Every so often we hear of a terrorist atrocity. Innocent civilians have been maimed or killed in an explosion. At the centre of this horrendous act: often some “suicide bomber”. How horrible.
Sometimes we hear about the background to one of these “martyrs”. They lead normal family lives with wife and kids (or husband), leave a, “I Love You” letter or video, then go along with their “colleagues” and bring a sudden end to it all. Just imagine travelling to your “target”, knowing full well it will be your very last act. For me that would be ten times worse than going to the dentist for serious surgery. Words fail me. Of course this is not new: remember the Japanese Kamikaze pilots of the Second World War.
Life is so precious
Some of these martyrs do explain why they do this. They say that under their religion they will be granted a place in heaven for what they do. Poppycock. I maintain that nobody can guarantee life after death. It is highly likely that for most of eternity we are dead. Sorry, but that appears to be the truth. I Hope that I am wrong: that God or Allah or someone will give us eternal life, in some spiritual realm. Yet I can only Hope. No more. So how you would-be bombers can go ahead with killing yourselves is totally beyond my comprehension.
Why kill yourselves?
Most would-be martyrs claim that they are doing what is right: taking vengeance on the “wicked West”. They say that Westerners have done great evil in The Middle East and parts of Asia. Al Qaeda and others yell about a “Jihad” against us “Satanists” (or something of the sort).
This is where I’ll probably show my blissful ignorance. The ordinary man in the British street has little knowledge of what goes on in The Middle East. We have followed the Iraq War and the Afghanistan saga. The Israel issue keeps popping up on the news. Sure, we have a vague idea that Western nations tend to support Israel no matter what they do. The Libyan revolt and Egyptian aftermath fills our news right now, and we watch with interest. We’ve heard that there is oil in the middle east, and that Iran (formerly Persia remember) might be building a nuclear arsenal. Yet all people do here is see the price of petrol go up and wonder why. In short Mr Average “Westerner” is quite innocent.
So why do it?
The bottom line, then, is that I have no idea why you martyrs do what you do. In my humble view you are all utterly mad. You might have a case that somehow we Westerners are exploiting you. However, the Tunisia, Egypt and Libya situations do suggest that it might be your own governments that are to blame. We have the same problem to some extent. Look at any Banksy picture: clearly not all is sweetness and light here in Britain either. We all have our issues. Yet there is no need for you to kill yourselves, or anyone else for that matter. Better to Talk with your “adversaries”. Engage with them. Come to some understanding. Make Peace.
© PB 11\2\2011 in Humberside.