Monday, 16 November 2015

Facing Facts - Name your Nemesis

The events in Paris on Friday 13th have precipitated a great deal of thought, comment and consideration across the internet.

The excusers are out in force, confusing the obvious truth that no one wants war, or death or killing, with the need to excuse terrorists, blame ourselves or just quite simply rearrange the facts to suit an ostrich mentality which prefers to live in a happy bubble - or a self-deprecating one at least.

Image courtesy of Melbourne Streets Avant-garde via Flickr
Why do we DO that? Why are a subset of British people (in particular) some of the world's best at self-effacement? Why do we deny every ounce of national pride, and drown our self respect in shame? Shame for what? For a history that is not purely glorious? Can any nation boast such a past? Surely recognition of past wrongs, past less-than-ideal choices is precisely what can make a country great?

A country with a conscience has two choices. Sit and watch on the sidelines, opting out of the present, or capitalise on that conscience to improve the future for all.

Right now, too many people are choosing the former option. The group calling themselves Islamic State have claimed responsibility for the horrific attacks in Paris. These are religious extremists for whom dying for their cause is the ultimate goal. These are not moderate Muslims, whom are as disgusted, appalled and distanced from this extreme version of Islam as the rest of us. An excellent article in The Atlantic magazine today pointed out that this group is religious, extremely so, with a warped version of Islam that has no place in modern society. It is vital we recognise and address this, or we have no hope of ending the terror. With Armageddon as their end game, diplomatic talks are just not going to cut it...
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