Saturday, April 17, 2004

Looking out for the wrong barbarians 

People are still somehow surprised that Australia's newest terror suspect Izhar Ul-Haque could have associated with Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan while at the same time being a "quiet" person, "a gifted student with a bright future in medicine" and overall "a nice, intelligent guy."

We cannot prejudge the results of the police investigation - we don't quite yet know just what exactly did Ul-Haque got up to in Pakistan (although his diary allegedly contains details of "training in long and short firearms and the handling and detonation of explosives"), and we don't know the extent of his association with the Willie Brigitte-led Sydney terror cell. But we should be used to be now to the concept that al Quaeda and their local franchises are full of pleasant, inconspicuous, intelligent young men. Bin Laden's deputy al Zawahri is also a doctor, Mohammed Atta studied architecture and town planning, and the other eighteen S11 hijackers for most part blended relatively well against the Western backdrop.

For at least the last hundred years, the barbarians at the gates of Western civiliastions were not filthy Huns riding on their little ponies, but bright men and women from good socio-economic backgrounds who fell under the spell of violent ideas - be their fascist or communist ones. Yet so many intelligent people in the West still think that barbarians are a figment of an overactive imagination, or if they reluctantly accept the existence of barbarians in this world, they stand on the ramparts and look towards the horizon for a cloud of dust whipped up by those little ponies.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?