Disconnected and Disenfranchised News
that the four London bombs were set off by four British suicide bombers should not be too much of a surprise.One security source I spoke to yesterday, before the police revealed their findings, presciently guessed that the culprits were "a UK group, home-grown, having bypassed al-Qaida training camps". He reckoned they would have drawn on the pool of young Muslims so disconnected and disenfranchised that they are easy prey to the extremist sermons heard in some mosques, to the wild, conspiracy-theory packed tapes sold outside and to the most fire-breathing websites. The proliferation of that material represents a deep challenge to British Islam; that disconnection and disenfranchisement is a challenge to Britain itself.
This has echoes of the recent bombing outrages here in Indonesia. The evil lies within the heart of every nation.
As for the reasons why, many ask
but few seem to get to the heart of the matter preferring to put the blame on religious perversion.Only the emergence and establishment of a true pluralistic society will hamper the recruitment of suicide bombers. Only communities that feel that their voices are heard, their hurt is felt and their issues are addressed can be confident enough to then be able to take their place alongside other communities as a partner with a vested interest in the future of the UK.
This surely holds true for every nation.
In Helsinki the fourth round of talks between the Aceh separatist group GAM and the Indonesia government is reaching its conclusion. One contentious point to be settled is the Acehnese demand for the right to create local political parties that are not controlled in Jakarta and that will allow the province to largely rule itself - a demand flatly rejected by the Indonesian government.
To Jakartass, the GAM proposal seems eminently fair. They have given up their original core demand for independence, as was grudgingly (and violently) given to East Timor. However, the political élite in Jakarta have other ideas.Last month
the House of Representatives urged the government to halt the talks.Last Friday
they changed their minds.
And why? Simple really.
Yesterday, chief security minister Widodo Adi Sutjipto said, "The government's stance is quite clear. The demand for local political parties cannot be accommodated. It is already firm that we cannot accept it because our existing legal system only recognizes national-scope political parties.
If the Acehnese weren't such devout Muslims I'd draw an analogy to snouts in the trough.Footnote
On my shoe seeking mission yesterday ~ which was successful since you ask, at Pasaraya Blok M ~ I passed something called the Institute for Authentic Friendship.
An 'institute'? Could this be a marriage guidance centre; these are the only 'institutionalised' friendships I can think of. And what is 'authentic friendship' anyway when it's at home? Either you have friends or you don't. Surely faux friends are merely hangers-on.
Can anyone enlighten me?