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.

Irish Republican Army

Irish republicanism is the main goal of the paramilitary organisation who called themselves the Irish Republican Army (I.R.A), who fought for the unity and independence of Ireland from British colonisation. They believed that Britain discriminated against Catholicism, and that they attempted to diminish Irish culture and traditions. They aimed to put an end to British control over Northern Ireland and reunite Ireland as one nation.

The IRA was born in 1919, a year after the conclusion of the Great War (WWI), and the political side of the paramilitary organisation was Sinn Féin, which is translated to ‘ourselves alone’, who were the Irish nationalist party (INP).

The Anglo-Irish War was a bloody period in Ireland, and the then leader of the IRA, Michael Collins used Guerrilla tactics against the British government to negotiate a treaty. Britain announced a settlement dividing Ireland into two sections. One was the Irish free state (Eire) and the other was the province of Ulster (Northern Island) which remained under British control.

As the years passed the IRA continued their guerrilla warfare against Britain at the cost of Ireland’s embarrassment, and at one point during the height of World War II they asked Adolf Hitler for assistance to remove the British occupation from Ireland. After the war ended, in 1949 Ireland left the Commonwealth, and incidents continued to happen until the late 60s when things took a turn.

Catholics in Northern Ireland weren’t happy, and they began a civil rights campaign against the Protestant government claiming discrimination in employment, and housing. Violence ensued from the protestors and the opposition and the police presence had no effect. The IRA focused on defending Catholic communities from persecution from Protestant factions who didn’t want the Catholics in their country.

In the early 70s sections of the IRA broke away, due to differences despite them all wanting the same goal. Independence!

The ‘Provos’ section saw that the only way they could make a difference was through acts of violence, predominantly terrorism, and assassinations which they titled the ‘Long War’. They attacked mainland Europe and the British Isles and the death toll is estimated at around 2,000.

The Provos gained support from the Irish American organisation called ‘NORAID’ (Irish Northern Aid Committe). They were accused of providing the IRA with weapons to fight against British forces, but they’ve adamantly denied this. They raised millions of dollar through fund raising events and donations, and a vast number of the Boston Irish pledged huge support. I don’t care who you are, and what you believe, you don’t donate money to a terrorist organisation who’s using the money to buy guns and Semtex to kill innocent civilians!

Murderous attacks included the Guildford pub bombing (5 dead, 54 injured), the Woolwich pub bombing (2 dead, 28 injured), and the Hyde Park and Regents Park bombings in 1982 in which the IRA attacked a parade, killing 11 soldiers and injuring 50 other people.” – Security News Desk

Bloody Sunday was a demonstration in Londonderry on Sunday, January 30th, 1972. Despite being peaceful, the demonstration was illegal and involved 10,000 matching for the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association who marched toward the guildhall in the city. As they marched they reached military barriers which redirected them into the path of British Paratroopers, and some of the protesters threw stones, and the paratroopers retaliated with rubber bullets. The Saville Report (who investigated the day) agreed that soldiers used excessive force, which eyewitnesses claimed involved beatings of civilians with rifle butts and death threats.

At one point paratroopers took up position at one of the barricades and began shooting, hitting seven people, of which six died. As people began to run away, the paratroopers continued firing hitting people in the backs as they fled, killing more. In total 28 people were shot, and 14 of them were killed, including children. The Saville report concluded that the civilians posed no immediate threat and the actions were unjustified.

The same Battalion were involved in the Ballymurphy Massacre that happened several months before, and also involved in Shankill shooting later in 1972.

Later in the year the IRA secretly met with the British government to discuss peace, but the talks failed as they couldn’t come to an agreement. Two years later they try again and agree on a ceasefire, this lasted just six weeks.

A decade later three IRA members were killed by the SAS in Gibraltar, and it’s claimed they were unarmed, which made the IRA furious.

A priest giving last rites

The funeral of the IRA members takes place several days later in Belfast and during the procession two undercover British soldiers accidentally drove by and they were immediately surrounded by a crowd, who dragged them out of the car, savagely beat them, and murdered them by gunshot.

“Corporal Wood was shot six times: twice in the head and four times in the chest. He had also been stabbed four times in the back of the neck. Howes was shot five times: once in the head and four times in the body. Each also had multiple injuries to other parts of their bodies” – Wikipedia

In 1994 the IRA announced a ceasefire, with a complete end to paramilitary operations, but it lasts just two years, and in 1997 Britain meet with Sinn Féin to discuss the Good Friday agreement, and in 2005 the IRA formally laid down their arms after decades of terror and violence.

“The leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann has formally ordered an end to the armed campaign. All IRA units have been ordered to dump arms.” The full IRA statement

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

I’ve previously covered religious terrorism, albeit on briefly in Religion: The Art of War , but I have been watching documentaries of late, and one last night briefly touched upon Jihād and I decided to focus on that, and especially ISIL (ISIS).

Jihād has several meanings but it generally means ‘struggle’ in Arabic, and it means the struggle to promote all that is right and prevent all that is wrong. There are generally two main terms for Jihād in Islam.

•Jihādal-Nafs: The Spiritual struggle against sin (greater Jihād)

•Jihād al-sayf: The struggle against enemies of Islam (lesser Jihād)

Scholars claim that the Qur’an doesn’t sanction the use of violence despite many westerners suggesting that Jihād means ‘Holy War’. So why do some followers of Islam think it’s justifiable to commit acts of terror against their own people and non-Muslims despite the meaning of Islam being ‘Submission to the will of God’, which originated from the same root as salaam meaning ‘peace’ and the term As-salāmu ʿalaykum is often used as a greeting meaning ‘Peace be upon you’.

The key motivation behind Islamic terrorist cells is their desire for each country to be a caliphate, which means ruled over by Sharia Law, and governed by a Caliph who’s a religious cleric who is acknowledged as a successor of the Prophet Muhammad , who’s desire is to bring back the Ummah (Islamic community), which is to be defended against apostates, heretics and infidels.

Islamic terrorist cells believe in Martyrdom, which in modern use is ‘one who dies for his faith’ and this is a great privilege to be allowed to become a symbol for the struggle. Martyr actually means ‘witness’ and is derived from Ancient Greek, but in modern terms it’s classed as courage and commitment to the cause and they are known as Shahid.

What could possibly be the motivation for taking your own life and others? To be a Martyr is essentially taking one for the team, and is prepared to suffer death, and sacrifice for the sake of the greater good. The Qur’an doesn’t justify martyrdom, but the Hadith references Martyrdom many times.

“Being killed in the cause of Allah is martyrdom”

“The martyr is the one who gives himself, expectant of reward from Allah”

“The first of the people whose case will be decided on the Day of Judgment will be a man who died as a martyr”

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL – Dawlah al-Islāmiyyah fī al-ʿIrāq wa al-Shām), or more commonly known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is a militant Islamic terrorist cell, who follows the fundamental and radicalised Salafi movement of Sunni Islam, who follow jihadist-Salafism that’s focusing on the pure Islamic era of Muhammed. Its leader is Abū Bakr al-Baghdadi and it’s ruled as their ‘Caliph’. His nickname is ‘The Ghost’, and was formally the leader of the Iraqi section of Al-Qaeda, and in 2013 he created ISIL and became their ‘Caliph Ibrahim’

Abū Bakr al-Baghdadi

One of the strongest weapons ISIL have is visual propaganda, which is usually in the form of video showing the treatment of hostages, prisoners and violators of Islamic law. The videos often show executions in the form of shootings, and over recent years beheadings, although the authenticity of many of them has been questioned. ISIL is also responsible for much cultural, and ethnic cleansing in Iraq and Syria where they destroyed Shīʿite and Christian places of worship, brutally executed worshippers, and destroyed many areas of ancient ruins that have been there for thousands of years.

ISIL gained many affiliates from existing insurgent groups and terror cells in Africa, like Boko Harem and the Taliban, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and many hidden cells operate around the world carrying out many terrorist attacks in the name of Islamic State.

One of the worst of recent years was the bombing of Manchester Arena in England, May 2017. After the conclusion of an Ariana Grande-Butera concert, people started to leave the Arena, and a lone terrorist walked into the Arena with a homemade IED (improvised explosive device) containing nuts and bolts, and detonated in amongst the crowd. 23 people were killed, and half were children, and a further 139 were wounded. The bomber was Salman Ramadan Abedi, who was a 22 year old radicalised British Muslim.

ISIL still operates but on a significantly smaller scale than in previous years due to the military of Iraq and Syria, and allied forces pushing them out of cities, or destroying training facilities, and camps.

“Officials told the inspector general’s office that ISIS continues to function as an insurgency in both Iraq and Syria partly because forces there “remain unable to sustain long-term operations against ISIS militants.” ISIS is also “likely reestablishing financial networks in both countries,” according to officials at the Office of the DoD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Counternarcotics and Global Threats. Beyond that, military officials warned, ISIS “maintains an extensive worldwide social media effort to recruit fighters.” – PBS

It doesn’t look like they’re going anywhere soon, but what does this mean for humanity when terrorist networks are indiscriminate about targets. What chance do governments have chasing ghosts, who have no morals, or scruples, and are prepared to mass-murder children for their cause?