formation of independent Indonesia.[13] In 1850, George Windsor Earl, an English ethnologist, proposed the terms Indunesians—and, his preference, Malayunesians—for the inhabitants of the “Indian Archipelago or Malayan Archipelago” Really? I wonder what they called themselves?

          ” the earliest evidence of Islamised populations in Indonesia dates to the 13th century in northern Sumatra.[32] Other Indonesian areas gradually adopted Islam, and it was the dominant religion in Java and Sumatra by the end of the 16th century. For the most part, Islam overlaid and mixed with existing cultural and religious influences …” One of those influences wasn’t Christianity …

          “Despite major internal political, social and sectarian divisions during the National Revolution – [possibly a product of them not really being a nation?] – Indonesians, on the whole, found unity in their fight for independence. Japanese occupation during World War II ended Dutch rule,[38] and encouraged the previously suppressed Indonesian independence movement.

          “Following three and a half centuries of Dutch colonialism starting from Amboina and Batavia, and eventually all of the archipelago including Timor and West Papua, at times interrupted by Portuguese, French and British rule, Indonesia secured its independence after World War II.”

          “In 1999, East Timor voted to secede from Indonesia, after a twenty-five-year military occupation that was marked by international condemnation of repression of the East Timorese.”

          ‘Terrorism’ follows colonial imperialism as night follows day … and day night …

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indonesia#Modern_era

          Reply
  8. As a long term student of Indonesia Partizan Z, I have some different views as to the origins of Indonesia as a term for inhabitants of the East Indies Archipeligo. However, thats just my view. Yes, Islam came to Indonesia courtesy of the Arab traders who used the trade winds to travel through India to the ports of Malacca and Aceh and attracted interest from the local inhabitants for their religious views. Aceh was never conquered by the Dutch or the British or Portugese and the Acehnese even today are very proud of this and will tell you proudly that they are extreme in their views about Islam as well. They continue to rebel against Jakarta from time to time and have been successful in obtaining status in Indonesia as a special area (Daerah Istemewa Aceh) similar to Jogjakakarta in Java.
    “Indonesia is the common and official name to refer the Republic of Indonesia or Indonesian archipelago; however, other names, such as Nusantara and East Indies are also known. Some of these names are considered obsolete and confined to certain periods of history, while some might be more geographically specific or general.”(Wikipedia)
    The term “Wawasan Nusantara” became of prominence during the UN Law of the Sea Negotiations in Indonesia where it was used to convey the belief of the Indonesians that the sea did not separate elements of the archipeligo but in fact JOINED them. The many different ethnic groups inIndonesia subscribe to the national motto of “Bhinekka Tunggal Eka” old Sanscirt for Unity in Diversity.
    “On identifying geographical names of their lands, the Indonesian orang asli (tangata whenua) seldom transcend their traditional boundaries, which is relatively small confined in their tribal environs. There are around 300 distinct native ethnic groups in Indonesia, and 742 different languages and dialects, which add to the complexity and nonconformity on the naming of the region. The concept of identifying the whole archipelagic region that today forms Indonesia with a single name was unknown then. Geographical names usually applied to individual islands, such as Java, one of the earliest identified islands in the Indonesian archipelago. It was foreign traders and explorers from India, China, Middle East, and Europe who finally chose the names of this region.” Wikipedia.

    India was the source of a number of the names used for Indonesian islands. The island of Java was the earliest island within Indonesia to be identified by the geographers of the outside world. “Yavadvipa” is mentioned in India’s earliest epic, the Ramayana dating to approximately 5th–4th century BC. It was mentioned that Sugriva, the chief of Rama’s army dispatched his men to Yawadvipa, the island of Java, in search of Sita.

    It is indeed a complex and rich history, and when one looks beyond Java and Sumatra it has still got much ancient history still to be rediscovered such as the ancient kingdom in East Kalimantan that is the source of the mysterious carved granite boulders in the National Museum in Jakarta and the remnants of the Jayawijaya empire that have been around since Adam road his first horse to become a cowhand.

    Reply

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