Reciprocation is terrorism, too

Last night’s attack on a Finsbury Park Mosque would appear to be an act of retaliation, but make no mistake about it: Any action carried out as an act of revenge is every bit as terroristic as the act it was intended to retaliate, although I notice how easily I’m provoked by muslims using the incident as proof that Christians/European/white people are every bit as bad as Isil.

Having said that, retaliation is not the way to go about this. Au contraire it is exactly what the terrorists want: An all out clash of civilisations (as pointed out on numerous occasions).

The situation calls for calm composure, even if chances are we’ll have just the opposite.

Western tolerance a red rag to the ISIL bull?

On a day like today our thoughts and potential prayers go to the British people, in the aftermath of last night’s terrible attack – the third within just as many months, leaving us blindsided and appalled, while ISIL calls for an “all-out war” during Ramadan.

You have to admire the Brits’ phlegmatic approach, as illustrated by the iconic WW2 poster:

Keep calm and carry on

Admirable as the attitude may be, it would appear that it has done little to prevent terrorist attacks. Judging by the increase in incidents, on the contrary.

My deepest fear has been that it would some day come to this, as mentioned in a June 2016 blog post; Clash of civilisations in full bloom? The problem, of course, is as follows:

ISIL’s declared intention is to create a divide, a state of war between the Muslim world and the west, a strategy which has failed completely, due to our continued tolerance of Islam and the Arab world, seriously pissing ISIL off, and motivating an increase in the terrorist organisation’s attacks, of course.

Finding myself the uncle of two adorable Muslim kids, mobilising hate against the Muslim community is, of course, an impossibility. Would be, even if it wasn’t for my sweet Muslim nephew and niece.

Having said that, I remain fearful that our failure to consider the outcome of ISIL’s war declaration a western war on Islam, rather than a war on ISIL itself, will only serve to intensify the terrorists’ efforts.

If we’re to preserve our last remnants of human decency, though, it all boils down to a damned if we do, damned if we don’t.

Human decency, however, has my vote – even if it will inevitably lead to more terrorist attacks.

Luckily that is a decision I make on my own behalf only.

Top illustration: Islam critic and muslim. Blogger’s drawing.

Terrorism is here to stay – as it always was

The so-called war on terror is, as we all know, aimed at the final eradication of terrorism altogether – at wiping global terrorists off the face of the earth.

Although I share the dream, it should be pointed out that it remains a dream, with no roots in reality whatsoever.

Granted there’s a lot to be done, in terms of reducing risk of terrorist attacks, but mind you, the terrorists will persist – in the shape of revolutionaries (RAF or the Brigate Rosse), separatist groups (ETA or the IRA), pseudo-religious groups (ISIL or the Ilaga) and white supremacists (KKK and lone wolves, such as Anders Behring Breivik).

Barnemorderen Anders Behring Breivik under rettsaken i Telemark fengsel, Skien, 15. mars 2016. Bloggers data-assisterte illustrasjon (Waterlogue).
Child killer/mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik during trial in the Telemark prison, Skien, 15 March 2016. Blogger’s Waterlogue-based watercolour.
Hell, even Israel’s former PM Menachem Begin used to be considered a terrorist by the British mandatory government in Palestine – and rightfully so.

Whereas today, terrorism appears synonymous to Islam, and the other way around. Well, as already pointed out, it isn’t. Furthermore, for as long as people find a cause worth fighting for, with their lives, if need be – there will be terrorism, rendering the so-called war on terror utterly futile, I’m sorry to say.

Let’s just do what we can in terms of damage control, and in order to minimise recruitment, agreed?

Top illustration: An ISIL terrorist in front of the Stade de France. Bloggers own drawing, dated last summer, superimposed on stolen photograph (the football is stolen, too, except for the burning fuse).

Devastating news from the Manchester Arena.

Flimsy make believe concern no more, s’il vous plait

I quickly and instinctively drew this flag in response to the 13 November 2015 Paris incidents, with the following note:

Regardless the culprit(s) and his or their affiliation(s).

I reacted in much the same way as an immediate response to last summer’s Nice incident – and then some.

But you know, we can’t go on like that every time a police officer is killed in every country we know of, much as we sympathise, seeing as how police killings very much belong to the order of the day – and for a number of reasons.

Confident that police officers gave their lives elsewhere, too, yesterday, I regret that they did, but we need to let go of this faux and effortless concern, unless we feel obliged to award the perps the attention they seek, and continue to fuel the conflict, of course.

Uzbekistan is all the rage

In light of Europe’s two recentmost St. + St. (St. Petersburg and Stockholm) terrorist attacks, you have to ask whether or not Uzbekistan – whence the two alleged perps allegedly originated – indeed is the place to be if you want to make a name for yourself as a Muslim extremist.

I think we have established that it sure as hell isn’t Raqqa.

At any rate we need to acknowledge that terrorist attacks have become a very ordinary element in urban everyday life – whereas cowards, such as myself, go hide in the countryside.

Keep calm and carry on

So terrorism is a thing now, is it?

I hate to admit this, but scary and absorbing as yesterday’s London events may have been (and they were), one should perhaps own up to the fact that one finds oneself in danger, not of terrorism, but of considering acts of same a very usual order of the day, which is why I haven’t brought myself to share any thoughts on last afternoon’s Westminster incident.

Which I find perhaps even scarier than terrorism itself, much as I sympathise with the victims, those affected – and the United Kingdom herself. Not so much because of the scene, or the country in which it all took place, as the realisation that acts of war and terrorism have become very ordinary elements in modern everyday life – extremely mundane.

It may sound a little unsentimental, but therein, perhaps, lies the real threat.

I don’t know.

Illustration: Houses of parliament in Westminster palace. Blogger’s watercolour, by way of Waterlogue.

Today we are all Swedes.

This blogger’s social media avatar has been temporarily changed.

A series of Reichstag fires?

The new year started with a bang, or rather a series of shots fired in an Istanbul nightclub last night, resulting in a death toll currently amounting to 39 nightclubbers, in what appears to be a one-man show, carried out by an individual dressed up as Santa (from what I’ve been told).

Terrible as it was, I’d hesitate to call it a terrorist attack just yet, even if the Turkish regime has enemies by the numbers, including this blogger, and for very good reasons, which is not to say that I’d even dream of condoning any attack on civilian Turks, deserving of our collective loathing and rejection (the attack, that is, not civilian Turks).

Yes, we are, like Turkey’s home secretary Suleyman Soylu, quick to label the atrocities an act of terrorism, and understandably so, in a country whose government deliberately provokes actions against itself. Thing is, though, that this probably isn’t one (although I’d like to emphasise “probably”).

Attacks on Turkish civilians do not serve as blows to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s regime, but as arguments in support of the president’s continued oppression, making it just as easy to suspect the regime itself, as Kurds, ISIL or the PKK – terrible regimes have been prone to similar measures in the past.

But I won’t. What appears to be the act of a single individual may have occurred for a number of reasons, and I’m not about to speculate.

Assuming that 2017 is going to be a tumultuous year, on the other hand, is a fairly safe bet, considering the leaders at the helm in Turkey, Russia and, any minute now, America – and then some.

2016 saw a series of attacks, an attempted coup d’etat against Erdoğan, even, resulting in an even tighter grip on power (hence the Reichstag fire inuendo) – and the budding alliance between Russia and Turkey (soon to be accompanied by America?), which is a move put to use by several authoritarian and totalitarian regimes throughout times, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to connect a dot or two …

But again, I’m not about to speculate, eerily resembling as the early 1900s and 2000s may be.

Episodes akin to the Reichstag fire and the Gleiwitz incident do frequently spring to mind, though, tempting as it is to shake the whole idea off.

But I’m making assumptions.

My sympathies go to the Turks, even though I struggle with their support of their leader, just as I will continue to question the Germans’ support of theirs, some 80 years ago. But in the spirit of mutual (?) respect:

Jarle Petterson and Turkish flag.
Yours truly clad in Turkish black and white colours.

Also, I should add that I fear the volatile situation in which the entire world currently finds itself may blow right up in our faces any minute now. I, for one, am going to keep an eye on the Russo-Turkish Middle East involvement. It’ll end in tears, you know.

So happy new year, once more!

An end to the burkini hullabaloo?

Observant readers may have noticed last Wednesday’s outrage over recent developments in the once liberal and extremely secular France we all came to love. A liberal country, a society devoid of a civil dress code, leaving its citizens free to think, say or wear what suits them, which during the past week apparently turned into the complete opposite.

As we all learnt in the onset of the weekend now nearing its end, France’s top administrative court on Friday suspended the burkini ban – on civil liberties grounds.

All is, I suppose, well, that ends well.

Please understand, though, that my sentiment is nothing to do with the burkinis, or hijabs, niqabs and burqas, for that matter, but the values with which we pride ourselves, clearly in peril, due to our fear of terrorists wearing everything but burkinis.

Granted burkinis don’t belong to our culture, but I’ll let you in on a well-kept secret: Neither do cowboy hats. Truth is I find niqabs and burqas every bit as scary as the next guy, but for the love of God (regardless of what we call Him or Her), let the freedom to think, say and wear what we want, remain among the hallmarks of our democracies.

There are far better ways to counter terrorism (which is, after all, what this is all about), in itself completely unrelated to the afore-mentioned attires.

So thank you, France, for allowing us, once again, to shout a resounding

Vive la France!

Let’s just hope this nonsense has come to an end, despite continued social media commotion (coz let’s face it: it isn’t the clothing they’re after – not really).

Illustration: Islam critic and muslim. Blogger’s archived drawing (too lazy to draw a burkini-related one).