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Thread: "Don't let the terrorists recruit us to their cause"

  1. #1
    ahctlucabbuS's Avatar <
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    Don't let the terrorists recruit us to their cause

    by Simon Longstaff

    When terrorists launched their murderous attack on the United States on 11 September 2001, they initiated a process that will extend in its effects far beyond the East coast of America and the limited objective of slaughtering innocents.

    Beyond the immediate terror, beyond the unspeakable savagery, beyond the unutterable grief there lies an insidious challenge to the progress of civilisation. In particular, there is a grave risk that fear and ignorance will combine to drive the world into a dark spiral of mutual suspicion and hatred.

    I have already heard the voice of the demon who beckons us to enter this foul place. His voice can be heard on talkback radio. His opinions are alive on the street, in the bus, trickling through the veins of society. He cloaks himself in the mantle of righteous outrage while poisoning our spirit. He twists the nobility of compassion into a lust for vengeance. He does all of this with virtue on his lips and ice in his heart.

    What does he say? He asserts that we should meekly sacrifice our liberty on the altar of increased security. He suggests that people will have to choose between being a 'good Muslim' and being a 'good Australian'. He insinuates that asylum seekers carry the plague of terrorism and that those who would uphold the Rule of Law and the ancient liberties of the people, are undermining democracy.

    The tragic irony is that if we allow ourselves to be swayed by such views, then we will have granted the terrorists an overwhelming victory by abandoning what it means to be civilised in order to become more like them. Central to our idea of a civilised society is the ethical tenet that each and every person is deserving of respect - irrespective of their race, religion, gender - whatever. The terrorists and the demon they have unchained, would have us return to a darker world in which we sink to a point where strangers become enemies less human than 'us'. Such times foster the politics of exclusion - in which we define who we are in opposition to others. The demon says, "if you're not for us, you're against us". He asks, "Dare you risk allowing the barbarians within your gates?"

    Unfortunately, our general ignorance about the world makes it easy to embrace the seductive simplicity of a politics of exclusion. For example, very few of us have any real understanding of the religion of Islam. Properly understood, Islam is a religion of peace. In the high period of Islam, Alexandria was one of its greatest cities - famous throughout the world for the tolerance and harmony of life between Jews, Christians and Muslims.

    Then there is our selective memory of history - even the most recent. It was the Christian world that sacked Alexandria, burning the great library and in so doing, it destroyed the knowledge of the ancient world. Have we forgotten the butchery of the Crusades? Do we not recall the Inquisition? It was only a week or so ago that Catholics and Protestants vented their hatred at each other with the brunt of the fury borne by a clutch of school children - whose innocence was beyond reproach. Yet, is all Christendom to be condemned?

    Evil comes in all shapes and sizes. Terrorists are spawned by every faith. They share in common the politics of exclusion. As such they are united in their rejection of civilisation's most important idea - that we share a common humanity. Now, the terrorists and their unwitting agents would recruit us to their cause by fostering hatred.

    Finally, we need to think carefully about the possibility that terrorist attacks are, in part, more than just the calculated acts of ruthless ideologues. Perhaps, just perhaps, they are also the violent symptoms of a world that is sick in substance and in its spirit. We all know that millions live in grinding poverty, subject to the worst kinds of oppression. When we look at the poor and oppressed, do we understand that the only difference between 'us' and 'them' is an accident of birth? Can we begin to imagine what it might be like to stand in their shoes? Do we sense their despair, the destructive power of their rage?

    I have long believed that the opposite of love is not really hate - but indifference. The ethical foundation of civilisation is the ability to recognise our common humanity - to know that the stranger can feel as we do.
    The unchained demon that would devour our civilisation was born in the fires of ignorance, prejudice, hate and indifference. He is the enemy of all that is good in us, all that is worth preserving. First, he would lead us into a blind hatred of others. Ultimately, he would have us hate ourselves.
    Source

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    Busyman™'s Avatar Use Logic Or STFU!
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    Can someone post what this thread is about?

    Thanks in advance.

    Not a dig at you at but I want to know if the article is interesting or not. No time to concentrate on one thing, ya know?

  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    ahctlucabbuS's Avatar <
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    Originally published in The Australian on september 17 2001; there are a few indicators that this went largely unnoticed

    [edit]Busyman:

    Evil comes in all shapes and sizes. Terrorists are spawned by every faith. They share in common the politics of exclusion. As such they are united in their rejection of civilisation's most important idea - that we share a common humanity. Now, the terrorists and their unwitting agents would recruit us to their cause by fostering hatred.
    It's about the ethical dilemmas faced by the modern world on how to handle acts of terrorism; and the possible downward spiral following fear, and the exclusion of certain groups and liberties. Concluding with the larger picture of things; the possible causalities of terrorism which we well need to be aware of, IMO.

    I found this passage interesting considering this article was written 5 years ago:

    [...] What does he say? He asserts that we should meekly sacrifice our liberty on the altar of increased security. He suggests that people will have to choose between being a 'good Muslim' and being a 'good Australian'. He insinuates that asylum seekers carry the plague of terrorism and that those who would uphold the Rule of Law and the ancient liberties of the people, are undermining democracy.
    Last edited by ahctlucabbuS; 12-09-2006 at 09:38 PM.

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Busyman™ View Post
    Can someone post what this thread is about?
    It's Australian, and to do with the present government's habit of locking up refugees and asylum seekers in 'detention centres', a euphemism for prisons.

    In an attempt to stem the tide of refugees the Australian government declared all offshore islands as no longer part of Australia for refugee purposes, thus giving the coast guard more time to intercept them before they could reach the mainland.

    They then paid other countries, such as Nauru, to take those intercepted at sea and house them in detention centres in those countries.

    They can spend many years in these places whilst their status is determined, in one case a man was locked up for seven years.

    This doesn't apply, of course, if you're a white European, in which case you're allowed to stay free until your case is heard.

    Many people claim that Australia is flouting the United Nations charter on the treatment of refugees.

  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
    Busyman™'s Avatar Use Logic Or STFU!
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    Thanks to the both you (yes even you UKResident).

  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ava Estelle View Post
    Many people claim that Australia is flouting the United Nations charter on the treatment of refugees.
    Ah, and what do you think?
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
    Quote Originally Posted by j2k4 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ava Estelle View Post
    Many people claim that Australia is flouting the United Nations charter on the treatment of refugees.
    Ah, and what do you think?
    I have no opinion one way or the other, as I'm unfamiliar with both the UN charter on refugees and the exact reasoning of the Australian government's legal argument in favour of their actions.

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ava Estelle View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by j2k4 View Post

    Ah, and what do you think?
    I have no opinion one way or the other, as I'm unfamiliar with both the UN charter on refugees and the exact reasoning of the Australian government's legal argument in favour of their actions.
    That's not what I asked you; I asked what you think.

    Or are you waiting to be told by your party.

    Baaaa.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  9. The Drawing Room   -   #9
    bigboab's Avatar Poster BT Rep: +1
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    It would appear that Australia has looked into the legalities of this subject. If they dont land on Auatralia then it is not their problem. I personally think that they are correct. Then again I will say anything to start an argument.

    Even WM*
    The best way to keep a secret:- Tell everyone not to tell anyone.

  10. The Drawing Room   -   #10
    bigboab's Avatar Poster BT Rep: +1
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    It would appear that Australia has looked into the legalities of this subject. If they dont land on Australia then it is not their problem. I personally think that they are correct. Then again I will say anything to start an argument.

    Even WM*
    The best way to keep a secret:- Tell everyone not to tell anyone.

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