Friday, Oct 31, 2014

Out of my mind: Jihadi or shaheed?

Army and police officers said the attack on the Musab bin Omair Mosque in Diyala yesterday came after Shiite militiamen were killed in clashes, while other sources said it followed a roadside bomb near one of their patrols. When the video depicting the beheading of James Foley appeared along with a masked man speaking in a distinct London accent, there was a near nervous breakdown in British political circle.
Written by Meghnad Desai | Posted: August 31, 2014 12:02 am

The first jihadi from India has just reportedly died in the Iraq/Syria war. Do we know how many have gone to fight there? The British media are agog with dread. As many as a thousand or even more British Muslims may have gone to fight for the Iraqi al-Qaeda, which has now become the Islamic State. Reports are that around 200 may have re-entered the UK. No one knows for sure.

When the video depicting the beheading of James Foley appeared along with a masked man speaking in a distinct London accent, there was a near nervous breakdown in British political circles. No one disowned them as children of foreign immigrants. How could ‘our’ boys do this? Where did we fail to teach them British values? Where and who are the extremists who incite and recruit these boys to go and fight for the Caliphate, which is now reaching new depths in brutality? Can we deport these people? Is this a failure of multiculturalism that we failed to integrate young Muslims into British life?

Welcome to globalisation and a tech-, media-savvy generation. Get plugged into youth culture around the world and then you can begin to separate the normal from the abnormal. Cinema across the world glories in violent films, be it Sylvestor Stallone’s or Salman Khan’s. Parallel cinema is even more gruesome. Rappers have violent lyrics which command huge sales. Computer games are also bloodthirsty.

The young have adrenaline flowing through their systems and are more daring, more likely to take risks and more unmindful of the physical damage they inflict on themselves than their seniors. We are celebrating the centenary of the First World War when thousands of young people went out to kill an enemy whom they had never seen and who had personally done them no harm. But their elders told them these were the ‘Enemy’. That was enough for perfect strangers to kill each other. The Church on both sides egged their soldiers on to kill. All thought systems, religious as well as secular ideologies such as Leninism, Fascism, Maoism, encourage people to kill each other while claiming to be peace-loving. The Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, a Leninist Party, killed one-seventh of the population on the grounds that they were middle class and hence did not belong to the classless society the Khmer Rouge wanted to construct. Many young people during the inter-War period from India and elsewhere dedicated their lives to the October Revolution which sometimes asked them to kill their nearest and dearest. British Communist volunteers who went continued…

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