"Perhaps so. Attempts to understand why young people may grow up in this country so profoundly estranged from its values that they become home-grown terrorists have been prohibited by politicians - faithfully echoed by the media - under the pretext that to do so would represent justification for acts of terrible violence. In this way, those committed to the war on terror immediately disarm themselves of the most useful instrument to tackle the phenomenon.
The British government vehemently repudiates the suggestion that its foreign policy in Iraq and Afghanistan, its slothful devotion to the fate of the Palestinians and its urgent inactivity in the Israel/ Hizbullah conflict have contributed towards the making of fanatics. The motivating factor of choice in the official view is that some suggestible young Muslims have fallen under the sway of powerful preachers of hate, brainwashed and promised a lurid caricature of paradise as a reward for the cult of death.
Part of the problem with home-grown alienation, of course, is that globalisation has a profound impact on local lives, not just economically but socially, culturally and spiritually. Kelly recognised this when she acknowledged that “global tensions are reflected on the streets of local communities”. National borders are increasingly fragile defences against the influence of events that seep through barriers erected to contain them.
That many actual and potential terrorists are not from the most deprived backgrounds, but have often received a good education and have promising prospects, has puzzled observers. This reckons without the widespread psychic disturbance that always accompanies social dislocation, particularly mass migration, which brings contradictory belief systems into stark and sudden proximity - a shock exacerbated for people who, detached from majority status in their place of origin, become a stigmatised minority at their destination. The resulting cultural mix is bound to be volatile and unpredictable, as suggested by the approval of extremists by the 13% of Muslims in Britain who thought the July 7 bombings justified. It should also be remembered, however, that the self-immolation of others is sometimes not unappealing to those who would not dream of imitating them."
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