Exploring the roots of modern terrorism

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On September 28, 1988, a book titled 'The Satanic Verses' by Salman Rushdie was published. This principal belief of the book was the discussion established on realism and modern events against the beliefs of Quran (the holy book of Muslims). The United Kingdom was the land that first demonstrated positive reviews regarding the book. However, this book received extreme criticism by the Muslim world and viewed the thoughts of the author as an insult to the Muslim faith. Due to high controversy raised against the book and the author, Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against the author and his book 4 months later in February 1989. The fatwa called on all Muslims to execute everyone who is associated with the book as a punishment to anyone who challenges or insult Islam. Further more, the fatwa also gave a 'martyr' status that dies in an attempt to carry out the fatwa (Weller, 2009). The results were adverse diplomatic relations between the UK and Iran and emergence of the 'Rushdie Affair'.

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British Muslims felt frustrated because of many reasons, one out of which was that British Muslims had little capability to adjust through accepted political avenues (Weller, 2009). It is further argued that British blasphemy law only secured Christianity. Weller views 'Rushdie Affair' as magnifying mirror that represented five elements of this issue executed in the modern world that debates about multiculturalism and plurality (Weller, 2009, p.98). These clusters centered around: a) social integration and identity, b) legal, c) cultural questions about art, education, values, and plurality, d) the relationship of religion and the secular and e) political issues. The 'Rushdie Affair' argues that there is a need to fight the distinct elements found in faith and culture. It also directs attention of the reader towards the struggle that people are going through living in communities of increasing diversity in terms of ethnic and religion. It is argued that the 'Rushdie Affair' asserts significant questions concerning the relationship between religious affiliations and believes of one's country, and integration of state and citizenship in a specific country having ethnic and religious diversity etc. Arguably, the seeds of new terrorism were implanted in Britain and those Western societies where Muslim communities are living. Nevertheless the Muslim British community was perhaps looking for the right event to explode their frustrations.

Conceptualisation of new terrorism

Terrorism is a global phenomenon, which has been explained as creating fear in the minds of larger audience so that the desired change can be created in that larger audience. Even though reasons for need of using terror cannot be justified, an explanation of using terrorism falls within political evaluation. The definition of terrorism as a technique to inject fear into larger group of audience is reflected in federal law and academics (Garrison, 2003).

The term ' terrorism' was conceptualized by the world on September 11, 2001, when the United States was attacked by a group of fundamentalist people who hijacked four American planes and force- crashing the planes against the third tallest building in the world and the World Trade Center resulting in the death of 3000 innocent people. The term terrorism is not a solo conceptualisation rather it is closely associated with Muslims across the globe. According to FBI, there are 28 foreign terrorist organisations that are designated as security threats to the United States (FBI, 2002). According to the State Department report published on global terrorism, nations such as Iran, Libya, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Cuba and North Korea support terrorist organisations (US State Department, 2002). As a result of which, Taliban and Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden who have been previously known to terrorism experts, are now known across the globe. Since terrorism has been perceived openly against the two Western nations: the United States and the United Kingdom, therefore it is important to review our definition of terrorism provided by one of them such as the United States. The United States Code used for the State Department annual report on global terrorism explains terrorism as "Terrorism is premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by sub- national groups or clandestine state agents" (US State Department, 2002).

The characteristics of new terrorism are not much different from the concept of terrorism prior to September 11, 2001. The motives of terrorism are not driven by personal ambitions or desires. The violence pertaining to terrorism is a means to an end because violence is less important as compared to the results of the violence. Ezeldin (1987) explains that the desired result of terrorism is to spread a situation of panic so that the process of decision-making can be influenced. An act of terrorism targets to create psychological impact directed towards political adversaries and not the individuals. The victim of terrorism is the bearer of the message that needs to be communicated. Garrison (2003) articulates that viewing terrorism and its elements rather than making objective moral judgements on the asserted goals of the terrorist can result in stereotyping of terrorism along with making distinctions between different acts of terrorism and other forms of criminal activities etc. Exploring the characteristics of new terrorism further it is significant to understand that what drives terrorism. It is hence suggested that terrorism is driven through rational and purposeful thought process where terrorists are aware of their acts. Regardless of the reasons of using terror, terrorism is a matter of changing behaviour by means of using fear and intimidation (Garrison, 2003). However, all terrorist organisations have different political orientations but the similar characteristics and methodology such as "rightist and leftist, liberationist and separatist, anarchist and subversive" are agreeable (Ezeldin, 1987, p. 7).

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Islamophobia and its impact on the UK society

Islamophobia has been explained as fear of the unknown (Yassin; cited by Ramberg, 2004). This fear is additionally described as the notion of phobia is embraced, presenting fear beyond rational reasoning, and is demonstrated as strong and irrational reaction (Ramberg, 2004). Exploring the phenomenon of Islamophobia further, Muslims or Islam shouldn't be in the first point of focus, rather it is centric to different attempts to examine and understand perceptions, conceptualisation, images, that are held by the majority, over the minority (Geisser; cited by Ramberg, 2004). Geisser stresses upon understanding the fact that perceptions held by majority of the people may not necessarily represent the perception of real people. This means that, it is not necessary that the perceptions of non-Muslims towards Muslims are true, rather it is suggested that there is a dearth of knowledge, awareness, exposure and integration of both beliefs. It is further argued that inconclusive and incompetent promotion of ideologies and perceptions of Muslims in the Western societies are actually responsible for breeding Islamophobia.

A research study conducted by Field (2007) identifies significant development of Islampohobia among the UK population in general. The survey results concerning the Muslim population reveals that the community, even though keeps soft attitude after the July 7 bombing in the UK, however it still remains anxious and uncertain about their future in the British society. Another major findings of this research study reflecting fundamentalist views of the young Muslims in Britain is that at least one in twenty young Muslims are so disaffected that they are willing to deem complete rejection of conventional UK society as a result of which, use of violence against this society seems to be an appropriate solution for them. It is argued that regardless of the fundamentalist views, it is important to explore the reasons of the frustration of young Muslims living in Britain. The research findings further identifies that 15 per cent of the young Muslim population are incompletely alienated, viewing Western values corrupt, and experiencing no significant sense of loyalty towards Britain. This percentage of the population also feel that Muslims had exceeded the integration with the British culture and associate their positive feelings with those people who are willing to take up arms against the Western societies in favour of Islam. Another significant percentage of the population exists within the British society who consider themselves more Muslim than a British and believes in retaining Islamic values and respective identity through seeking higher education, marriage and other social institutions. The research study carried out by Field (2007) provides a rich understanding of the motives behind Muslims attitudes and the reactions of non Muslim British holistically, towards Islam and Muslims, and vice versa. As a result of which, mutual mistrust and fear is resulting in nurturing Islamophobia and deteriorating the situation (Saeed, 2007). Further on the widening gap of integration between the Muslims and non-Muslims in the UK is facilitating a gap between social and political motives of Muslims and non-Muslims. Conclusively the widening gap is creating the greatest public policy challenge in the modern Britain.

Drawing on the findings of the research conducted by Field (2007), the impact of Islamophobia on the UK society has been evaluated to be destructive. Intriguingly noted, on the other hand the impact of multiculturalism should have been constructive and stronger then that of Islamophobia considering the strengths and weaknesses of each, at least provided by the theory. As an example, the misconceptions of faiths of Muslim and non-Muslim communities of each other and disintegration of both communities are weakening the beliefs of multiculturalism in the UK society. As a result of which valuable resources that are utilised in fighting terrorism or Islamophobia are being wasted.

Multiculturalism and perception of new terrorism in the USA and the UK societies

In January 1998 the Runnymede Trust established 'The Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain'. This trust is 'independent brain' that this dedicated towards projecting and promoting racial impartiality and fairness in Britain. The Commission's agenda was to assess the existing state of multi-ethnic Britain along with suggesting ways of opposing racial discrimination and disadvantage emerging from racial discrimination. The objectives were to develop Britain as a confident and vivacious multicultural society fostering rich diversity (Parekh, 2011). The report constituted 23 distinguished individuals belonging to several communities and walks of life, sharing their experiences and realistic engagement with race- oriented challenges and issues in Britain. Taking a critical analysis of this report, it has been evaluated that the report lacked a comprehensive developmental approach towards those issues that may emerge from fostering multiculturalism in a society that is different from those cultures. Elaborating this point further, the report should also take close consideration of the fact that up to what an extent is British society willing to accept cultural diversity.

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Within the context of same point of argument, multiculturalism has been widely believed to be accountable for domestic terrorism within the UK and the USA. Nonetheless even before the September 11 attacks, Muslims have been viewed as having unreasonable or alien cultural and theological demands (Modood, 2006). Hence, even though multiculturalism is widely claimed to be practiced and accepted by the UK society, it is considered to be responsible for shaping the London 7 / 7 bombings in 2005. There is a choir of commentators who foresee multiculturalism as the fundamental reason for the occurrence of this incident in London. Therefore not surprisingly, Britain is retreating multiculturalism (Liddle, 2004; Joppke, 2004; Appleyard, 2006; Kepel, 2005; Sanderson, 2007). The perception of new terrorism in the UK is reflected through an approach including the ethnic minorities conditioned by higher degrees of qualification. Elaborating this point further, the ethnic minorities now require going through citizenship tests, taking oaths during citizenship ceremonies along with taking language proficiency tests by the new migrants. Furthermore the migrants are repeatedly required to express their views against radicalism or extremism. One of the most apparent communities that are required to demonstrate against such fundamentalist views is the Muslim community (Meer and Madood, 2009). Joppke (2004, p. 253) explains these transformations as a clear evidence of retreating multiculturalism in Britain along with transforming civic integration into two of the most visible societies of Europe, that are Britain and the Netherlands. Interestingly observed, both the societies had demonstrated and arguably claimed their commitment towards multiculturalism, so far. As argued by Modood (2007c), Madood (2008) and Meer and Madood, (2009), new terrorism has been perceived by the Western societies as: a) incorporation and social unity seeking to include minorities by means of the process offer higher assimilation do majority norms and customs; b) and unconventional and exclusively secular multi-culture that accepts the approach of welcoming the differences in lifestyles and behaviours of minority groups that are anti-essentialist in adaptation and that also invalidates identities of groups, specifically; c) a politically driven multiculturalism society that has the capability of integrating the priorities of communities up to a certain extents, along with being accepting 'groups', at least not subjectively.

On the other hand Ziauddin Sardar (2008), an author and journalist, a believing Muslim is an active proponent of multiculturalism. It has been argued by Sardar that multiculturalism is concerned about shifting power to non-western cultures and liberalizing these cultures to raise the voice for themselves. Since there is an immense diversity of British Asians, Sardar had spent couple of years examining the different identities of Asians in Britain. One of those famously acclaimed book is 'Balti Britain- A Journey Through the British Asian Experience' explores the creation of communities by many generations of migrants and British-born Asians across the UK. In his book, the author argues that the Indian subcontinent has always embraced and supported diverse cultures, religions, ethnicities, languages and civilizations. However the issues and challenges of seeking identity have always emerged as crisis that can even be associated with the recent times. Sardar believes that identities are not fixed and absolute rather they can be changed and his book is an attempt to reform the identity of Asian British post September 11 and July 7 incidents.

Modernity, liquid fear and new terrorism

Modernity has been explained as a period in human history when human beings have the capability of taking control of their lives, restructuring the uncontrolled forces of the social and national worlds, leaving the fears that pervaded social lives in the past (Bauman, 2006). However, despite of living in the modern times human beings are again living in fear as a result of the terrorism attacks. Fear can be explained as natural disaster, environmental catastrophe, terrorist attacks. Hence, even in the modern times people live in a state of uncertainty and consistent anxiety about the dangers that could hit in the form of unknown disasters at any unknown time. Hence, fear can be explained as the uncertain situation that shapes the liquid modern age, day people are ignorant towards the possible threats along with being incompetent to ascertain, what can and cannot be done. The concept of liquid fear given by Bauman (2006) can be categorised into three types: fear of unknown, social selfishness and the other. The fear of the unknown gets deeper and deeper then it cannot be identified as in the case of act of terrorism. This class of fear leaves human being in an uncertain situation, which cannot be handled accordingly. However human being tends to transform the fear of unknown into risks. Bauman (2006) suggests that risks are better then fears since they can be calculated whereas as fears are uncontrollable and unexpected. The other class of fear is social selfishness is the result of liquid modernity that is encountered by each person, individually as a result of egotism and vulnerability of social connections. This can be explained as lessening of weight of moral values and uncertainties in our modern society. Thus, global fear is empowered and the result can be seen as negative globalisation. The third class of fear is the fear of other is the result of 'some solidarity expressions' because of 'common selfish hope' (Richard Rotry; cited by Buaman, 2006). A good example of this can be seen by the people of Spain where the entire country is stood up against the terrorist attacks in Madrid. However in the United States, a relatively less sensitive reaction was seen after the September 11 attacks in terms of community's reaction. This is because there are relatively less diverse communities living in Spain as compared to diverse communities living in the United States. Conclusively, within the same society when people are seen as 'radical other' and not as 'one of them', the society loses its identification and empathy.

In context with the explanation of fear by Bauman theory, it is the fear of 'the other' that is found in the UK and the US society, specifically. As an example, while accusing Muslim communities being self- segregating and adopting isolation even in multicultural societies (Hussain and Bagguley, 2005), it has been debated that diversely receptive are these multicultural societies. A further argument is presented that questions the extent up to which the relationship between Muslims and multiculturalism is interdependent. As an example in Britain this interdependence is excessive for two main reasons: the Muslim claims that are characterised particularly ambitious and difficult to accommodate (Moore, 2004; 2006; Joppke, 2004; 2007; Policy Exchange, 2007; Pew, 2006). As an example Muslims are perceived to be in infringement of liberal dialogues of individual rights and secularism (Hansen, 2006; Hutton, 2007; Toynbee, 2005) and is further demonstrated through observed Muslim practices. These practices such as veiling, forced marriages, female genital mutilation, disapproving of optimistic laws in favour of 'Sharia law' are hence viewed as this integrated with the modern Western societies. Hence, minorities and specifically Muslims are living with the fear of being ' the other' in Western societies. Within the context of same argument, Meer and Madood (2009) suggest radical 'otherness' about Muslims and the multicultural societies.

Another fear that has emerged is in the form of 'Islamic terrorism'. The reasoning behind this fear drives from the sequence of global events that have not incessantly emerged as a result of act of terrorism undertaken by proponents of political causes proclaiming Muslim agenda, however been condemned by the British Muslim bodies, but emerged as a result of fusion of criminal minority groups within Muslim communities. In reality the consequences of two major events i.e. September 11, and July 7 is what is known as Islamic terrorism (Cohen, 2007; Phillips, 2006; Gove, 2006).

Taking in account of the elements that have shaped the way terrorism is conceptualized today, it is argued that it is the outcome of issues discussed above coupled with diversity and antiterrorism agendas that has been induced into the contemporary British multiculturalism. A good example of this argument can be identified in the form of comment made by the Labour MP, Tony Wright disapproving the funding of Muslim faith schools sown after September 11. His comments were that it appeared to be a bad idea before September 11 and now it looks like a mad idea (BBC News, 22 November 2001; cited by Meer and Modood, 2009). Terrorism has also been conceptualized through assuming 'the death of British multiculturalism and holding militant Islam responsible for killing it' (Singh, 2005, p. 157). On the other hand, (Fekete, 2004, p. 25) articulates that even though Britain has undoubtedly seen some 'securitization' of managing ethnic relations, it is not the actual case because public policy solutions are devised and aspired toward management of ethnic and religious diversity through being 'tough on mosques and tough on the causes of mosques'. Similarly the efforts made by the UK and the US authorities toward profiling the Muslim passengers as an answer to the demands made by former communities Secretary Ruth Kelly. The perception is that Muslims are taking up a proactive leadership role in the course of handling fundamentalism and extremism along with defending shared values (Kelly, 2006). The government had made funding available to the local authorities designated to monitor 'Islamic extremism activities' where the local councils are performing the role of 'eyes and ears for the police in countering the threats' (Blackman, 2006). It is however argued that individual course of monitoring and combating Islamic extremism the government may actually be promoting fundamentalist thinking within the minds of young Muslims living in Western societies.

The impact of globalisation on terrorism

In order to understand the impact of globalisation on terrorism, it is important to take an account of why terrorism is bread. Drawing on the theory of Blomberg et al. (2004), it is suggested that terrorism is created by feelings of economic distress and the emerging the satisfaction with the status quo. Due to the economic deprivation, the society desires change. However the desire to change can be expressed constructively and destructively, both. Secondly there should also be a structured mechanism in place to bring about the change. In terms of destructive expression, the chosen technique of expressing unhappiness of the society to us the status quo is terrorism. Taking a broader context, the theory can be applied to the phenomenon of globalisation. It is widely believed by the poor and developing economies that globalisation is workable for rich economics rather than the poor economies (Bird et al., 2008). Hence their active terrorism can be viewed as an expression of unhappiness of some people or a group of people living in poor economies or who had once lived in poor economies with active family connections. Therefore there is in an element of national empathy towards their home economies. In a wider global setting, the supporters of terrorism may feel that their respective governments had failed to re-present the views on a global scale and in global organisations. Secondly the supporters of terrorism may also feel that the global organisations are autocratic and marginalizing the perception of poor economies. Most importantly the poor countries account for a larger percentage of world's population and trading with poor countries provides a higher margin of profits based upon which the rich economies are getting richer. In view of group of terrorists belonging to poor economies, it may further feel that regardless of the contribution of the respective poor countries towards evolving globalisation, their efforts and level of participation gets unnoticed and unrewarded. Having said that, their voice in global economic affairs also remains unheard or unattended to. Drawing on these factors, the level of frustration thus gets higher and higher, exploding perhaps in the form of terrorism.

The above discussion also draws attention towards and explanation of terrorism based upon economical and political agendas rather than fanatic or fundamentalist views. Nevertheless taking in account of the discussion established in the previous sections of this report, the evidences are not consistent with this argument. It can therefore be argued that since terrorism is a result of dissatisfaction of people, communities, group of people toward status quo, the underlying reasons of terrorism cannot be only associated with religious fundamentalist views but they can also be associated with political and economical imbalance demonstrated across the globe.

Taking another perspective of impact of globalisation on terrorism, it is expected that the international trade again get highly and badly affected since the fundamentalist views regardless of the reasons they emerged, will not support globalisation. Furthermore the effects can be realised in increasing cost of transportation due to the increasing prices of fuel / oil, insurance and security challenges. Conclusively terrorism can act as an added on tax on trade (Bird et al., 2008). The impact of globalisation on terrorism can also be seen on the international capital market for now needs to take in account of manageable risks against the investments made in the global stock market. The risks need to be managed against the returns and optimisation of international assets owned by the global companies. This means that the multi national organisations are less likely to make significant investments in those economies where there are greater chances of occurrence of terrorism. One of many reasons of doing so is that due to the terrorism attacks, the economic performance of the countries get highly affected and so does the businesses operating in those countries. Another reason is that the multinational organisations would rather prefer not to be associated with any political agendas, thus securing and projecting their image. Thirdly the supporters of terrorism may have all the reasons to associate multinational organisations operating in rich economies with the ideology of those economies hence viewing them as the prime target.

Terrorism and associated risks

Risks can be classified as natural and man-made. Natural risks are floods, tsunami, tornadoes, volcanic eruption and so on. On the other hand man-made risks are attacks of any sort and intensity such as ranging from computer attacks to terrorist attacks. Terrorist attacks are intrinsically different from the natural risks and the critical element of separation is the presence of desire in the act of terrorism and absence of desire in the naturally occurring risks. Again the risk of terrorist attacks is a result of the re- organisation, re- structuring and re- formation of parameters of attack by means of employing technology, techniques and weapons. And the use of technology and evolving innovations increases the potency, probability and intensity of attacks and its consequences. As articulated by Michel-Kerjan, (2003) the innovation in the use of technology can also be a result of transformation realised in counter terrorist practices that disturbs the status quo. At the same time, the ever- evolving geopolitical landscape further supports development of new terrorist movements due to development of new ideologies and are greater inclination toward violence. It is therefore argued that the risk of occurrence of terrorism is high and unstable as compared to risk occurrence from natural disasters. This argument therefore raises a critical issue of possibility of characterizing the instability of occurrence of risk. Mohtadi and Murshed (2009) suggest that capabilities of terrorists and counter- terrorist agencies are mostly observable other than the terrorism data itself. However drawing on the possibility that law governing terrorist activities transform swiftly over a period of time, it may be possible to predict current all for coming risks on the basis of established patterns within the terrorism data. As an example, foreseeing September 11 and July 7 bombing attacks could not have been possible, about twenty years ago. Nevertheless, such attack could have been possibly foreseen after the invasion of the USA army in Afghanistan on before 2001, and the invasion of the UK army in Iraq in 2003. This also means that the distribution of extreme forms of terrorism has transformed (Mohtadi and Murshed, 2009) swiftly over a significant period of time thus ascertaining patterns of risks or elements of risk before the happening of next eldest attack. However it is further argued that risk analysts cannot present the predictions solely based upon any sort of established patterns within the terrorism data. Based on this argument it is therefore suggested that the risk analysts must identify the factors that trigger the occurrence of terrorism and associated risks which can possibly be growing conflicts between religious, political and economic views.

It is impossible to identify, assess and evaluate all the potential risks associated with act of terrorism drawing on the available data of terrorism. The current challenges in assessing the risks is that the standards techniques relying upon practical frequencies are not sufficiently equipped to foresee probabilities of objects until now (Enders and Sandler, 2000). Within the same context, Mohtadi and Murshed (2009) state that even though there is a large number of recorded terrorist accidents, only a few of those have identified to be involving biological, chemical or radio nuclear weapons. It is further cited that the largest open source dataset on terrorism records only 41 incidents that involves weapons of master destruction (LaFree et al., 2004). The consequences of these incidents can be reflected through the decision taken by the insurance industry that refrains from providing coverage on radio nuclear weapons other than exceptional circumstances dictated by the state or Federal mandates (President's Working Group on Financial Markets, 2006). The results of such actions are in- appropriate because the market for disastrous that is ignores that threats that hold the greatest potential for the occurrence of the disaster. Even though significant initiated sticking by the Federal government such as Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), the potential for development of market of radio nuclear weapons insurance seems to be weak.

Concluding the discussions presented in this research study, and impartial evaluation is that there is a consistent association that is established between the Muslims / Islam and terrorism. This conceptualisation of Islam and Muslims as an element of terror has proven the prediction of Mark Twain made hundred and thirty years ago, "whenever the peoples of the Middle East have challenged U.S. interests, America has usually borne down on them with its greatest in an effort to crush them'' (Little, 2002, p. 318). As discussed earlier, stereotyping Muslims as terrorists is an easy way out or an easier way of providing an answer to terrorism to the Western societies. Within the due course of identifying the reasons of increasing terrorism, the wars waged in Iraq and Afghanistan, the strong opposition of Iran's ideology towards Islam, historical association and support of United States with Palestinian-Occupied Territories by Israel goes unnoticed. The United States policies devised as a result, are seen as thematic prototype that aim to defeat the terrorists abroad before that attacks on executed on the homeland (Bush, 2005). The impact of these policies can be evident to the fact that the UK and US citizens are living in a culture of fear that is held responsible by the media coverage of events that forced the citizens to be afraid of things that are less offered threat than others (Glassner, 2000). As a result of which people in the UK and the US are more fearful (Altheide, 2002). In addition, the fear that has been now created forces the citizens to strongly support the aggressive foreign policy that is being suggested and practiced, however it is argued that due to the widening gap between the multicultural communities living on the same land, the citizens are not of the of the expense of the support. It is also argued at the same time that not all the terrorist suspects involved in the major terrorism were Muslims hence they are labeled as 'domestic terrorist' and are considered to be of less threat than terrorists having international ties (Powell, 2011). Again an element of discrimination emerges that further strengthens the views of fundamentalists because domestic terrorists are labeled as 'one of us'.