2017-08-16

The changed profile of terrorism

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by Neil Godfrey

[W]e are increasingly seeing a shift away from networks of individuals linked by shared ethnicity to parts of the world where dangerous groups gather, and towards jihadist ideas acting as beacons which draw in both disenfranchised young Muslims but also estranged individuals who were not born into Islam. The continuing presence of relatively recent converts in disrupted cells suggests that this is no longer a problem which is isolated among established Muslim communities, but rather that jihadist ideas within the United Kingdom are becoming the default anti-establishment movement for an increasingly diverse community of individuals. (Pantucci, Raffaello. 2015. “We Love Death as You Love Life”: Britain’s Suburban Terrorists. London: Hurst & Company, 2015., pp. 291f)

I deliberately avoided posting on this topic during the heat of the attacks a few months ago. I didn’t want to attract comments generated more by heat than a serious interest in learning what the qualified researchers are coming to understand. Unfortunately, I seriously wonder if voices like those of Sam Harris or Jerry Coyne or Richard Dawkins have ever felt the slightest need or interest to inform themselves about what the serious research has to say.

Does anyone who knows the U.S.A. reasonably well think that the alt-right is becoming a “default anti-establishment movement for an increasingly diverse community of individuals” there?

 

 

6 Comments

  • Tige Gibson
    2017-08-16 23:13:46 UTC - 23:13 | Permalink

    There is anti-establishment sentiment on both the left and the right as well as non-binary ideologies. The main problem with the US is the first-past-the-post election system forces people to choose from one of the two major parties. The two major parties being the definition of establishment, anti-establishment presently seeks to and essentially succeeded in removing establishment power from these organizations. Trump is viewed as anti-establishment, despite pulling people from A swamp it is not THE swamp a normal Republican would have drawn from. Democrats viewed Sanders as the anti-establishment candidate, he neither won, nor is his faction currently “winning”. Democrats are effectively disorganized and will remain so until near the next presidential election because there is no meaningful leader when a party is not holding the executive.

    In a lot of ways parliamentary systems are substantially better because parties have clear leaders regardless of holding executive power and parties don’t need to have plurality in order to be effective so it allows more than two serious parties. However whenever a party seeks plurality in order for force its agenda it must merge with fringe/extremist parties. Whereas parties that are not extreme have no problem working together for the common good.

  • Ron Medway
    2017-08-17 00:11:18 UTC - 00:11 | Permalink

    I know this is the wrong place to post a general question, but what can you or anyone tell me about the author William Harwood?

    • Neil Godfrey
      2017-08-19 11:30:08 UTC - 11:30 | Permalink

      I can’t help you, sorry. But do you want to give some context? Who is WH? What is the interest?

      • Ron Medway
        2017-08-19 19:16:04 UTC - 19:16 | Permalink

        Hi – I really don’t know what to make of this guy. He certainly has a unique style of writing & definitely has ‘an axe to grind’. However, he has degrees from Calgary, Cambridge & Columbia Paciic & has written on Judeo-Chtistian mythology. The books I have are ‘The Fully Translated Bible 1&2 – WARNING Historians have determined that the Judeo-Christian bible is FICTION’ & ‘Mythology’s Last Gods: Yahweh and Jesus’. Plus other books. Should WH be taken seriously or is he just an angry academic? Any insight you may have would be much appreciated. Best regards, Ron.

  • Scot Griffin
    2017-08-18 20:26:50 UTC - 20:26 | Permalink
  • Ross Cameron
    2017-08-27 07:39:38 UTC - 07:39 | Permalink

    Quote on Wikipedia sums up William Harwood: quote by Dr. Harwood:[5]
    “The difference between faith and insanity is that faith is the ability to hold firmly to a conclusion that is incompatible with the evidence, whereas insanity is the ability to hold firmly to a conclusion that is incompatible with the evidence.”

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