Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The real "root cause"

Having rejected the silliness that it is poverty, racism or whatever other cliche may be used to refuse to hold terrorists responsible for their actions, can we also dispense with the equally silly notion that terrorists are motivated by US and other Western foreign policy? A former jihadist with the unfortunate name Hassan Butt sets the record straight in London's Daily Mail:

When I was still a member of what is probably best termed the British Jihadi Network--a series of British Muslim terrorist groups linked by a single ideology--I remember how we used to laugh in celebration whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign policy.

By blaming the Government for our actions, those who pushed this "Blair's bombs" line did our propaganda work for us.

More important, they also helped to draw away any critical examination from the real engine of our violence: Islamic theology.

I know the idea that the responsibility for terrorism lies solely with the terrorists themselves and with their ideology will be elementary to most readers, but blaming Western policy or popular social bogeymen is common enough in the shallow end of the pool that it needs to be said anyway - you never know who might check in.

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