Radicalisation: Political Warfare

To be radicalised is essentially to be brainwashed into thinking that one’s ideology is paramount and they’re prepared to defend it at all costs.

the action or process of causing someone to adopt radical positions on political or social issues.” – Oxford dictionary

When people are radicalised into cults, or fundamentalist schisms of religions they are often recruited to perform a duty that will attain a goal. People who are radicalised are often force fed propaganda to give the illusion that the ideology, that’s often political agendas, is substantiated, and in some cases necessary for the greater good. Unfortunately this often leads to violent extremism that manifests in terrorism, be it global or the political arena.

“No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they’d die for.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

I’m going to quote Marton Luther King Jr. twice for a reason.

“A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

I know where his mindset is coming from with both of the statements, and with him being an incredibly intelligent and articulate man, and a pacifist, I understand his passion for life, but what he’s said can so easily be taken out of context and in the hands of a radical extremist his words can be enforced to mean a far more sinister ideology.

Jihadists

Take the Islamist extremists who were part of the terrorist group ‘Al-Qaeda’ (al-Qāʿidah) they believed in a cause that was bigger than them and hijacked and flew American Airlines Flight 11 into the North tower of the World Trade Center, and United Airlines Flight 175 into the South tower. This is currently the most devastating terrorist attack in history that resulted in thousands of deaths, many more thousands injured because Osama bin Laden objected to American foreign policies in the Middle East. Here is the statement published by the ‘World Islamic Front‘ and below is their call to arms.

“We — with Allah’s help — call on every Muslim who believes in Allah and wishes to be rewarded to comply with Allah’s order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema, leaders, youths, and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan’s U.S. troops and the devil’s supporters allying with them, and to displace those who are behind them so that they may learn a lesson.”

This is known as the ‘1998 fatwā’ created by Osama bin Laden and signed by four other key members of Islamist groups and was published February 23, 1998, in the ‘Al-Quds-Al-Arabi‘ newspaper, and was called the ‘World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders‘.

“All these crimes and sins committed by the Americans are a clear declaration of war on Allah, his messenger, and Muslims.”

Right-Wing

The far right political mindset is equally as dangerous as it’s a form of extremism that gave birth to white supremacy and the Ku Klux Klan, or the fascist ideology of Nazism and white nationalism. Many of these groups share the same hatred for liberal ideologies and their views are often racist, sexist, and against rights or even acceptance of LBGTQ. This extreme radicalisation caused the Christchurch Mosque terrorist attack on 15th March, 2019, where 51 Muslims were executed in the house of worship and many more injured by lone gun man, ‘Brenton Tarrant‘. He was an Australian citizen who had adopted extreme right wing views and hatred of Islam. Christchurch has been recognised as a predominantly xenophobic region this led to the biggest terrorism massacres in New Zealand’s history. When he was asked if he had any regrets his reply was:

“No, I only wish I could have killed more invaders, and more traitors as well” – Brenton Tarrant

Some good did come of it as it made the government allow a month long amnesty where the public could freely return firearms without any legal requirements were enforced as they planned to ban the most destructive firearms. Many thousands of guns were handed over to the government.

Brenton Tarrant

On the 22nd July, 2011, Norwegian National, ‘Anders Behring Breivik‘, was responsible for two terrorist attacks; one, a car bomb in the nation’s capital, ‘Oslo‘, that killed 8 people and injured many more; and the second he dressed as a police officer he boarded a ferry to the island of ‘Utøya’, where he executed 69 victims with firearms who were there as a youth league attending a summer camp. His political ideology was racially motivated and he feared that white peoples would eventually be replaced with Middle Eastern Muslims who would wipe the whites out through genocide. Since imprisonment he’s confirmed that his views are Nazi, facist extremism and he’s actually said that he regrets not killing more people.

Anders Behring Breivik

“I prayed for the first time in a very long time today. I explained to God that unless he wanted the Marxist-Islamic alliance and the certain Islamic takeover of Europe to completely annihilate European Christendom within the next hundred years he must ensure that the warriors fighting for the preservation of European Christendom prevail.” – Anders Behring Breivik

Religion: terrorism and violent extremism

It’s getting all too frequent hearing about terror attacks and it being fuelled by religious motivation. I was just reading an article about 110 Christian farmers being slaughtered, mostly by slit throats or decapitation in Nigeria by the notorious Islamic terror group Boko Harem. What motivates people of faith to murder and maim innocent people and even declare that god is great after you’ve severed someone’s head off. Just recently there have been several attacks in France where the victims were beheaded, and on the 9th of November 50 people were beheaded by ISIS in Mozambique, and another 50 were executed in April as the gunmen chanted “Allahu Akbar”. The terrorist group are using extreme poverty as justification for their violence as they attempt to put Mozambique under Islamic rule.

“Religion is the most powerful entity on earth. A phenomenon that has conscripted millions to give or sacrifice their lives without so much as a minuscule query about their chosen beliefs or particular ideology. And today thousands of years on despite the huge advent, discovery and the advance of science forensic or otherwise, millions are still prepared and equipped to fall or kill in the name of their God, their Holy Scriptures, their messengers, their prophets and their faith” – Cal Sarwar

The Oxford dictionary defines terrorism as ‘the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims’, but why terrorism? Why not create a political party and do it the correct way. The Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) have no desire to enter the political field peacefully as they have one ambition, and that’s to turn the world into a caliphate. A caliph is a claimed successor of Muhammad and has a natural right to lead, and they do this through strict Sharia Law. Islamic State claimed the establishment of a caliphate under the leadership of Iraqi born terrorist, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, until he killed himself by suicide vest during the U.S led Operation Kayla Mueller, who’s aim was to capture him.

I guess it’s unfair to just focus on Islam, despite their violence being extremely prevalent throughout the last 40 years, so let’s focus on different sects of Christianity and the bloodshed that they’re responsible for. In the Reformation period that was during the sixteenth century, many people broke away from the Catholic Church due to the direction they were going, and the brutality that occurred during the inquisition. The people that broke away were called Protestants which literally means protestors against Catholicism. They were targeted in vicious terrorist attacks by Catholics as they’d turned their backs on the church.

As technology has developed it’s made terrorism much more dangerous, with people like Osama Bin Laden brainwashing young men to destroy none Muslims, or Aleph (formerly Aum Shinrikyo) who believe that it’s their mission to destroy non-believers in god and have carried out multiple terrorist attacks including a nerve gas being released in the Tokyo subway. Terrorism has become a very serious national security issue to many western countries as sometimes it’s just a lone person like Libyan-born Salman Ramadan Abedi who walked into the Manchester Arena wearing a suicide vest and killed 23 people and injured over 800. Does anyone know that motivation to kill children at Ariana Grande-Butera pop concert? What could that possibly achieve in the political field other than terrorism being a cowardly and barbaric act.

Ku Klux Klan

The Ku Klux Klan, or the KKK, has existed in several forms since the American Civil War, and it’s essentially a terror and hate organisation who pursuit a white supremacist agenda, Protestantism and nationalism. . The organisation began almost immediately after the war, and was started in Tennessee by Confederate veterans, who became right wing extremists and targeted recently freed black slaves, which involved terrorism, kidnapping, lynching and murder. Whilst the movement lasted a little over a decade, the secretive organisation made itself well known, and it took the passing of the *Enforcement Acts to put an end to it.

*The Enforcement Acts were bills passed in 1871 that were created to protect African-Americans, give them the right to hold office, vote, jury service and equality rights. The actions of the Ku Klux Klan became stunted, and suppressed, and whilst they forced many black citizens out of public office, they brought plenty of unwanted attention; thus the creation of the Enforcement Acts.

In 1915, the second movement of the Ku Klux Klan was born once again from hatred towards African-Americans, and this time they portrayed rabid religious bigotry and xenophobia. By the 1920s the ideology of the movement appealed to a large portion of America‘s south, who claimed allegiance to one hundred percent Americanism‘, and this was symbolised by the Holy Bible, the hood and robes, and the burning cross.

“The Klan had used fear, intimidation and murder to brutally oppress over African-Americans who sought justice and equality and it sought to respond to the young workers of the civil rights movement in Mississippi in the same way.” – Charles B Rangel

When you look at the KKK, that’s an organisation that’s existed on and off, in several incarnations over 150 years, that’s founded on fascism, nationalism, racism and religion, it makes you wonder how anyone could say that Hitler and his Nazi party couldn’t be true Christians as their policies were unChristian. How is the KKK any different to the agenda of the Nazi party? It’s based on religious bigotry and white supremacy with a dose of obsessive nationalism, and fascism. People from all areas of life are KKK members. From preachers, judges, law enforcement, lawyers, doctors and just about anyone else who hates non-whites.

The second wave of the KKK was reinstated by a Methodist preacher called William J Simmons, who named himself ‘Second Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, after being inspired by the movie ‘The Birth of a Nation‘. For the first few years there were only a few thousand members, but it’s popularity grew and the numbers that pledged allegiance to the Klan went into the hundreds of thousands, especially in the Midwest where they were deeply religious, and they were vehemently against immigrants and anyone not born a Protestant. At its peak the Klan claimed to include 15% of America’s population, approximately 5,000,000 white men. By the 1940s several splinter cells had broken away from the main KKK, but due to corruption and criminal activities it eventually died off, and remained in limbo for a period.

“We advocate for living separately within America. We are a benevolent, fraternal, Christian, white-civil-rights organization. We are for family and for God. We see our race and our heritage going away and being harmed by intermixing with these mongrel races. It has to stop.” – James Zarth

When the civil rights movement was happening during the fifties and the sixties the Ku Klux Klan rose again, but this time many different groups operated, and many were in allegiance with police departments, where there was much corruption and murdering of black citizens. Alabama became a notorious breeding ground for the Klan, and especially Birmingham, which got the sad nick name of Bombingham, due to the amount of homes of black people that were bombed. Throughout the civil rights movement many activists’ homes in Alabama, and Mississippi were bombed, and authorities turned a blind eye as the Klan was in allegiance with many governors who were no doubt Klan members themselves.

“What we really want to do is to be left alone. We don’t want Negroes around. We don’t need Negroes around. We’re not asking — you know, we don’t want to have them, you know, for our culture. We simply want our own country and our own society. That’s in no way exploitive at all. We want our own society, our own nation….” – David Duke

David Duke is perhaps one of the most notorious Klan members, and he’s responsible for forming the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan organisation, after he left the American Nazi Party (ANP), who shares the same views and policies that Adolf Hitler’s German Nazi party had. Between 1975 and 1980, Duke was the Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. He’s been described by many as perhaps the most well known, and influential racist that America has, so it’ll come as no surprise that he’s a very strong Donald Trump supporter, but you’ll find that many white supremacists are. Not only has he been accused of racism on many occasions, he’s also been known to have misogynistic, homophobic and antisemitic views, and is a strong denier of the holocaust.

As much as the majority of the American public claim that they aren’t a racist nation, the evidence speaks for itself. You don’t get 5,000,000 supporters of a movement if there isn’t ingrained racism. There are many public, outspoken preachers, like Greg Locke, who reside in hillbilly states, where there’s a church on every corner, and are obsessed with gun rights, and ironically claim to be pro-life, and vehemently support Trump. There are literally dozens of factions of the Klan, and I wonder just how many high profile preachers, politicians, judges and celebrities have allegiance with their disgraceful, bigoted views.