Tuesday, 26 July 2011

On the Norwegian Terrorist Attacks

The rise of far right pan-European nationalists bent on defending Western civilisation from 'Islamo-fascist' threats is a serious one that needs to be looked at without certain groups or stands of opinion trying to make political capital out of it to advance their own agendas.

To understand why Breivik exterminated 60 young Norwegians on a social democratic youth camp should not lead to crude rationalisations of the sort offered by Islamists: that if the West did not pursue its foreign policy in the "Muslim World" then these attacks would not happen.

Likewise there are those in the EDL with which Breivik was in ideological tune with that if it were not for the mass immigration permitted and encouraged by Western governments this sort of attack, a "cry of despair" would not have had to happen.

In that sense, the far right understand the value of 'propaganda of the deed'. Such attacks are intended to raise the question of "why" and Breivik's claim that there are other cells working towards his end is intended to intimidate what are considered governments who ignore 'the people'.

For the far right has copied the grievance culture of the Islamists and the model of identity politics and tap into the notion of the poor white former working class who have been left behind by de-industrialisation and 'betrayed' by Metropolitan elites prefer to import immigrant labour than aid the native population.

Another problem is that many on the liberal left tend to assume that racism is an aboriginal sin and that 'other extremists', i.e Islamist fanatics, are not racist but merely fanatics when, in fact, both certain forms of Islamism and the new far right are both what Michael Burleigh calls "political religions'

The idea that 'cultural Marxists' and 'multiculturalist traitors' or the 'liberal left' are directly responsible for degrading Western civilisation and pandering to Islamists has led many on the far right to develop an ideology that has 'the people' as something akin to the politicised Islamist version of the ummah.

Such ideologies have gained traction in places such as Luton and Oldham, away from London, and are made worse by the fact that outside the capital there are entire parts of cities where former working men are left to do menial temporary jobs without any long term stability.

In a deracinated and bored consumer society based on the idea of constant satisfaction, those who feel they cannot get it and need something more to believe in or some higher purpose have turned to political religions to rationalise their anger and to feel some form of 'belonging'.

The rise of new creedal ideologies based on collective and shared victimhood are inadvertently encouraged by groups such as Searchlight focusing obsessively only on race and making reference only to 'extremists' as Nick Lowles did in the Evening Standard ( Monday 25th July 2011 ).

By 'extremists', those such as Lowels mean Islamists but they and organisation such as Unite Against Fascism have gone on street marches in alliance with those who use 'Islamophobia' as a pretext to vent hatred no less that organisations such as the EDL.

True, Lowles has condemned 'Islamist extremism', not least those of the Muslims Against Crusades which he sees as the equivalent of the EDL and the BNP. Yet to single out this group instead of looking at the pronouncements of spokesmen for the MAB is a dereliction of duty.

The reason is that when one leading woman of the MAB and RESPECT, Salma Yaqoob, claimed that the July 7 Bombings of 2005 were a "reprisal attack", this form of rationalisation is not put on a par with Stephen Lennon's comment that what Brievik did was what happens when men in despair are driven to it by mass immigration.

Though it could be said that Islamist terrorism is a reaction to the state terrorism meted out by the USA and UK on Muslim lands, the terrorist response to that in attacking civilians has been replied to by associating the existence of a new non-nationalist form of terrorism with a pan-European terrorist response aimed at those deemed guilty of facilitating the violence.

The double standard is not addressed by many on the left no less than those on the right who warble on about Islamism being 'one seamless totalitarian threat '( Michael Gove ) in order to expedite the propaganda that the wars to in Iraq and Afghanistan were about defeating a civilisational threat and not oil.

There is ample scope for misunderstanding within Britain because of the way politics has become about 'framing' , about propaganda, lobby groups and smug complacency. There is a need to understand that hatred, greed, fanaticism and self interested rationalisations are universal human flaws.