Andy wrote yesterday about our confused thinking re events in Bombay:
The obsession over whether al Qaeda or its endless jumble of affiliates pulled off the operation is a misguided attempt to mimimize the challenge. The bin Laden network is not unimportant, but it is tapping into something that is much bigger than itself.
We’re reluctant to address that “bigger than itself” elephant. All jihad is local: If rockets are fired at Israel, it’s a failure to settle the Palestinian question. If an NHS doctor drives a flaming Cherokee into the check-in desk at Glasgow Airport, it must be Tony Blair’s foreign policy. The Jerusalem Post’s headline writer poses the question:
Homegrown Terror Or International Jihad?
False choice. The answer is: Homegrown terror in the service of international jihad. Clearly, India has had a Muslim problem to one degree or another in the 60 years since partition, but increasingly those locally driven grievances have been absorbed within the global pan-Islamic ideology. What strikes you, as the dust clears in Bombay, is that one assault provided an umbrella for manifestations of almost every strain of Muslim grievance.
There’s the local element – the fatal shooting of the city’s anti-terror squad, and other prominent officials. There’s the crusader element – the targeting of British and American passport holders. There’s the Jew-hating element – the Munich massacre nesting within the more general carnage.
And there are the more ironic nuances of jihad: British subjects were to be found not just among the victims but among the perpetrators.
To pose the question as that Jerusalem Post headline is to miss the point. Moreover, the global ideologues correctly see our determination to attribute every attack to purely local phenomena unconnected to any bigger picture as a sign of weakness.