Catholic Contextual urban Theology, Mimetic Theory, Contemplative Prayer. And other random ramblings.

Monday, 8 February 2010

The escalation to extremes

The BBC news site carries a story on the "unrepentant" views of two young British Muslim extremists who have served prison sentences for "possessing material likely to be useful to terrorists" (that is, information downloaded from the Internet, not explosives).

An extract:

Ditta claims: "You can go to any [Muslim] youth on the street and say, 'Do you believe in Jihad?' and he'll say 'Yes'. 'Do you believe that al-Qaeda is a terrorist movement?' He'll say, 'No'."

Bilal says: "The Western world is not letting anyone live in peace. It's the West who are at war with everyone."

And a quotation from Girard:

This also contains a major discovery in anthropology: aggression does not exist. Among animals, there is predation, and there is doubtless genetic rivalry for females. However, among humans, the fact that no one ever feels they are the aggressor is because everything is always reciprocal. The slightest little difference, in one direction or another, can trigger the escalation to extremes. The aggressor has always already been attacked. Why are relations of rivalry never seen as symmetrical? Because people always have the impression that the other is the first to attack, that they are never the ones who begin, though in a way they are always the ones. Individualism is a formidable lie. (Girard, Battling to the End, p 18)

I'm making my way through Battling to the End at the moment. You can read the chapter cited above here.

1 comment:

Sproglet said...

Ditta claims: "You can go to any [Muslim] youth on the street and say, 'Do you believe in Jihad?'

Probably true, but in what context? Ditta may be fooling himself.

Mohammeds conquest of Mecca was a Jihad, but it was done gradually, passively and without bloodshed. I daresay this is the kind of jihad that the vast majority of British muslims believe in, a struggle in which God is on your side...
...not the violent, twisted and radicalised version we see every day in the news.