Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Extremists of the center

In London and around Britain there has been a swell of revulsion for the way in which Cpl. Lee Rigby was murdered by two Nigerian Muslim extremists on a street in Woolwich.  There has also been an upsurge of patriotic feeling, asking how such a thing could happen in Britain.  The problem of individual home-grown terrorists is a difficult one, requiring a balance between civil rights and freedom of speech for all and preventingt terrorism and protecting the public. 
At present, the authorities in the UK are grappling with this balance, as they are also in the USA following the Boston marathon bombing.  In both cases at least one of the perpetrators was known to the authorities and had been questioned by police regarding their activities and their trips abroad, in the case of Tsarnayev from Boston to Dagestan, and for Adebolajo from London to Kenya.  In the latter case it is known that Adebolajo tried to enter Somalia to join the Islamist Abu Shabab terrorists, but was arrested by the Kenyan authorities with four others and was subsequently deported back to the UK.  Russia had enquired about Tsarnayev, who had already exhibited extremist tendencies in Dagestan. The question is why, in both cases, when the views and activities of these individuals were well-known, were they not watched more carefully? 
If it is lack of funds that is understandable, but I doubt if it is that, after all many others are being watched carefully (we hope).  It was more of a case of judgement (or mis-judgement) by the relevant anti-terrorism officers, who adjudged these individuals to be no danger to the public.  What a mistake!  It is clear that the word has gone out from Islamist terrorist international, take individual action!  There was also a stabbing of a police officer in Paris yesterday.  If the western nations are going to effectively counteract these gruesome attacks, there needs to be a much more serious attempts to watch extremists who have this profile, i.e. extremist Islamist views and already known to foreign countries in relation to terrorism. 
In response to the killing in London, the English Defense League (EDL), a right-wing, fascist and patriotic front, organized several marches aspund Britain.  Now we Jews have a problem, we of course totally oppose Islamism and Islamist killings.  In fact, these western countries, UK, USA and France, are only now experiencing what has been going on in Israel for years, namely random individual killings of civilians.  But, we cannot also support the EDL and its campaign that expresses antagonism to all minorities, all Muslims and incidentally all Jews.  So once again, the classic Jewish/Israeli response is "a pox on both your houses."  We are the extremists of the center.


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