The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Causes and Effects

Mick Hall • 29 October 2005

The former UDA/UFF gunman and Maze prisoner turned avant-garde artist Michael Stone, was recently pilloried in the media and on the internet for comments he had made to the Belfast Telegraph, after he had appeared in a BBC 2 Horizon TV documentary that attempted to analyze what motivated the 7/7 London bombers.

Mr Stone refused to condemn outright those who carried out the bombings on the London Transport system on the 7th July 05 and was reported as having said,

"These men were not criminals - they paid the ultimate sacrifice for an ideology which they believed very strongly in. I'm aware the relatives of those who died in the blasts might not be too happy with my views, but I am just trying to understand the motivation behind their actions. I condemn the fact they did not target a military, political or economic target and the fact innocent people lost their lives, but I can't see them as mass murderers."

We will never know exactly what made the leader of the terrorist group Mohammad Sidique Khan and the three Mujahadin he commanded 'tick'. However, the media is hardly in a position to condemn Mr Stone, as in the main it failed in its duty to ask the type of questions Mr Stone [and others] have posed.

One cannot help thinking the media behaved in the aforementioned manner because to do otherwise would have led to some awkward conclusions being reached by their readership as to the legality of the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq, and the degree of opposition to it in the UK, especially within Britain's Muslim Communities.

Instead the words evil, brainwashed, extremists dripped from the overwhelming majority of British journalist's pens when describing the 7/7/05 bombers and the act they have become infamous for. Even the more thoughtful columnists felt they were duty bound to add these words as a rider to any article they wrote, through fear of being tarred as an apologist for the men who committed the atrocities.

The main conclusion the Horizon documentary that Mr Stone appeared in came to was that if you factor in the dynamics of the group, plus dehumanize political opponents, then perfectly ordinary, sane and decent people are capable of carrying out horrendous acts of violence. Which is incidentally something the people of Ireland hardly need reminding of as they have experience of this, whether it be British squaddies murdering peaceful demonstrators (Bloody Sunday) or firing point-blank plastic bullets at children playing in the street, or Loyalist and Republican paramilitaries carrying out the atrocities that took place in Omagh, Dublin and Monaghan.

Thus it is to all our detriment, if we wish to understand the modern world, that it has become a rule of thumb within the media whenever those who oppose the State act in a violent manner to condemn them as being evil, brainwashed, cowardly and insane; but when the State, or rather those that lead it order atrocities in our name, they are rarely if ever described in this manner.

So what did make a man like Mohammad Sidique Khan wire himself into a human bomb which when it exploded killed his fellow citizens, none of whom had done him nor his fellow Muslims any harm, indeed amongst those he killed were Muslims?

Yet all those who knew the man well and had the courage to say so in the hostile environment post 7th July, far from describing him as evil, extremist or brainwashed, portrayed him as being a decent, humane man, who not only cared passionately about those around him but worked tirelessly on their behalf, whether it was mentoring youngsters during their first days at school or helping to educate those children who needed special and individual teaching. He was a family man, who loved and cared for his family diligently. Indeed the word 'loved' has been used to describe Mohammad Sidique Khan.

Thus by all accounts Mr Khan was a compassionate caring human being. Perhaps in a world where compassion is often seen as being for wimps, this was his nemesis. For unlike millions of his fellow Britons who opposed the war on Iraq, but come election time put self interest to the fore and voted for the man responsible for this criminal stain, Mr Khan could not do so and when he witnessed what he saw as the sheer callousness of his fellow citizens, he was enraged. All the million people anti-war marches, the countless demonstrations and public meetings against the war in reality had not mattered a jot in Mohammad Sidique Khan's eyes, as he was unwilling to see, nor did he care about, the political complexities of living in a Democracy. For him Mr Blair's re-election meant most Britons were prepared to overlook war crimes if their victims were far away and Muslims.

In Mr Khan's mind, instead of being re-elected Tony Blair should have been in the dock, not sitting comfortable inside 10 Downing St continuing to bring suffering to the people of Iraq. Thus Mohammad Sidique Khan decided he would participate along with his comrades in bringing terror and destruction to London in much the same manner as the British government has on a regular basis brought to the streets and people of Iraq. Perhaps he may have presumed the British people would then recognize the evil which he believed was at the heart of their government and act accordingly.

The above explanation does not make Mr Khan evil nor brain washed, simply a product of his upbringing and a world not of his making nor liking.

Just as the Prime Minister Tony Blair, when he ordered Britain's Armed Forces to participate in the illegal invasion of Iraq was not prepared to respect the restrictions of international law, nor was Mohammad Sidique Khan.

Just as Mr Blair was prepared to push from his consciousness the death, destruction and sorrows his act would inevitably cause, so was Mohammad Sidique Khan.

Just as Tony Blair did not give a jot for the will of the people, nor did Mohammad Sidique Khan.

Just as Tony Blair neither cared nor thought about the dreadful consequences for those he claims to be there to serve, nor did Mohammad Sidique Khan.

Thus if Mohammad Sidique Khan is evil and wicked, so is Tony Blair and those who so servilely acted out his evil intent.

However for all these similarities between the two men, there is one major difference. Mohammad Sidique Khan was prepared to answer to his God for his actions and the suffering he has brought upon others. Tony Blair refuses to even acknowledge those he has brought great suffering to, preferring to deceive his way out of taking responsibility for his actions, whilst in the process he grovels before and prostrates the British people at the feet of the world's greatest power, the US administration of George W Bush, which is justifiably referred to by an increasing number of the world's population as 'the great Satan'.

The tragedy both for Mr Khan, and those who met their deaths at his hand, is that he did not use his rage against the oppression of millions of Muslims by the USA and their satraps around the world and the great love he professed for his religion in a more humane and constructive manner, and by so doing have continued to play his part in helping to create a more equal and decent society here on earth.




Index: Current Articles + Latest News and Views + Book Reviews + Letters + Archives

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



There is no such thing as a dirty word. Nor is there a word so powerful, that it's going to send the listener to the lake of fire upon hearing it.
- Frank Zappa

Index: Current Articles

7 November 2005

Other Articles From This Issue:

Mary McGurk — Giving Voice to the Abandoned
Anthony McIntyre

It Is Only the Intellectually Lost Who Ever Argue
Marc Kerr

Prospects for the Left in Ireland
Eugene Mc Cartan

Bartering the Infinities
Eoghan O'Suilleabhain

The Political Police
Anthony McIntyre

Herrema's Kidnapper Explains Motive
Eamonn McCann

Revenge is a Dish Served Cold
Dr John Coulter

Causes and Effects
Mick Hall

Speaking Truth to Power
Fred Wilcox

The Bush SATaff Goes to Morals School
Mary La Rosa

A View of the H-Blocks
Anthony McIntyre

23 October 2005

Badges? We Don't Need No Stinkin Badges
Mags Glennon

A Long Way Down
Anthony McIntyre

A Party of Their Own
Mick Hall

Reid's Sectarian Slur
Eamon McCann

Repeal Anti-Catholic Section of Act of Settlement 1701
Fr. Sean Mc Manus

Nicola McCartney & the Facts About Irish History
Seaghán Ó Murchu

Usual Suspects
Anthony McIntyre

Socialism in Ireland
Francis McDonnell

Turning "Smoke ban" thing into ANTI-DIOXIN movement
John Jonik

From the Classroom to the Grave
Anthony McIntyre

Yet More Voices Against Censorship
Davy Carlin

The Death Fast Enters its 6th Year
Tayad Committee

Setting Up Abbas
Jeff Halper



The Blanket




Latest News & Views
Index: Current Articles
Book Reviews
The Blanket Magazine Winter 2002
Republican Voices