Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Terrorism Theirs and Ours Eqbal Ahmed

Eqbal Ahmad Terrorism: Theirs and Ours Prophetic Speech from 1998 

Originally presented and recorded at the University of Colorado. Boulder. Skip forward to 6:35 where the speech starts.

The prophetic speech on terrorism above was originally given by Eqbal Ahmad in 1998 at the University of Colorado, Boulder in the United States. Ahmad was a Pakistani-American author, university professor, columnist, documentarian, anti-imperialist, third world activist and pacifist who spoke calmly of the double standards of U.S and European foreign policy across the world from Latin America to Asia. His speech Terrorism Theirs and Ours was made into a novella that examined the indepth history, causation and environments that leads to terrorism. He pinpointed that governments' lack of a full definition of terrorism, extreme double standards, state terrorism (by Western governments as well as friendly pro West govs), proxy wars/covert ops, low intensity conflicts and trauma, psychology, failure of the world powers to hear and demand justice for the world's people who have been wronged for years, the terror groups' own failures to avoid excessive violence against civilians at the expense of their specific causes are all part of what creates the conditions for terrorism. Envy and jealous has little to do with terror attacks. Military solutions for fighting terror groups do not work. Among the warnings Ahmad gave in avoiding increased terrorism in the world and violence in traumatized, war torn regions of Global South countries was for Global North or the West to stop practicing extremes of double standards, to humanize terror victims in Middle East and Asia and understand that terrorism is not irrational nor exists in a vacuum. Terrorism is normally used as a last resort and an act of desperation for resistance, armed groups and traumatized people (including lone wolves) who feel the world has ignored their pain and treated them as unworthy victims and Western victims as worthy and human. Ahmad equally criticized and condemned terrorist groups for using disgusting violence against  innocent men, women and children and the general public who are not to blame for their governments' state terrorism. Nor acts of war against civilians in conflict zones. Sadly, Eqbal Ahmad passed away in 1999. When his speech was aired on alternate Radio in 2001 following the September 11th acts, many listeners assumed Ahmad was commenting on current events. His speech is terrifyingly relevant and the wisdom still hits hard after all these years. Enjoy the listen and digest.

Michael Kountouris, Greek political cartoonist and one of the few mourning cartoonists for Paris to remember the world's trauma caused by terrorist violence and war

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