Posted by Don McLenaghen on May 10, 2014
Download the episode here!
Prairie report – The price of dignity?
A special report from the Prairies on poverty – How kicking out a homeless man from a grocery store reflects on the deficiencies of our society.
Recent debate about a Chinese only sign in Richmond leads to thought about what multiculturalism ultimately means.
Temporary foreign workers
A 40yr old program gone off the rails under Harper’s watch…how did it happen?
Chernobyl at 28
28yrs later, life has not only survived at Chernobyl but is flourishing.
After tens of thousands of years of modifying organisms, what does GMO mean now? And the most counter-intuitive argument for GMO labeling.
Posted in Blogs, Show notes | Tagged: anti-GMO, Brandon, Capitalism, Chernobyl, Chinese signs, Fukushima, Genetically Modified organism, gmo, Harper, Homelessness, inequality, labor, labour, language police, multiculturalism, nuclear disaster, Poverty, Radiation, Temporary foreign workers | 1 Comment »
Posted by Don McLenaghen on August 5, 2011
The de-contextualization of terrorism?
Okay, in part one we seem to find that to call our Norwegian a “Christian fundamentalist terrorist” is valid at least in the common understanding of the idea but let’s look at what the term Terrorism has come to mean. The term itself is a relatively new one. We have always had terrorist, but they were often referred to as political or religious terrorist with membership to a particular group. This was important because it created a ‘context’ for the act.
For example, Anarchist terrorists were understood to be an Anarchist who was a “political terrorist”…when we apply it to ‘Muslim terrorist’ we do not get that context. “Political terrorists, who were anarchist, did their terrorism for political reasons…it provided not only a description of the act but also the reason for it. Since 9/11 it has become fashionable to just label anyone who does violence and is Muslim as an ‘Islamist terrorist’ or Jihadi.
The modern term “Muslim terrorist” does not translate into ‘religious terrorist’ if it did there would not be the reticence to apply it to the IRA or our Norwegian. No, “Muslim terrorist”, in fact the term “terrorist” itself, now has the understanding as ‘Islamist terrorist…no context only a label to be applied to something we are to interpret as less than civilized…less than human; why else do we with little more than a moment’s hesitation allow those accused of terrorism (again a term that only seems to apply to those of the ‘brown’ skin) to be treated like animals by this I am referring to torture.
This de-contextualization of the term “terrorism” has allowed us to ignore the underlying cause of the act (and often such actors have legitimate grievances even if we still deplore these acts). The separation of actor and context allows us to create a scapegoat for all the ills in our society…a new link is created by this amorphous threat and the current problems in the country – “why can’t I find a job? It must be those ‘terrorist’ who are either taking my job or ruining the economy!”
This re-definition allowed us to ignore the underling context for violence and see it all as one big all-encompassing conspiracy against us…or more exactly the USA and western civilization. This ignores the fact that the vast majority of terrorist attacks by Muslims are not religious acts but political. It ignores the fact that the vast majority of ‘terrorist acts’ (traditional definition) are committed not by Islamist but the ‘traditional’ population.
But you may say that 9-11 was an attack on the west. This too was not an attack to destroy the USA but a political message intended to have the Americans remove their troops from Saudi Arabia. 7/7 and the Madrid Bombing were likewise driven not by a desire to conquer Europe but to have the ‘western forces’ withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan. The vast number of attacks on US individuals occurs in countries they are either occupying or engaged in military operations…one person’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter.
If we turn an eye to the terrorist threats that intend to ‘destroy’ or ‘fundamentally change’ Europe or the USA, we find “Jihadist” very low on the list. In fact, the USA far more groups exist on the extreme (and often racist) right than ‘Islamist’. The largest sources of ‘terror’ attacks in the US arise from three main groups – Anti-abortionist, white supremacist and sovereign citizens groups. The number of attacks since 9/11 on USA soil includes the Anthrax Mailer, Austin IRS building plane attack, almost a dozen attacks on Abortion clinics by groups like Army of God and let’s not forget the Holocaust museum attack by a neo-Nazi.
So in an odd way, our Norwegian qualifies as a terrorist in the modern context because like the imaginary enemy he hoped to attack his own actions lack a real context. He has created in his own mind this ‘conspiracy’ of ‘social Marxism’ to create a fictional state of ‘Eruabia’…in this line of thinking there is no context only dogma, ideology and sedition.
But was our terrorist a lone wolf or part of some large organization? What does his manifesto…his actions say about those who inspired him? We are often quick to point out links, when the actor is ‘brown’, to the Middle East, Islamic websites, Imams sermons and the polemics of Muslim nationalist. Yet, when that same analysis is applied to our Norwegian perpetrator, the xenophobic extreme right is quick to proclaim loudly their disavowing of the actor and apologetics for their role. Who should be held culpable for the creation of our Norwegian terrorist shall be the topic of the next chapter of discussion.
Posted in Blogs, Don's Blogs | Tagged: 7/7, Abortion clinics, Afghanistan, anarchist, Anders Behring Breivik terrorist, Anthrax Mailer, Anti-abortionist, Army of God, Austin IRS building plane attack, Christian, de-contextualization, dogma, Eruabia, europe, fascism, fundamentalist, Holocaust museum attack, ideology, Iraq, Islam, islamofascism, Jihadi, Jihadist, Madrid Bombing, Marxism, multiculturalism, Muslim, neo-Nazi, Norway, Racism, Saudi Arabia, scapegoat, sedition, sovereign citizens, Terrorism, tolerance, white supremacist, xenophobia | 1 Comment »
Posted by Don McLenaghen on August 4, 2011
When is a terrorist not a terrorist?
As most of our listeners should know there was a horrific act of terrorism in Norway that has left over 70 dead and almost 100 injured. We have talked before about the growing sense of xenophobia that has gripped Europe. Those who thought this ‘traditionalism’ would lead mainly to increased racism and discrimination may feel shocked and the overt violence to which this line of thinking inevitably leads.
There has been a lot said about the incident and we will attempt to avoid repetition, ourselves. That said there are a few points that should be clarified and some interesting observations that can be made.
First, is he a ‘Christian fundamentalist terrorist’? To answer this we must look at the three claims made, is he a terrorist, is he a Christian and is he a fundamentalist.
According to the dictionary, terrorism is defined as
“Seriously intimidating a population; or unduly compelling a Government or international organisation to perform or abstain from performing any act; or seriously destabilising or destroying the fundamental political, constitutional, economic or social structures of a country or an international organisation.”
It is important to note that it is not the number of deaths nor the method of execution that is important but the stated aim of the perpetrator.
According to the perpetrator the intent of his actions were to “bring down the Marxist order”, by that, he hoped that with this act he would garner enough press to both disseminate his manifesto as well as inspire others to join his war on Islam. The main purpose was to compel the government to expel all Muslims and return to a culturally pure Europe. In my books this definitely qualified him as a terrorist.
Was he a Christian? According to his blog, he posted”I wasn’t particularly religious. Then I sort of glommed onto Christianity, and I realized I had to have a Christian identity”. It is true in his blog he criticizes Protestantism, not as a criticism of Christianity but because he saw it as part of the ‘cultural Marxism’ that has allowed the ‘purity of Europe to be thinned’. That a return to a more catholic type church…he even states that he had high hopes for the current Pope with what he saw as an initial hardline against Islam but was later disappointed by the consolatory attitude the Pope later took. Again by his own words he claims to be Christian, has a personal relationship with god and wishes to reinstate the Christian crusade to drive back the ‘Muslims scourge’ from Europe.
Is he a fundamentalist? This one gets more complicated. We, in North America, tend to think of fundamentalist as evangelical bible-literalist. This is not what he appears to be, there is no mention of creationism, however he does qualify I think as a fundamentalist on two grounds. Firstly, he does seem to think the current churches have lost their way and need to return to a more authoritarian and traditional role. It is the creed of tolerance and multiculturalism that he blames on the new church…creeds that are on the precipice of ‘destroying Europe’ and turning it into a ‘fundamentalist Muslim caliphate’. A fundamentalist is technically defined as someone wishing to return to ideological fundamentals…in this case a return to a medieval crusader religion.
Secondly, we think of fundamentalist as someone who wishes to create a theological state. Again in his own words, this was one of his aims; in fact because of his obsession with the religious threat posed by the ‘other’ religion (Islam), it seems his primary aim.
Irrespective of the religious overtones, the term fundamentalist can also be applied because of his “racist” (or extreme xenophobic) views; we can interpret each term (Terrorist, Christian and Fundamentalist) as three dimensions of description. His complaints about the ‘cultural Marxism’, tolerance and multiculturalism…how they have ‘corrupted and polluted’ Europe…the racial or at least cultural purity that has been the hallmark of the xenophobic movement in Europe strikes me as fundamentalist. As such his views on race and Europe do seem to qualify as fundamentalist and extremist.
So despite the protestation of the Christians, fascists and right wing; the term “Christian fundamentalist terrorist” seems applicable. If that label applies, were does the term ‘terrorist’ lead us? What use or misuse has the modern interpretation of ‘terrorist’ come to be…that we shall discuss in chapter 2.
Posted in Blogs, Don's Blogs | Tagged: Anders Behring Breivik terrorist, Christian, europe, fascism, fundamentalist, Islam, Marxism, multiculturalism, Muslim, Norway, Racism, Terrorism, tolerance, xenophobia | 1 Comment »