Is Terrorism actually a threat to the State?
By Zaher Baher
The latest Paris attack, killing 130 people and injuring over 350 more, once again confirms that we live in a dangerous world. There is no doubt that Isis and other terrorist groups, including al-Qaida, Taliban, Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab, can be fatal and brutal forces bringing death to many people anywhere across the world, including Europe, where they have a base.
Of course, this reality is making states, both inside and outside Europe, work together very closely in gathering and exchanging information against the groups mentioned above. They also share the same information against civilians, campaign groups, leftists, socialist and anarchist groups.
A quick look at the history of terrorism between September 2001 and the Paris attack on November 13 2015 and the ones in Nigeria and Egypt soon afterward, shows us that all these attacks targeted people rather than the state and the current system. None of the attacks in Europe, as far as we know, targeted senior military officers, police chiefs, corporate directors, high-ranking spies, senior government officials, or elected politicians (which, by the way, is something I am not hoping for). This is the case not only in Europe but also, with one or two exceptions, in the United States, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Turkey, Nigeria, Kenai, Mali, Bali, Bangkok, Tunis, Libya, Syria, Egypt, Israel and Palestine. The attackers, as always, target ordinary people, including women, children and the elderly.
Regardless of what happened or how, the media and the politicians, as always, try to distort reality by deceiving people. They still claim it is a war between “us and them” and “a clash of cultures and civilizations” and that “they are against our way of our life”, and “they are jealous of us, hate us”, and much more.
The media and politicians never, ever tell us the truth as to why this terror happens again and again. They never, ever tell us about the state’s terror against its citizens and the citizens of countries they have invaded militarily or economically.
States, banks, corporations, churches, and mosques, along with the media, are all functioning in different ways to protect the current system. They are the dark forces. The media and the rest of these dark forces try, deliberately, to hide the reality of the climate that is breeding terrorists. To blame terrorism only on religious ideology or medieval mindsets is shortsighted and self-serving; the foreign policies of the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, Russia, and other European countries are also crucial factors. A resolution of the Palestine question is not an issue. The state encourages Islam by opening of hundreds of madrassas without involvement in their activities, and the dark forces do not want to admit that or to acknowledge that it plays any role in controlling and inspecting them. That said, it is not the duty of the state to involve itself with Sharia law and its courts or with modernizing the Qur’an, which socialises and radicalises young Muslims. The state and the politicians ignore these factors as if they did not play a role in breeding terrorism.
The media gets its facts wrong in at least three important respects. First, it creates the idea that authoritarian Islamists wage terror against culture, or against other religions but actually they wage terror against themselves, whether Sunni or Shia, and additionally against Eyazidis. Second, the media call these murderers fanatical Muslims and not the authoritarians they are. The reason is quite clear: they defend the power and authority of the state. Yet underlying these terrorist acts lies the true brutality of authority and domination by the state, corporations, the family, and other cells in society.
Third, the media ignore the fact that when Islamic authoritarians kill innocent people in Muslim countries, their motive is to gain power. But their motive to kill innocent people in US and Western countries, in fact is to exact revenge. The clearest evidence is the recent bringing down of the Russian passenger plane over Sinai. People in the US, the UK, and other countries are frankly paying the price of their governments’ foreign polices. Before the attackers in Paris started killing people, they chanted “Allahu Akbar,” and as they opened fire they shouted, “What you are doing in Syria? You are going to pay for it now”.
The fact is terrorist groups and the state displays their strength by using terror actions. Both play the same game; both make the people’s movements weaker, yet at the same time, both get stronger. The terror stokes feelings of nationalism, racism and fascism. It makes the state and its brutal institutions, including police and spies, more attractive to people. A recent Ifop poll published by Le Figaro and RTL Radio found that 84% of French people are prepared to accept more controls and limits on their liberties in order to guarantee their security. This example shows how terror actions have affected the French people, how they have fallen into the trap of the terrorists and the state!
Islamic authoritarian groups use their savage terror to deceive ordinary people in their own countries by using the actions of the US and the Western countries against them. Meanwhile all states, from democracies to dictatorships, use the terror actions as opportunities to create more so-called anti-terrorism laws to “protect people and their security”. But as many of us know, these laws are designed mainly to restrict our rights and civil liberties, to deter immigration and to close borders against an influx of refugees. And used against activists, who are seriously threatening the integrity of the state and the system.
In countries where terror happens, the citizens are the losers not only when they are killed but also when their rights and liberties are abolished or restricted. When the terror happened in Paris, the state announced a state of emergency that would hold until Thursday, November 19. Then Parliament extended it for another three months by 551 votes in favour with only three Socialist and three Green Party MPs abstaining. The state of emergency legislation expands the state’s power to immediately place any person under house arrest if there are “serious reasons to think their behavior is a threat to security or public order”; it gives the state more scope to dissolve groups and associations that participate in, facilitate or incite acts that are a threat to public order; it allows police to carry out searches without warrants and to copy data from any computer system that has been found; it increases the capacity to block websites that “encourage” terrorism; extends detention from 24 to 72 hours; and it bans demonstrations, marches, and protests, including the big march, estimated to attract 200,000 people, ahead of the UN Climate Change talks in Paris on November 28. For now a state of emergency is in place in Brussels whilst nothing is happening there. This is actually what terrorism wants.
Terrorism does not threaten the integrity of the state—in fact, it makes it stronger. The state is continuously conspiring against its citizens so that, when the terror takes place, it can implement its brutal agendas and policies more easily, without much resistance. We must not be deceived by state lies and propaganda. We are, as a people, facing two major threats; one from the state and the other from terrorist groups. That is why it is important that any demonstrations, marches or protests against terrorism be, simultaneously, against the state as well.