Its all over the news channels today. A terror plot to blow up inbound airplanes from the UK to the United States has just been disrupted. Apparently, this time, these guys were trying to smuggle different kinds of liquids onboard in carry on luggage and then assemble a bomb on board and then subsequently promptly blow themselves up along with the other innocent folks on board.
Now it so happened that, by all sketchy accounts, it turns out that all the perpetrators of this plot were British citizens of Pakistani origin. The British are still maintaining their stiff upper lip and not actually giving out the names and nationality of the plotters – but by all accounts – surprise – they are all Pakistani.
Since I am an Indian, the fact doesnt really surprise me very much. We have, after all, have been victims of the progressive radicalization of the Pakistani society for years and years. But what really does intrigue me is why it is always the Pakistani settled in the UK who is responsible for a vast number of terror plots in the western world.
Social commentators often talk about cultural alienation of the Pakistani in the UK – caught somewhere between a regressive conservative expatriate culture at home and an open society outside; Inherent racism in the mainstream society which only leads to further alienation and radicalization. While I agree with parts of it – there are some basic flaws in that argument.
First, a lot of immigrant sub-cultures are inherently more conservative than the culture they come from. That is expected – when a way of life or a culture is thought to be under attack – as often it is perceived to be by immigrants to another culture – the result often is to closet oneself. However, that in a vast majority of cases – is not motivational enough to blow oneself up for any cause – perceived or real.
Secondly, one could argue on the basis of religion – as is often said – not all muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are muslims. However, I still dont understand why every homegrown plan in Britain involves people of Pakistani origin.
I personally think that the British society has a problem on its hands. British society, for the most part, is an open society. And these kind of incidents, especially when they happen to be increasingly predictably recurring, does tend to radicalize society. The victim however, always is the openness of the society. And if that is the direction the British society does head towards – these guys do win – plot foiled or not.
Need to keep watching how things unfurl. I think we are reaching an inflection point in society – a point where tolerance will cease to serve as an excuse to not point fingers where they need to be pointed to. And there are some hard decisions that need to be taken. If the muslim subculture in Britain is responsible for recurringly spawning such folks – I think its time that the very openness that lets their religious leaders to eloquently ploselytize about such causes be curbed. Religious and social freedoms are for those who know how to use it and not abuse it for their own narrow, fundamentalist causes.