Death in Brussels

Death in Brussels

The dastardly attacks in Brussels have again highlighted that we now live in a world where violence and terror are truly globalised. Be it the murder of innocents in Turkey, or of Europeans, or all the wars being carried out in vast swathes of Muslim lands, no one act of violence can be now said to exist in a closed-off bubble. The trail of terror now stretches all the way, linking states and civilians in a chain of gory devastation. ISIS, it is said, has taken responsibility for this latest attack. And, sadly, with their aim of sowing hatred and vengeance, the attacks and their aftermath always seem to work to the advantage of the extremists. There is no getting away from the fact that it is root causes of oppression and occupation, like that of Palestine in West Asia, which led to armed resistance in the first place. This resistance wasn’t always ‘Islamic’: actions classified as ‘terror’, such as the hijacking of airplanes, for example, and linked to the Palestinians, were first initiated by ‘secular’ groups like the Marxist PLFP. But even as a larger ‘Islamic’ project arose, seeking a new (even renewed) agency, none of those groups negated the possibility and role of dialogue as a means of resolving conflict (Hamas, for example, has suggested it was ready to acknowledge Israel). But within all this, gradually, a new breed arose which did negate dialogue, and put forth the prospect of violence being the sole way out. This violence became so nihilistic that it devoured, and continues to devour, anyone in its path.

Many commentators had noted that the big setback for groups like Al-Qaeda wasn’t military reverses, but events like the Arab Spring – a movement which held the promise of change sans violence. But, again, nothing changed. The brutal regimes of the region, fully backed by the West, crushed the revolution. It was these regimes and the West which closed the doors on non-violent resistance and change. Assorted extremists again stepped in.
And these groups operate on a principle of seeking to show that, internally, western democracy is a sham – with the latter helping with its anti-Muslim attitudes, which these groups do their best to deepen. In between, once again, it becomes almost a no-go area to talk about those root causes, about the root evil perpetrated on Palestinians and Arabs. It becomes a loop, and only the either/or choice of the fanatics remains.

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