Following the naming of Akbarzhon Jalilov, a 22-year-old man from Kyrgyzstan, as being responsible for the bombing of the St Petersburg Metro on Monday, the Guardian has suggested that “racism”, as experienced by the bomber, may be in part responsible for his actions. It states: “there have been reports of many [Muslims from Central Asia] becoming radicalised after moving to Russia, due to a combination of difficult living conditions and everyday racism”.
Similar stories appeared after the attack perpetrated by Khalid Masood in Westminster last month. I recall staring dumbfounded at the MSN newsfeed on my mobile phone, trying to compute the headline: “the reason why Khalid Masood snapped… racism” [the supposedly ‘racist’ incident referred to in that article involved Masood stabbing a man in the face].
In the cases of Jalilov and Masood, as with others before, we see the initiation of a narrative whereby attempts are made subtly to mitigate the actions of a very specific kind of mass murderer. Strangely, however, no mitigation is ever made for the supposed racists who provoke these highly sensitive individuals into committing this slaughter. We will never ever hear, ‘Derek began posting faeces through the letterbox of his Asian neighbours because his mother never really loved him. His tiny mind had been scarred’. No. For poor, hypothetical Derek, there are no excuses. Even though one might think that his crimes are somewhat trivial in comparison to those of an Islamist butcher, he is, in fact, infinitely further from any possible hope of redemption. Derek is the scum of the earth, and it is he (or his hypothetical Russian equivalent) who is ultimately responsible for Islamism.
My point is not, of course, that white racist thugs should be excused because the things that Islamists do are worse. It’s just that, as white racists are regarded as having sufficient agency to be fully responsible for their own actions, surely the same should apply (at the very least) to infinitely more dangerous Jihadists.
As I have previously written for TCW, the language used in sections of the liberal press to describe the process of Islamist radicalisation suggests that it is a passive act. Certain young Western Muslims “fall” into extremism. They are sucked into it, as though subject to some inexorable physical force over which they have no control. We are supposed to feel a certain pity for them. And yet we would never accept such protestations of helplessness from the likes of a rapist (“I never meant to rape all those women. It’s just that I fell under the spell of a really persuasive rapist. I just had to follow his lead”).
Of course, when people cite “racism” as being a factor behind such atrocities, what they are really alluding to is culpability. Our culpability. That, somehow, it’s our fault. We, be it Britain or Russia or whoever in Christendom, had it coming, kind of. The irony is that racism, or rather, ‘culturalism’, is a powerful factor behind such heinous terrorist acts. But it is the Islamists themselves who harbour the extremes of animus. Liberals need to attack Islamic bigotry (which has profound depths) with the same unconditional loathing they currently reserve for white/Western bigotry.
Terrorists like those above are individuals who decide to inflict cruel violence. Give them no quarter, for their backers manipulate excuses made for them, utilising such ‘wriggle room’ to manoeuvre into positions whereby hyper-violence will always be ‘justified’. Jihadi John was a “beautiful boy”, until somebody from the British Government asked him a few questions about his beliefs. Then, all bets were off. The flimsiest excuse in place = decapitated heads rolled. We don’t cut vile paedophiles any slack, so why do some feel it appropriate to cite ‘racism’, or ‘alienation’, or ‘poverty, or ‘peer pressure’, or ‘brain washing’ when talking about Islamist terrorists.
David Cameron was always keen on rebranding ISIS as Daesh, so as to muddy the waters. I agree that we should call ISIS by a different name, but believe that the proffered moniker should be more descriptive rather than less. Let’s call them The Islamo-Paedo Brigade (a fairly accurate description given ISIS’s predilection for child sex slaves).
Would Masood (if it transpires he was motivated by Islamist politics) have readily died for the honour of being labelled an Islamo-Paedo warrior, his noncey face plastered across every newspaper? Would young, wannabe British Jihadists feel moved to ask, ‘how can I too join this noble band of paedos?’ [some of them probably would] We would be giving ISIS a name that allowed for no existence outside of evilness. Those Westerners who joined would be making a blunt declaration: I am a pervy monster. It would provide no self-justificatory wriggle-room.
Who cares that ISIS themselves would reject it. Once it became ingrained within the West, even fey Guardian journalists would find it a stretch to start dredging up excuses for the behaviour of its adherents. Ok, so I’m being mildly flippant about this, but such an approach would reduce ISIS and their ilk to being no more than the violent, terrible absurdities that they are. Liberals need to get on board with this, for in the eyes of Islamists and their apologists, mitigating circumstances, of any kind, are regarded as permission to act, without limit.