Blaming Terrorism on The "Failures" of Society

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Adam's Apple, Jul 23, 2005.

  1. Adam's Apple

    Adam's Apple Senior Member

    Apr 25, 2004
    Thanks Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Understand Terrorism? Ridiculous
    By James P. Pinkerton, Newsday
    July 19, 2005

    The evasive reaction of many British Muslims to the July 7 bombings in London will strike Americans as depressingly familiar.

    In past decades, explosions of criminal violence in the U.S. were rationalized as the inevitable products of racism and poverty. The solution, Americans were told by their leaders, was more understanding and more government money. Such therapies didn't work here, and they won't work there.

    The London-based Financial Times provided this bit of clucking context for the four men who killed at least 55 people: "immigrant families ... often carry with them difficult memories of a colonial past that hampers integration." So you see, society is to blame.

    The New York Times joined in from across the Atlantic. One headline read, "Anger Burns on the Fringe of Britain's Muslims." Were British Muslims angry over the besmirchment of Islam by the suicide bombers? Not at all. The issue burning these Muslims was their hostility to England's domestic and foreign policies. One young Muslim was prominently quoted, saying, "I don't approve of what he did, but I understand it."

    That's the emerging spin from much of the major media: Yes, the bombings were terrible, but we must also understand the terrible problems confronting British Muslims. Which is to say we can't expect an end to the problem until we solve its perceived historical and sociological "roots."

    A few editorial voices have rejected this implicit linkage - this effort to, in effect, ransom social peace in return for more governmental activism. USA Today, hardly a right-wing paper, observed that Muslim leaders in Britain speak with "ambiguity" on terror issues. As the paper noted, debate over all policies, including the Iraq war, is fair game, but such debate must be "cleaved from the use of terrorism as a tool."

    Perhaps USA Today recognizes what's happening now in Britain as a kind of replay of what happened in the United States decades ago, when "riot ideology" was dominant in our cities. Urban historian Fred Siegel coined that phrase to describe the implicit threat made by some black leaders: Give us money, or else burn, baby, burn. Many top politicians, white and black, were happy to invoke the threat of riots as a way of extracting more federal money.

    The reign of riot ideology was not broken until the 1990s, when, as Siegel observed in an interview, people in both political parties finally wised up.

    For full article:,0,154146.column

Share This Page