Trustworthy Freedom Fighter
Joined: 01 Aug 2005
|Posted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:49 pm Post subject: All Faiths Against Terrorism - introductory brochure
|The following is a draft text for an explanatory borchure. Comments and involvement welcome from any genuine faith practitioners
ALL FAITHS AGAINST TERRORISM
Bishop Michael Hare Duke
Imam Mustaqeem Shah
‘Terrorism’ shall refer to any violent acts, threats, plans or policies which harm and/or alarm civilians in order to destabilize a ‘target’ society and secure political, economic or social changes desired by the groups, organizations, agencies and/or States responsible for those violent acts, threats, etc. (AFAT Constitution)
Why ALL FAITHS AGAINST TERRORISM?
* Because we all have a right to live in peace and security, so long as we aren’t attacking anybody (civilian rights to non-combatant immunity);
• Because all faiths have a core value of non-violence, ahimsa, don’t harm the harmless!
• Because terrorism is one of the problems which face the world, and one whose nature and significance is much misunderstood;
• Because all faiths have a common interest in true religion serving the world in such as way as to diminish this and other threats to our global inter-existence, and against religions and ideologies being used to stir up intolerance, fear and hatred.
• Because all faiths have resources within them which can help people deal with terrorism, among other problems.
10 reasons why the AFAT approach is different
1. AFAT welcomes the decision of the Scottish executive not to focus its counter-terrorism objective against real or presumed entities such as e.g. ‘Islamic terrorism’, but to oppose Terrorism as such, which should be dealt with as murder (or murder plots, threats, etc) irrespective of ‘political’ or ‘religious’ labeling, pretexts, etc
2. AFAT will educate concerning the true position of various faiths with respect to the sanctity of innocent, peaceful non-combatant life. (Note 1)
3. Though seeking to draw on values which are nurtured by religions at their best, AFAT does not assume that fatalities from terrorism have always – or even mostly – been caused by misguided or extreme religious groups, or by ethnic or nationalist groups incensed by ‘Western’ foreign policy, the British State, etc. (2)
4. AFAT calls for a consistent values-based definition of terrorism whose definition does not become a convenient political football. Counter-terrorism should be solely concerned to defend the rights of our civilian estate to non-combatant immunity from attack, irrespective of who does the activities defined or not defined as ‘terrorist’, and for what ends.
5. AFAT considers that to get the ‘threat of terrorism’ in sober perspective, we need to be guided by reliable statistics from reputable public health bodies, and not be swayed by media scares and powerful interests with their own agendas. (3)
6. AFAT is aware of public health studies showing increased risk of strokes and heart attacks amongst those most vulnerable to anxiety occasioned by repeated issuing of vague terror-alerts, i.e. a climate of fear is itself bad for our health, irrespective of whether any ‘terrorist bombs’ go off. (4)
7. AFAT is aware that creating or exaggerating a climate of fear is counter-productive if it increases alienation of any section of society linked widely, implicity and often falsely to the phenomenon of ‘international terrorism’. (5)
8. AFAT takes an evidence-based, historical and comparative approach to the study of terrorism. It is aware that most terrorist attacks in Europe since WW2 have been carried out or sponsored by states, often in such a way as to throw the blame onto some other group, e.g. the Red Brigades during Operation Gladio in Italy. (6)
9. Many people have an unreasoning fear of being considered ‘conspiracy theorists’. AFAT considers that any conspiracy hypothesis (sic) should be treated on its merits. We aim for an open, skeptical, even-handed approach so that we don’t imagine conspiracies are occurring when they aren’t, but neither do we assume they aren’t when they are! (7)
10. AFAT believes responsible use of the internet to critically explore and research the truth to be a mark of responsible and active citizens, and should neither be scorned by print-columnists (‘Internet-tittle-tattle’) nor feared by counter-terrorism practitioners as ‘precursor activity’ indicative of future terrorist propensities!
NO RUSH TO JUDGMENT!
In the event of further ‘terror attacks’ AFAT calls for responsible official, police and media responses which avoid prejudging the nature, source and motive of the terrorist act – unlike the instant punditry on 9/11 when news anchormen constructed the Manhattan murders as an ‘Attack on America’ within minutes of their starting to happen, even discerning ‘Bin Laden’s finger-prints all over this’ – something he always denied. (8 )
We hope to encourage faith groups to play their part in preventing racist rumours and inappropriate official and popular ‘reactions’, based on hasty mis-diagnosis of real or claimed terror-events, fashionable group-think, etc.
LET US PROMOTE A CULTURE OF PEACE AND CIVILIAN IMMUNITY FROM ATTACK
AFAT seeks to raise awareness and celebrate the taken-for-granted centrality of the norm of civilian immunity. We encourage the counter-terrorist community to see their work as lying on the same continuum as the efforts of various other groups who experience the threat of violence even though they are not attacking anyone – e.g. survivors and relatives who have been affected by bullying, rape, domestic abuse, institutional abuse, homophobic or racist attacks, Islamophobia, anti-semitism, etc
1) see Muslim Voices against Terrorism: http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/muslim_voices_a gainst_extremism_and_terrorism_2/
2) The War on Truth: Disinformation and the Anatomy of Terrorism, Nafeez Mossadeq Ahmed, Gloucs, 2005. Also google his Subverting ‘Terrorism’: Muslim Problem or Covert Operations Nightmare, also in 9/11 and American Empire: Muslims, Jews and Christians Speak Out, Kevin Barrett et al (eds), 2007. On the Scottish National Liberation Army, see Britain’s Secret War: Tartan Terrorism and the Anglo-American State, Iain MacLeay and Andrew Murray Scott, Edinburgh 1990.
3) Deaths from international terrorism compared with road crash deaths in OECD countries, Wilson N, Thomson G, INJURY PREVENTION 11 (6): 332-333 DEC 2005. Similar comparisons are available concerning murder, indistrial accidents/disease, suicide, drunk driving, prescription drugs, smoking, etc – see Terrorism Statistics
4) Living in Fear and Paying a High Cost in Heart Risk, John Tierney: NY Times, Science Section: Jan 15, 2008
5) Islamo-Fascism and the ‘Chimera of Neutrality’, Naseem Ahmed, Arches Quarterly, Vol 2, 1, Cordoba Foundation, Summer 2008. British Anti-Terrorism: A Modern Day Witch-Hunt, Fahad Ansari, Islamic Human Rights Commission, London, June 2006
6) NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe, Daniele Ganser, Frank Cass London, 2005. Many instances of ‘False Flag’ Terrorism at the Terrorism section of
7) Conspiracy Theories – The Philosophical Debate, David Coady (ed), Aldershot, 2006
8 ) Ummat (Karachi-based newspaper), Sept 28, 2001: http://www.robert-fisk.com/usama_interviewummat.htm
Osama Tape Appears to be Fake, Experts Claim Scholars for Truth, www.911scholars.org , May 28, 2006.
HOW WILL AFAT WORK?
We seek to engage with members of faith communities, alienated youth, educators and the ‘counter-terrorism industry’ at grass roots and national levels. We will publish and disseminate literature, research, a website and other educative materials; host talks; arrange workshops and round table discussions; convene and participate in interfaith events; issue statements; make presentations and liase with religious, academic and educational bodies, across a range of sectors.
Please contact us
if you have questions or suggestions;
for dialogue, information, educational materials;
for advice, support e.g. arranging a participatory workshop or or film show;
if you would like to become a member, work together with us, and/or volunteer skills and contacts.
All Faiths Against Terrorism
Chair: Haq Ghani
Secretary: Keith Forrester-Paton,
2b Darnhall Cres, Perth PH2 0HH
For the defence of our one worldwide civilian Motherland, against whatever ruling or informal fraternities.
May all beings be happy