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Monday, December 05, 2005

Well I suppose it had to happen some day. David t at Harry’s Place has the story. Whilst it may be the remaining liberal do-gooder instinct in me that are the main course for my occasional concern over the vilification of Muslims, I think right-wing hawks should bear in mind that this matters a lot. Think about some of the arguments raised against the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Very prominent amongst them was the idea that these military actions were going to inflame Muslims to the extent that hordes of terrorists, including within our own country, were to be unleashed on the world. That is nonsence of course. But it’s an argument that has a lot of traction for the simple reason that the only British Muslim voices that are giving space in the msm are those of extremist nutters like Abu Hamza, or the often mealy mouthed apologists from self-declared community representations. The latter may say no to terrorism, but, well, there’s always a but. A but that often implies that the terrorists actions may be sort of wrong, but that their arguments were basically right; just a bit misguided the chaps. If this image of seething Muslim masses that are incapable of operating their own independent critical faculties to reach individual moral decisions, were true (which it isn’t), I can see that the best course of action in fighting terror would indeed be to lie low and hope you don’t get noticed.
But if you agree that the best way to fight terror is by confronting and facing down the enemy, with all means necessary, then it is obviously necessary to counter the myth of the mad and wild Muslim hordes. For if people believe in this myth they will be unwilling to shoulder the burdens of fighting a war that in their minds would unwinnable and best avoided. Of course by not acting against terror cells you actually let them grow as we saw with bin Laden’s gang in the 1990s.
So, by believing the racist mythology that there’s a jihadi lurking behind every Muslim neighbour, you actually increase the chances that it will be so.

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