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.

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