Wednesday, 29 May 2013

redressing the record: religion, retribution and responsibility



despite periodic and concerted efforts to deviously detain us, disturb us, and distract us from our duties, we on this blog are somewhat erratically engaged in an absurdly sisyphean attempt to make sense of the senseless.

for my own part, i do not support any religion, but instead believe that a process of individual reasoning, resulting in conclusions derived from personal experience, is the sole grinding route to enlightenment. nonetheless, i respect everyone else's freedom to follow their various faiths, as long as they in turn do not prevent others from finding their own paths in life; the more shrines, temples, churches, synagogues and mosques the merrier, say i.

however, the misuse or wilful misinterpretation of religious teaching, in order to vent one's violent frustrations or justify murder, is clearly wrong, even when the target may previously have committed the self-same sin himself, and this is why i do not condone the statutory re-introduction of the death-penalty in this country - not-to-mention that such a move would simply be hijacked then subverted by malicious ideologists perniciously predisposed to the savage discrimination currently endured by citizens of our communities who are accustomed to historic vicious and habitual victimization from this so-called tolerant society.

on this account, i am bound to maintain that, no matter the seemingly maniacal manner of last week's murder in woolwich, the two assailants were fully conscious of their pre-meditated actions and must, if they have not in effect already done so, assume complete responsibility for them - thus setting a better example to the younger generation than members of our political hierarchy, security services, armed forces, and police services, who are equally guilty of such crimes, yet do not admit culpability.

finally, although i am no particular devotee of this philosopher, i would like to thank monsieur jean-paul sartre for his indirect assistance, via his stage-play les mains sales, in disentangling the amoral mess which has been manufactured, albeit mostly in my own mind, as a consequence of the macabre incident presently under the microscope of public criticism - and hence never hereafter let it be said that i have not given due and proper credit to personages of froggy heritage.


15 comments:

hawk-eyed harry said...

spark up, i notice that you have modified your position on the woolwich attack - in the previous blog-post about the killing, you suggested that the jihadists might have a case for diminished responsibility, but in this blog-post you make no such allowance for mitigating circumstances.

spark up said...

yes, hawk-eyed harry, i was so consumed by my hate-fuelled rant against the british government's extremist policies that i missed the obvious point and made the mistake of failing to directly equate the immorality of the establishment with that of the two islamic revolutionaries.

when christians attack said...

given that in afghanistan, members of the british and american forces regularly co-ordinate to assassinate non-active taliban fighters and their leaders without being subjected to any form of judicial process whatsoever, it is difficult to understand how our government can actually justify sentencing the woolwich jihadists to any punishment whatsoever; our western governments do not even care enough to allocate culpability for wiping out non-combatant family members, including women and children, as a result of drone and missile strikes.

in any case, is not the punishment of a law-court simply a judicial extension of the revenge-culture for which the woolwich jihadists are being condemned?

are we now ruled by the slipping scales of interventionist integrity?

nonny the neandertroll said...

the woolwich attack...

...it wasn't cleaver, was it?

spark up said...

absolutely correct, nonny, if you in any way excuse the murder committed by the woolwich guys or mitigate its gravity, you are by the same token excusing or mitigating the gravity of murders committed by british forces in afghanistan and elsewhere - those anti-war activists who take this soft-line against the woolwich attackers not only make a mistake in a moral sense but also undermine their own line of argument against our murderous war-mongering neo-colonialist government; on the other hand, it's worth reminding ourselves that when, under a false pretext, we send our national army to invade another country which poses no actual threat to our own, and our soldiers then kill its citizens, their actions constitute acts of murder, regardless of whether the victims are armed or actively combatant.

spark up said...

i appreciate that the two guys who killed the british soldier in woolwich regard themselves as militants, and personally would uphold their right to travel to and defend a foreign country, but here at home they are not actually threatened by our armed forces - although it must be said that our intelligence services recently appear to have been harassing at least one of them in a stupid an unethical manner.

spark up said...

those two nigerian guys were just ordinary individuals and members of the public until the attack, but they are now obviously considered jihadists - if our government did not previously regard them as militants, why was at least one of them being harassed by the intelligence services? if our government truly considered them to be dangerous foreign militants planning an attack in this country, why did our security services not take some form of legal action against them?

i do not believe our government can 'have it both ways', any more than the two assailants can. the government's handling of this whole matter is dirty, underhand and undoubtedly criminal - not least because the right of free-travel was denied to one of the suspects, who tragically appears not to have challenged this decision in court.

what a bloody mess.

the commission for fair-dos for freedom-fighters (regardless of their variety and violent motivation) said...

interesting points, spark up...

...whilst i deplore the brutal murder of one individual by two other armed ones, i suspect that the british government may have shot itself in the foot by preventing at least one of the assailants from travelling abroad to support the jihad - does this therefore mean that our government did indeed class at least one of the assailants as a militant and was effectively detaining at least one of them as a prisoner of war, probably illegally.

incidentally, i wonder what the european court of human rights would have to say about the uk government denying islamists the opportunity to join in the foreign bloodbaths - this being a privilege which other young brits are legally licensed to enjoy by enlisting with the british armed forces.

domestic doctrines ltd said...

"the more shrines, temples, churches, synagogues and mosques the merrier, say i."

yep - an individual belief and place of worship for every citizen in the uk would be premium.

the trip of an unexamined lifetime said...

shit, i'm right with the queen on ducking out of a visit to the site of the fallen squaddie - you see, when you include our own british soldiers, opposition fighters, and civilians, there's probably one whole pile of people who've died as a result of wars fought in her majesty's name, so if she sets a precedent by paying her respects at the flower-shrine in woolwich, she'd then also be obliged to trek round and dignify all the other spots in the world where folks have been slaughtered senselessly. my god, i think she'd have quite a tough tour on her hands...

sun-bathe for peace man said...

i don't know why the hard-left like to go up to town for a rumble every time the extreme right-wing groups turn-out for a whinge-athon - these socialist student types do themselves or their cause no favours by acting as yobbishly as those they claim to criticize. leave the obsessive immigrant-haters to march in solitude and peace - thus ensuring that the ensuing evening news-story will be the size of the racist-right's sorry straggling support, and not the number of loony-left hooligans who have been tugged-off by the law.

surely it would be far more constructive, publicity-savvy, and maybe even fun to stage a nude-occupation of a royal park or some such lark?

l'agent pyroflatuleur said...

@sun-bathe for peace man

beware, all this terrorism and left-wing anti-establishment violence is either indirectly permitted by, precipitated by, or directly organized by the cia in order to spike genuine socialist, libertarian and anti-neo-colonialist causes.

oppression by unenforceable legislation said...

i have no brief for the murderers of the soldier in woolwich, but in my opinion, the arrest of the woolwich attackers' friend, directly after he appeared on bbc newsnight to helpfully inform the nation about the background reasons for the two jihadist's rage, was a case of sour-grapes on behalf of the deeply embarrassed and badly exposed security services - their friend was charged with crimes relating to the distribution of what the government would loosely term 'extremist material'.

a variety of similarly extreme forms of political propaganda are undoubtedly circulating freely amongst british youngsters of every creed, class, and colour, yet arresting everyone who passes this sort of stuff on to their mates would necessitate arresting a large proportion of the uk population - not only is this sort of police action counterproductive in terms of community relations, and wholly impractical, it does not even take into account the context of the act of distribution ie. whether the distributing party criticized the content in any way.

now, add to these problems the legal question of defining what is 'extreme' or what would 'encourage terrorism', and also the fact that freedom of expression is supposed to be a central supporting tenet of our democratic liberty, and you have a prosecution which is not only wrong, but an entire waste of public money.

let's face it, the bible itself contains some pretty horrendous and slaughterous notions, yet the publication of that highly inflammatory book is not banned...

...and using the government's popular definition of the word (ie. as likely to incite acts of terror), prince harry's televized glorification of killing 'the enemy' was nothing if not extremist...

...so the fact that certain material essentially comprises anti-british propaganda, produced on behalf of those who oppose our government's occupation and violent suppression of other countries, should not therefore entail its distribution being restricted - especially when you consider that a majority of people in britain are now also opposed to the war in afghanistan.

notwithstanding my argument above, such extremist material might well shock me greatly, yet so do photos of the legally unprohibited photographs of dead babies killed in british and american missile attacks...

the principle of freedom of expression is of real importance as a vital pressure-valve for extreme reaction against our own government's extreme policy of foreign and domestic oppression...

...and surely, if extremist material were legally available and openly collectible, an abundance of it stashed under someone's bed, or held on a computer, would act as an effective alarm-bell for his or her family, would it not? in fact, suppressing such material simply gives it extra cachet, and the public's subsequent heightened curiosity simply drives its production, distribution, and consumption to higher levels.

in any case, when we introduce a policy which starts to outlaw certain types of expression, where will it stop...and what exactly?

it is absolutely impossible to prevent the distribution of any form of material, but obviously the most effective way to deter the distribution of extremist anti-western material would be to discontinue our national policy of destroying and corrupting the countries and cultures of others - without a cause, the extremists would have no fire to fuel their invective, nor foundation for their power-base.

curtailment of freedom of expression leads to failure of communication which in turn inevitably leads to violence.

don't put your granddaughter on the battlefield, mrs windsor said...

@oppression by unenforceable legislation

although personally i feel that he sets an appalling example, young men and women do not necessarily rush to join the army just because they see prince harry on television rapping on about how great it is to kill people - most people are sensible enough to realize that going-off to war is not a jolly jape and that they will probably end up fighting for their lives from an isolated trench rather than zapping the other side from a hi-tech and highly-armed helicopter.

i think it all depends on whether your family have instilled in you any common sense, and whether you have been brought up to hate muslims, for example - extremist material is more likely to affect those brought up by parents with extremist views.

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