In the wake of the slaughter at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, an atrocity driven far more by one man’s self-hatred and homophobia than any ideological allegiance to radical Islam, the usual suspects have demanded penitence from the world’s Muslim communities. This of course is not just unfair but illogical. As I pointed out elsewhere, the Irish don’t blame sixty-four million Britons for the past actions of the British death squads in Ireland, so why should Americans blame 1.6 billion Muslims for the past or present actions of militant Islamists? The latter represent no one but themselves, a minority of a minority (and in this case, a New York born minority of one). Fortunately most ordinary citizens in the United States recognise this truth, despite the sectarian and nationalist rhetoric of Donald J. Trump and co. In Britain several political parties, primarily of the right, used to discuss the playing of the “Orange Card”, a cynical pandering to the worse sentiments of the British unionist community in the north-east of Ireland or the stirring up of anti-Irish hatred in order to elicit parliamentary support in London. As Lord Randolph Churchill, father of Winston Churchill, was wont to say, “…the Orange Card would be the one to play. Please God may it turn out the ace of trumps and not the two.” It seems that Donald Trump has decided that the Islamist Card will be his ace in the hole as he faces into the 2016 presidential election.
Meanwhile the revelations about the Loughinisland Massacre of 1994, a gun attack by pro-UK terrorists on the tiny Heights Bar in rural County Down, reminds us that it is not rogue individuals but rogue nation states that one need truly fear. Brian Feeney, a newspaper columnist and former councillor with the SDLP, writing in the Irish News:
“The Ombudsman set his investigation against a backdrop of endemic collusion going back to the late 1980s beginning with how loyalists acquired the weapon used in the killings, a VZ58 assault rifle, a Czech version of the AK-47 with terrific firepower of 800 rounds a minute.
RUC Special Branch and the secret British military intelligence unit FRU knew which members of the UVF, UDA and Ulster Resistance were involved in importing the weapons and how they managed it because most were their agents.
None of them was ever arrested or investigated. The same lack of investigation applied to the UVF gang involved in the killings at the Heights Bar. So nothing new there.
Brigadier Gordon Kerr, the man who ran the FRU, knew all about the acquisition of weapons from South Africa by his agent Brian Nelson.
Many nationalists find it incredible that the weapons nevertheless made their way without being intercepted, not only to the north but to the farm of convicted former RUC reservist James Mitchell who on his own admission held the biggest UVF arms dump in mid-Ulster.
Many wonder if elements in British intelligence decided it was necessary to upgrade the firepower of their loyalist agents to compete with the newly acquired arsenal Colonel Gadaffi had supplied to the IRA in 1985-6.
The fundamental question is this. To what extent were loyalist terrorists directed by British military intelligence and RUC Special Branch?
We know that the UDA, a criminal conspiracy from the outset, was maintained as a legal organisation until almost the end of the Troubles despite being responsible for hundreds of killings.
If they were carrying out operations the security forces couldn’t do legally the reason for not banning them is obvious.
At bottom evidence suggests the British state decided early on to use any means they could to destroy the IRA. If that meant making loyalist murder gangs into state agents so be it.”
In other words, more proof of the former war by #DeathSquadBritain in Ireland. A war waged not by the British people as a whole but by their political classes until they realised that it was a war they could never hope to win.
“Self-hating homophobia”. A rather convoluted formula I’d have thought. Would anyone call a straight person a self-hating heterophobe if he’d gone on a killing spree in a straight club that he frequented?
A lot of people who have been the most vocal and most loudly protest against gay people are themselves Gay.
The Nail bomber who killed people at a gay venue in Soho several years ago has been outed as being a Gay himself.
Why would it be hard to understand? The stress of leading a double life.
Several serial killers who targetted gay men. also were motivated by their own twisted struggle with their own identity
It’s definately a phenomen.
In far right political organisations you see this all the time.
From Combat 18, to the BNP through to the Brown Shirts and Ernst Rohm.
And I won’t even begin to discuss Hitler and all the theories surrounding him.
Well. if reports are to be believed this guy only led a double life in the sense that he was married to a woman – his wife knew he had gay tendencies, and he was, according to the management of Pulse, a regular there.
To me a much more puzzling phenomenon than the folks who claim to disapprove of homosexuality but practice it secretly, are all the liberal leftists, who publicly take a strong pro-gay stance, but who keep their own homosexuality secret. Peter Mandelson is the very obvious example – although those in political circles had known since the 1980s that he was homosexual, he never publicly admitted it. Indeed when Matthew Parris supposedly “outed” him on Newsnight, the then DG of the BBC issued an order to all staff not to discuss or even mention Peter Mandelson’s sexuality. The vast majority of MPs in Britain who have been outed have been figures who took a pro-gay rights stance – Simon Hughes, Nick Brown, Mark Oaten, Ron Davies, and so on. This is all the more telling given the fact that most of the media in recent decades have taken the view that unless one is a “hypocrite”, i.e. opposing the LGBT agenda in public, while practising homosexuality in private – public figures’ sexuality is not a matter of public interest.
“why should Americans blame 1.6 billion Muslims for the past or present actions of militant Islamists? The latter represent no one but themselves, a minority of a minority (and in this case, a New York born minority of one). ”
Er, yeah, sure. This represents mainstream Islam. This is what they do. As Voltaire said: when men believe absurdities, they will commit atrocities. If you are dumb enuf to believe the teachings of a 7th century paedo and slave trader, then it is likely that you will commit such acts. Trump is right. America must learn from Europe’s mistakes.
I strongly disagree, John. Yes, there are aspects of traditional Islam which are worrying – or downright objectionable – form a secular, Western/European point-of-view. However there are many Muslims who are fully committed to the secular and liberal nature of the societies they live in. There are many more who wish to see the same values take root and grow in majority Muslim countries. An adherence to religious dogma is not confined to Islam or Islamic societies. The Tea Party movement in the US previously took Congressional power with the gun in one and the bible in the other (albeit metaphorically).
why should Americans blame 1.6 billion Muslims for the past or present actions of militant Islamists? The latter represent no one but themselves, a minority of a minority (and in this case, a New York born minority of one). Er yeah sure. Nope, this is mainstream islam in action. Trump is right. America must learn from Europe’s mistakes.
Linking to OTT right-wing and sectarian websites simply detracts from whatever argument you are making. I’m sure you know full well that most of those sites simply pursue a form of Islam-baiting rather than engaging in any constructive criticism of Islam, Which would be perfectly legitimate.
Read “The Sword of the Prophet” by Serge Trifcovic: ok, he’s a Serb which means he is hardly likely to be objective, but it’s still worth a read: get it on Amazon. Could also read anything by Robert Spencer (not his original name) his family were ethnic Greeks expelled from Asia Minor: again, not the most objective source, but look up any of his speeches.
I think you are being naive,an Sionnan Fionn. John Cronin is right. Look at what is going on in the world. Do you think it is a coincidence 99% of religious violence stems from islam? You are conflating 2 different things. Being a british citizen and supporting islamic ideology (which by the way is extremly homophobic and violent).
There is religiously-motivated violence by Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and others at the moment. We simply don’t see it to the same extent because it rarely impacts Western interests. Or at least, interests as defined by our news media. The vast majority of Islamic violence is intra-Mulsim. Muslims killing Muslims. We are, to some extent, a side show in that.
Nonsense. There are large Hindu,Buddhist communities in Europe. Care to provide examples of either group planting bombs in European cities,beheading people,forcing their beliefs on others,etc?
When I said “We simply don’t see it to the same extent because it rarely impacts Western interests. Or at least, interests as defined by our news media” I was referring to countries/interests outside the “West”. In territories below the radar of the Western press sectarian violence and divisions are commonplace. Even Buddhist monks have been engaging in such actions in recent times. Of course, for Europe, I could point to the likes of Anders Breivik in Norway or Beate Zschäpe in Germany, and many others.
There is the argument on the Right that, “Not all Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are Muslim” which is not just insulting but counterfactual. Militant radicals remain a tiny minority among the global (and diverse) Islamic community.
Though, be of no doubt, I am no apologist for doctrinal Islam. All religion, if taken to the extreme, is inimical to secular societies and politics. Nation states, on questions of faith, should be neutral ground.
Islam unlike Buddhism is by nature extreme and militant. I knew you would bring up Anders Breivik because examples of violent christians are so rare. I could provide you with more examples of muslim violence in the past 24 hours. The reason extremists are attracted to islam is because islam by nature is extreme. And the violent ones are a much bigger percentage than you think. Not to mention the ones who arent violent but give an approving nod.
I also mentioned Neo-Nazis who drew on an Aryanised interpretation of Christianity (ironically enough). There are others. The “spectaculars” of recent times may have been carried out by militant adherents of radical political Islam (Wahhabist and so on) but history is replete with other sects engaging in their own turbulent times. You would accept that there are many Muslims, not supporters of the Islamic State or Al-Qaeda, who view the Coalition invasion of Iraq as a form of Christian crusading? That the actions of the US and UK were as much religiously motivated as political (or economic)? I’m not saying that they are correct, but that prism does reflect distorted light both ways.
As i said there is something intrinsically extreme and militant about islam unlike many other religions. Anyone that likes cutting heads off or strapping bombs to themselves is unlikely to find anything in the teaching of Buddha to support those activities. Teachings of Muhammed….a man who beheaded all the males of a jewish tribe,gave the women to his fighters and sold the children into slavery. Sound familiar? Cough..isis. You mention resistance to occupation. Recently a Palestinian stabbed a 13 year old jewish girl in her bed in the hope he would be killed and go to heaven. Any examples of a buddhist,rasta,mormon or insert religion here thinking that way even in a national resistance mindset?