Friday, August 11, 2006

UK Terror Plot: Allied in Hypocrisy

Unavoidably, the Saccharinist must comment on yesterday's latest episode in the Wart on Terror -- yesterday's fiasco at UK airports. 24 individuals, ranging in age from 17 to 35, have been arrested in the UK, most of them, apparently, of Pakistani descent, while two other Britons are being held, amongst the 7 individuals arrested in Pakistan itself.

It is worthwhile to point out that once again the major plotters of a terrorist or would-be terrorist attack against U SUK are predominantly descended from a nation that is a strong ally of theirs in this Wart on Terror. The September 11th plotters being predominantly -- 15 of 19 -- of Saudi Arabian descent and the July 7th plotters as well as yesterday's would-be's being predominantly Pakistani (the figures are not yet in, but it seems that of the 24 individuals arrested in the UK, as many as 22 of them may be of Pakistani descent). With friends like these, who needs enemies, eh?

But this is just a clear indication of what I've said before: you simply cannot equate a government's alliance with its people's, especially when that government operates in a totalitarian or strongly controlled political system, or, as is the case in the US especially, but also in the UK, when the political system is so flawed that the public's voice -- even through their votes -- is not actually heard.

In the case of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, there is also the added issue of religion's role in culture and society. The Pakistani government deems itself secular but one strongly questions the validity of that when considering the strong religious element in their culture: Islam and Pakistani culture are so entwined that one does not exist without the other. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, is an Islamic kingdom -- it does not profess secularism -- but the same inseparability of religion and culture exists there. The point being that these governments cannot, as they have been doing, deny that by being allies in this Wart on Terror -- a war that has almost exclusively been fought against Muslim people -- they are ultimately insulting their publics.

It is (as has been proven) inevitable that there would be Pakistanis who take exception to their government's alliance with two nations who have made it a political and military mission to alienate and attack not only Muslim people and their nations, but Islam itself -- it is no secret that Western governments and press openly question this religion, despite the fact that it is almost identical to their own Christianity and Judaism. If the West dislikes Islam so much, then why are they doing everything in their power to encourage interest, especially fanatic interest, in this religion? Something's just not adding up.

The other big question here is how can people who've been born and raised in a supposedly democratic society become so religiously undemocratic? The answer is alienation -- these people are clearly alienated from British society and turn to religion to have some sense of identity and cohesiveness to express their pain and anger. The fact is, they are neither at home in the UK or in Pakistan -- in both places they are treated like outsiders, so they've turned to the one thing that gives them a sense of home in both: religion. This is the result of the ghettoization of immigrants and one wonders if the US and UK and other Western governments are so anti-immigration, why they destroy so many peoples' countries, forcing them to immigrate to theirs.

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