The basis for writing this article is to intellectually identify and emphasise the elements of hypocrisy that pervade our society on a regular basis. One should not take this article as being one that is ‘cat calling’, but rather one that initiates that first step into impartial and civilised dialogue.
As many of you know in the light of recent events that have transpired concerning the Woolwich attacks where a victim solider was ALLEGEDLY beheaded by a Muslim, who ALLEGEDLY while executing the act swore upon the murders in the name of Allah (SWT). As a result, this has culminated into many people – especially those opiated by the Islamaphobic hyperbole and media rhetoric – into believing and attributing such a gruesome attack as something synonymous with the religion of Islam.
Additionally, some upon observing the media frenzy and being motivated by their wretched sense of ignorance, hate, sheer idleness and stupidity – perpetrate such acts of violence and retribution on those that belong to a part of the community where majority do not condone the action of the minority. Having said this is it not fair for me as the writer to call out the irony in that the very same people manifesting their retribution? This is exemplified in the burning of mosques and attacking those who ‘look Muslim , in which the irony is that these perpetrators are the very same people that condemned the attacker for an act of terror – but yet they are doing the very same thing they claim to be against. Is this life? Is my name Bob?!
Anyway before I go off on a tangent and deviate, please let me get back to the very basis for this article. In the light of terrorism, the pose two questions that formulate my contingency test:
- What is terrorism and whom does this label encompass?
The first question that has been advanced by me is asking as to what is terrorism, what can it be defined as and the type of acts this entails? The definition of terrorism is one that experiences a lot of contentious debate around as its definition is largely contested, but can often be defined in the context of the UK’s Terrorism Act 2000 as:
“The United Kingdom’s Terrorism Act 2000 defined terrorism as follows:
(1) In this Act “terrorism” means the use or threat of action where:
(a) the action falls within subsection (2),
(b) the use or threat is designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public or a section of the public and
(c) the use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.
(2) Action falls within this subsection if it:
(a) involves serious violence against a person,
(b) involves serious damage to property,
(c) endangers a person’s life, other than that of the person committing the action,
(d) creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public or
(e) is designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system
As you can see, I basically have obtained a piece of statute from the UK’s 2000 Terrorism Act…. let the deconstruction, explanation and application of my question commence.
Firstly, from the definition of this legislation that that the UK government have so kindly provided, terrorism seems here to suggest that terrorism is not subjected to one of a particular religious and ethnic persuasion or group – but is rather something that it objectively stated.
Therefore, in applying this definition as defined by British statute of what terrorism is and constitutes to that of the actions of those whom committed the attacks in Woolwich we can safely agree by consensus that the attackers perpetrated an act of terrorism. The attacker(s) committed an act that involved serious violence against a person, endangered a person’s life, other than that of the person committing the action, creating a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public – khalas!
However…in the light of reports of the English Defence League (EDL) and other far-right and ignorant vigilantes vandalising Mosques and violent intimidation of Muslims, it can be equally applied that THEY TOO have engaged in an act of terrorism. You don’t believe me? Care to refute this? …OK, let us just consolidate what I have just discussed and apply it the to the current context here:
The EDL, in their quest for retribution, went on a march and tirade of assault and vandalism – therefore, in doing so they have committed violent act(s) against individuals and in the process have endangered the lives of those whom this violence was perpetrated against those whom were unfortunate to come within their scope of hate, ignorance and vigilance. Similarly, (depending on the level of brutality exerted) they have created a serious risk to the health and safety of a cross-section of the public – NAMELY MUSLIMS!
But of course the media and government would not apply this same epistemology of reasoning evidenced in their very own legislative act that THEY THEMSELVES constructed, is this not irony and hypocrisy in its finest essence? Does this not go against some of the principles of equality, social cohesion and fairness that are ever-propagated as being amongst one of the principles that make Britain what it is?! What a farce! But most especially what is a grave travesty, is that many people allow themselves to be opiated by media hyperbole and rhetoric as opposed to illuminating their minds and thinking for themselves. Alas! What another irony considering how liberal arts universities are meant to instil and reinforce this level of free thinking.
Now that we have established the legally contextual definition as to what terrorism is and what it constitutes, I may now transfer to the second part of the formulated and constructed contingency test – I will present question two in another part altogether.
To be continued…