Tuesday, 30 June 2015

An Existential Threat or Cameron's Political Scaremongering ?

The terror attacks which took place last Friday have, understandably, produced a sense of shock and horror around the world. 

Any attack which leads to the deaths of innocent people is condemned by the majority of ordinary people as disgusting and preposterous and the nearer to "home" that these deaths are, in general, affect the level of condemnation.

The decapitated head of the manager of a US owned transportation company was found near Lyon in France, along with banners said to be bearing Islamic writing. French investigators have said that there are links between the man who did this and Islamic State militants.
Soon after that, a bomb ripped through the Al - Sadiq mosque in Kuwait's capital city during Friday prayers, killing 27 people and injuring over 200 others. An affiliate of the Islamic State group have claimed responsibility and the suicide bomber identified as a Saudi citizen who had arrived in Kuwait that morning.

Then came the news that a gunman had shot numerous people on a tourist beach in Sousse, Tunisia, killing at least 38 people and injuring 39 others before being shot dead by the police outside the hotel. IS has also claimed responsibility for this attack. 

The so called "Islamic State" claiming responsibility for all these attacks shows that there is a strategy which is not just about fighting in the Middle East but about bringing the war into Europe. By stating that the Tunisia attacks were in response to the coalition's current involvement in Iraq and Syria, we can realistically conclude that the underlying responsibility lies with those who have continued with more than a decade of invasion, bombings and occupation of Middle East countries, including Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq. The civil war in Syria has added to the growth of  IS and other terrorist groups as well as the bombing of Libya and the sectarian tensions caused by the US in Iraq.

The Government's "Prevent" strategy is aimed at stopping more people getting drawn towards and involved with violent extremism, but clearly is failing in it's purpose. It has it seems,  become counter - productive and appears to many as a means of spying on and reporting people for acts and opinions that were never intended to be racist or extremist, regardless of whether the person is Muslim or otherwise. 
For David Cameron to describe the threat of terrorism in Britain as an "existential threat" is therefore, absurd.

Because I am British I naturally have an affinity with what happens to other British people and that the Tunisian attack involved so many British victims affects me more than the attack in Kuwait, or the beheading in France. But to suggest that our very existence in this country is at risk is surely at best exagerration  and at worst scare tactics of the lowest order. 
It doesn't take much thinking to realise that Cameron's Government objective is the censoring of "free speech" and the pushing through of laws against "extremism" that were not so many weeks ago deemed to be an infringement of liberty and unworkable. 

While the government tries to distinguish between "non violent extremists" and "violent extremists", we try to uphold the notion of  British Values - though regardless of race, religion or culture, we can't seem to define simply.

Reasonable people want to live in a reasonable world where threats to our safety and chosen lifestyle are minimal. 
Suggesting that our existence is threatened is not likely to foster a feeling of safety or freedom, values that everyone wants to live within. 

No comments: