An Invitation. Your Thoughts from Michael Roberts …. sent to SELECT PALS on 31 October 2020
I just caught parts of THE HARD TALK grilling of a French lady politician [by Stephen Sackur]. One problem with journalism is its wholly presentist focus//limits. In my view the recent jihadist attacks in France cannot be comprehended without looking at the motivations and goals of, say
* * those involved and trained for the Strasbourg X’mas Market bomb plot in the year 2000
* * Al Qaida thinking
- the 9/11 attackers
- the 4/21 jihadists in Sri Lanka
- and ultimately to the Egyptian radical Said Qutb’s writings and exhortations. ……… …………….. And thence to the Wahhabi strands of thought which he, Said Qutb, was elaborating and rendering CONTEMPORARY.
Wahabi (Salafi) thinking that is in some ways distilled within the phrase ALLAHU AKBAR — a concept which drives ALL the killers.
Dying for the Prophet is motive enough………….. Michael Roberts
ONE: Arun Dias Bandaranaike in Colombo, 1 November 2020
You are quite correct in your positing this idea that journalists are not adept at recognizing what happens at the deeper level. Jihadists or otherwise, motivations stew over time. Cause and effect is hidden unless and until they a drawn up with sensible and unbiased query. The problem often is the absence of unbiased query. Judgement is passed with the merest signal used as the basis.
Nothing new. The man Jesus Christ was accused of sedition and blasphemy by a bunch of religiously biased hooligans in priestly vestments and in sanctimonious Assembly within the Sanhedrin who were distracted with political maneuvering. That was 2000 years ago!!! Only Pilate recognized the man as being innocent!!! But he was afraid of the mob.
Same picture now….different actors and characters. There’ll be more of such sordid stuff in the future too. Life and Truth are not paramount issues now
TWO: Eardley Lieversz in Sydney, 1 November 2020
It is good to see that you do not fall for the Muslim victimhood trap. Muslims have a well oiled PR machine which turns every act of Islamic barbarism into a form of self defence, and therefore justified.
The Islamophobia card is a very convenient way of deflecting attention away from the criminality and intolerance of Muslim leaders.
Erdogan is an expert. Imran Khan is another. He focuses on Kashmir, which Pakistan covets, to deflect attention away from his intolerance (Ahmadis, blasphemy law, kidnapping of non Muslim women).
He fails to mention the Hindus ethnically cleansed from parts of Kashmir. For that matter, Pakistan’s non Muslim population is being steadily eradicated through persecution.
Anyway, in a unified nation, there should be freedom for people to live anywhere. Hindus in Kashmir, Sinhalese in the north of Sri Lanka.
I cannot accept the idea that these crimes are committed by a minority of Muslims who do not follow the precepts of a peaceful religion. Violent extremists and closet jihadists have the same goals and are cut from the same ideological cloth. Anyway, whenever acts of Islamic extremism occur, the silent majority remain silent and are missing in action.
You will recall how Waleed Aly tried to pin the blame for the murder of 250 persons in April 2019 on Buddhist extremists. He was thriving on the Christchurch massacres and was caught off guard when his fellow Muslims committed atrocities. It undermined his victimhood narrative.
Sadly, even Ameer Ali, whom I thought was an enlightened Muslim thinker, is now promoting the victimhood view. Beware of Muslims bearing victimhood, for they seek to justify, if not hide, great evil.
THREE: Gerald Peiris in Kandy, 1 November 2020
I agree with you totally. It is not only presentist, it lacks depth, it is duplicitous.
- “My Brother You Are Free” – Remembering Sayyid Qutb’s Farewell Poem …. https://www.islam21c.com/opinion/my-brother-you-are-free-remembering-sayyid-qutbs-farewell-poem/?__cf_chl_jschl_tk__=06f831ffb7b86d2223675240b6a07325ec8ffa84-1604364015-0-Afj6nboX
- John Calvert: “The Afterlife of Sayyid Qutb,” 15 December 2010, https://foreignpolicy.com/2010/12/15/the-afterlife-of-sayyid-qutb/
- Michael Roberts: “Sacrificial Devotion in Comparative Focus: Kamikaze, Mujahid, Tiger” in Roberts, Fire and Storm: Essays in Sri Lankan Politics, Colombo, Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2010, chapter 19 being pp 131-58.