Sexta-feira, 9 de Julho de 2010

Jihadist Plots in Europe: It’s not about Afghanistan or Iraq

By Diogo Noivo

 

As the immense majority of experts and scholars who dedicate to terrorism studies have acknowledged, the reasons behind jihadism go far beyond the presence of western troops in war scenarios such as Afghanistan and Iraq.

For example, Peter R. Neumann argues that, contrary to what the Enlightenment postulated, modernity and religious revival are not contradictory or even an anachronism. For XVIII century thinkers, Neumann states, “the more educated a society and the more it was government by reason and rationality, the less it was necessary for people to look to religion and religious leaders for guidance.”

However, Neumann continues, and putting it simply, late modernity and globalization have created a world characterized by permanent challenges, by an increased complexity difficult to be understood by all, by deep social changes, by cultural mixes, thus creates a sense of insecurity and social disenfranchise in many individuals. Therefore, Islamism and jihadism gain by offering a sense of belonging and of a somewhat cultural authenticity. Nevertheless, Peter Neumann highlights an interesting nuance: jihadism is not a return to the past; instead it is a product of globalization itself.

Neumann presents an interesting point of view that, among other things, demonstrates that simplistic approaches do not explain anything and, worse, mislead analysis thus compromising the efficiency of counterterrorism efforts.

Hence, establishing a direct causality between the terrorist plots of three alleged al-Qaeda militants in Oslo with the presence of Norwegian military forces in Afghanistan is far from explaining anything relevant.

If not, look at the Spanish case: Prime Minister Zapatero ordered the retreat of troops from Iraq because he believed, in part due to jihadist propaganda, that terrorist cells and plots in Spain were cause by Madrid’s involvement with the US in the Iraq War. As time as shown, the presence of jihadism in Spain was not eliminated.

publicado por IPRIS às 20:56
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