Dambisa Moyo On Why The Fight Against Poverty Is Also The Fight Against Terrorism

Before Boko Haram were making global headlines for their criminal activities, murderous rampages, and pension for kidnap, there was little news of them in the West.

The potential for such organisations to be formed, and such activities to be performed, has always existed though. Where weak infrastructure and institutions are present, where corruption is rampant, and where far too many people are living in poverty, radical extremist organisations have the fertile ground needed to flourish.

Writing in Dead Aid in 2009, Dambisa Moyo warned of the dangers that faced the region, and indeed the world, if the situation in Africa was ignored.

Though the book focuses primarily on the aid given to poverty-stricken African states, and how it has failed to deliver on its promises, Moyo also gives a stark warning to the world. With hindsight we see that this warning has not been heeded, and that Boko Haram have made Moyo’s prophecy a terrible reality.

“Leaving the question of morality aside, there are good reasons based on national interest for the West to help. In the fractured world of Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan, Africa’s fragile and impoverished states are a natural haven for global terrorists. Porous borders, weak law enforcement and security institutions, plentiful and portable natural resources, disaffected populations, and conflict zones make perfect breeding grounds for all sorts of global terrorist organisations.”

If for no other reason than the self-interests of nations national security, the fight against poverty is one that everybody should do their utmost to succeed in. And the sooner it occurs, the better.


As always, if you have liked what you have read please ShareLikeComment and/or Reblog.
Don’t forget to check out the related articles.
And please Follow for all the latest updates and posts.


The Problem With New Atheism

There is an obvious problem with the social and political movement known as New Atheism, and that problem is one of hate.

Since New Atheism first reared its head in our post-9/11 world, it has sought to confront and counter religious thought, belief, and practice around the globe. Over time though, followers and leading figures in the movement have shifted away from simply religious criticism and have moved towards outright religious hatred. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the case of Islam. It seems that now Atheists use their non-belief as a shield in the hope that it will deflect accusations, and excuse them from religious hate, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia.
Continue reading “The Problem With New Atheism”

Why Do They Hate Us

You are born.

Into a fairly poor, but loving Muslim family you are welcomed. You are the pride and joy of your parents. They adore you.

After a few years you are joined by a brother. Another patter of feet on the floor, and another mouth to feed. Your father takes on more work so that he can provide for his two wonderful sons. The work is tough, and the pay is poor, but that is to be expected as an immigrant in a European country.

On the rare occasions your father has time off work he tells you stories. You hear about what life was like for him back in Algeria when he was your age. You love hearing these stories, as does your mother who sits you on her lap to listen.

One day your father fails to come home from work. Your mother cries a lot, which makes you cry, which makes your brother cry. You never see your father again, and you never see your mother’s smile again either.

Your mother falls ill. She can’t get out of bed, and a doctor is called. Not long after your eighth birthday, your mother dies. You think it was a broken heart.

You and your brother are moved out of your small apartment and into an even smaller home. You are told that it is an orphanage. There are lots of other children there. You miss sitting on your mother’s lap and listening to your father’s stories.

As the years pass you grow up, and so does your brother. You two are inseparable and mature quickly. After experiencing what you have, it is unsurprising.

You don’t focus too much on education, but you do discover books by Jean Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, and Frantz Fanon. These, along with the Koran, are your most read publications. Through Fanon you learn about your father’s homeland, and how France had occupied and brutalised it for years. It angers you, but you are glad that Algerians and French people can now get along.

Not long after your 18th birthday the world was rocked by the events of September 11th. Suddenly the word terrorism was on every news channel, and on every pair of lips.

From that day your world begins to change. The non-Muslim friends you have begin to drift away. No longer do you feel welcome in the company of some of them. Neighbours that had previously been friendly and polite become less so.

As you begin to feel ostracised from society you turn more and more to Allah. Whereas once you would pick up a beer or a smoke, now you lift the Koran. You are looking for answers, but also for security.

As you and your brother grow through your teens and into your twenties, the War on Terror intensifies, and you begin to feel like victims. Despite the protests which you participate in, Iraq is invaded illegally, and as the months pass you see hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslims die.
You feel angry because of this. So do other Muslims in your community and around the world. You begin to talk with others who feel like you, mostly on the internet, but there are some very passionate men at your Mosque and they are eager to talk to you. You listen. Soon your brother joins.

One day your Mosque is vandalised. Graffiti has been sprayed on the wall saying that all Muslims are terrorists and they deserve to die. Bacon is pinned to the front door.

The group of men you associate with at the Mosque are furious. They speak of revenge. They speak of justice in the name of Allah.
You do not know what to think.

Vandalism, discrimination, and attacks against Muslims in France increase. Your brother is beaten up as he returns home late one night.

Still the innocent Muslims in Iraq die. News is soon broken that not only are Muslims being killed, but they are being tortured. Horrific images flood the papers, internet, and television. It is as the men in the Mosque had said, the West’s War on Terror is in fact a war on Islam.

You want to help the Muslims in Iraq, and you want to show that American, British or French soldiers cannot do that to people. They cannot repeat the atrocities of Algeria in another Muslim nation and expect to get away with it again. Along with a group of men at the Mosque you help to arrange for men to travel to Iraq. It is Jihad.

The government do not understand the struggle. They believe that you are a member of an underground, terrorist cell. Rather than protecting Muslims in the Middle East, they think you just want to kill Western soldiers. The group of men you associate with at the Mosque are called extremists. You are all arrested.

Whilst you spend time behind bars, your brother is following a similar path to the one you took. He sees the murder of innocent Iraqis, he sees the torture of them, and he sees the Western ally Israel commit atrocities of their own on the people of Palestine, without anyone doing anything about it.

By the time you leave prison, the world feels very different. People cross the street when you approach, racist attacks against Muslims in France have become common, and the far-right political party, the National Front, are growing in popularity.

As the months pass more Muslims become victims of atrocities. The killing continues in both Iraq and Palestine, and the torture continues unopposed in Guantanamo.

It seems the streets aren’t even safe for you any more. You don’t feel welcome in your own country. You seek refuge in prayer, and in conversation with the men at your Mosque. You feel like shouting at the world, screaming in both pain and anger. Why have things become this way?

There are those who do speak out, but they are silenced. The French government accuses them of hate speech. Your own ears hear the hatred of the world everyday.

You pass into your 30s and still the discrimination continues. Still you see your image ridiculed, your God mocked, and your people murdered. There is no outlet for you. Everyone is blaming you for all of their problems. For the last few years you have felt like you don’t belong.

The National Front grows in popularity. The Palestinians die in silence. The rage burns within you.

Your life descends deeper into a pit of hatred and solitude. You know this world doesn’t care for you. Your Muslim sisters have been banned from wearing their hijabs, your Muslim activists have been banned from showing support for Palestine, your Muslim icons have been banned from speaking out.

Everyday you and your brother are discriminated against.

New years do not bring joy, instead they bring a fresh wave of hatred. Across Europe people are marching to the tune of “we hate you, get out of our country.” Wherever you turn there is a reminder of what the world thinks of you. Terrorist. Terrorist. Terrorist. Papers carry the headlines, politicians issue the rallying call, and magazines publish the insults.

You and your brother feel like you have no future. How could you? You have no present. Your culture, traditions, brothers, sisters, and God are mocked and insulted. You are spat on by society, your voice is ignored, and you are invisible until the time whereby someone needs to vent their anger or hurl abuse.

The Koran states that paradise awaits you after this life. Your friends at the Mosque say that this could become a reality. You choose not to leave this Earth alone. You’re a terrorist already, what difference does it make?


As always, if you have liked what you have read please ShareLikeComment and/or Reblog.
Don’t forget to check out the related articles.
And please Follow for all the latest updates and posts.

As Relevant Now As It Was Then

A few days ago I finally got round to reading a book that has been on my To Read List for quite some time. The book is not particularly political so I was quite surprised to see the following paragraphs in the opening few pages.

(Please pardon the mass use of bold. It was the only obvious way to distinguish the book extract from my own words)

“… Well, we have to end apartheid for one. And slow down the nuclear arms race, stop terrorism and world hunger. Ensure a strong national defense, prevent the spread of communism in Central America, work for a Middle East peace settlement, prevent US military involvement overseas. We have to ensure that America is a respected world power. Now that’s not to belittle our domestic problems, which are equally important, if not more. Better and more affordable long-term care for the elderly, control and find a cure for the AIDS epidemic, clean up environmental damage from toxic waste and pollution, improve the quality of primary and secondary education, strengthen laws to crack down on crime and illegal drugs. We also have to ensure that college education is affordable for the middle class and protect Social Security for senior citizens plus conserve natural resources and wilderness areas and reduce the influence of political action committees…

Continue reading “As Relevant Now As It Was Then”