There are no local products in this globalised world
The terrorists were home-grown, but had links to Pakistan. And even as the security forces revealed their profiles, the authorities and the media took pains to clarify that the actions of a few should not make the entire community culpable. This could have been the scene after any of the major terrorist attacks in India. This is also the scene that is unfolding in London. This may be what is necessary to manage the aftermath of a terrorist attack, but should not be stretched to the point of allowing the guilty to escape in its wake.
For one — the terrorists may be home-grown, but their terrorism is not. Every society has its discontents, heterogenous ones more so. But as Ajai Sahni writes in this week’s South Asia Intelligence Review, the factor that drives society’s discontents into terrorists is not home-grown.
A ‘hardening’ of Islam through a distortion of the relatively pluralistic practices of South Asian Muslims – a process of “religious mobilisation and an extremist Islamist reorientation” that may extend over decades before it is translated into violence. This involves a triad of ideological concepts: the transnational Islamic ummah, khilafat and jihad. The transfer of populations and demographic destabilisation – both externally induced and natural – have been powerful complementarities in these processes. [SATP]
And like India, Britain too would do well to discard the kid gloves with which it is handling Gen Musharraf. The jihadi organisations that he continues to patronise need to brought under sharp focus. Since 9/11, Pakistani jihadi organisations have been active in India, the United States and Australia. It would be reasonable to speculate that London has been their most recent victim.
Indeed, shielding innocent local Muslim populations from irrational ‘backlash’ attacks requires authorities to lay the blame where it belongs — foreign nurseries are as much to blame as the home-grown rotten apples.