The suicide bombing carried out at the Manchester arena on 22nd May, 2017 killed 22 concert goers besides injuring 116 people. The bomber was allegedly a 22 year old British Muslim of Libyan Descent who exploded himself in the entrance area of the Manchester arena soon after Ariana Grande’s concert. The Islamic State - IS has claimed the responsibility for the Manchester attack and has threatened to inflict even severe damage. World leaders from all over the world have condemned the attack and shown solidarity, resolve and annoyance. The Russian President Putin has shown his country’s willingness to support UK in counter-terrorism cooperation. Similarly the German Chancellor has expressed Germany’s determination to work with UK against terrorism.
The British Prime Minister, Theresa May has asserted that the world leaders should work to the maximum possible level to fight on line extremism. According to May, the complex fight against ISIS and extremism has now moved to the internet. Furthermore May has stressed the need of the tech companies and the world leaders to jointly work to cease the spread of hateful ideology on line. It is worth mentioning that 235,000 accounts were suspended last year by Twitter for propagating terrorism nevertheless there are many more ardently supporting terrorist cause. The legislation introduced by the Department of Education in September 2016 besides the Prevent duty released in 2015 is aimed at fighting on line extremism. This legislation is intended to guarantee that schools are equipped with necessary tools to protect children against extremist and radical views online. An article in “Sunday Express” reveals that the “Jihadi cheerleaders” had tweeted about the arena four hours prior to the explosion. Michael Smith, a terrorism analyst and researcher had been scrutinizing ISIS Telegram accounts in the aftermath of the Manchester attack. Smith informs that barbaric killings are extensively celebrated. A statement was released in several languages admiring the young terrorist for the brutal bombing. It read “The explosive devises were detonated in the shameless concert arena and what comes next will be more severe on the worshippers of cross and their allies.” A twitter message sharing a picture of the Manchester victims stated “It seems that the bombs of the British air force over children of Mosul and Raqqa has just come back to Manchester.”
Radicalization has emerged as one of the major problems in Europe therefore, it is feared that radicalization discourse may prove to be highly counterproductive. Terrorism researchers in Europe contend that radical views are not restricted to any particular community. The recent debate going on in Britain these days is how to avert violent extremism without ‘labeling and discriminating’ certain communities. Naveed Yasin, a doctor of Pakistani origin working for Salford Royal Hospital after spending 48 hours with Manchester victims faced racial abuse by a middle aged driver. Sunday Times informs that Yasin could not quell the loathing the driver had for him owing to his skin colour and the preconception associated with it. According to Yasin, terrorist attacks do not differentiate against race or religion. He added that his daughter could have been a victim as she wanted to attend the concert but was not allowed to do so as the concert was on a school night.
An article carried in the Guardian reveals that the MI 5 report on terrorism in Britain suggests that it has become increasingly difficult to identify those involved in terrorism. The sophisticated analysis of the security services after carefully examining hundreds of case studies suggests that “there is no single pathway to violent extremism.” Surprisingly most of the terrorists are British nationalists who are not Islamic Fundamentalists but are rather far away from religion. The basic findings of the MI5 behavioural science unit is based on the case studies of hundreds of individuals, either involved or closely linked to terrorist activities. The principal findings suggest that most of the terrorists are British nationals, some were born in Britain while other had migrated to the UK. Some terrorists had sought UK asylum to escape, distressing experiences and oppressive regimes whereas others had come either to study or for other reasons but later got radicalized. The report further suggests that some of the terrorists have been high on drugs and drinking alcohol. Terrorists in the United Kingdom are mostly male but women are also involved by supporting their husbands, brothers, fathers etc.
A British Lawyer Anjem Choudhary, who later transformed into a radical has been jailed for 10 years after swearing allegiance to ISIS. It is feared that Choudhary’s companions sharing hateful ideology on the social media and asking for arms may bring further troubles.
It is important to realize that a loss of innocent lives is unacceptable in any part of the world regardless of race, religion etc. Therefore, killing of innocent lives should be condemned by all societies across the world. One of our Pakistani actresses Armeena Khan, instead of being admired for sending condolences to the Manchester victims was rather criticized. Some people have criticized her for taking sides with the UK and ignoring Syria and the deaths of Muslims around the world. However, there thousands of people who have supported Armeena for supporting humanity by condemning the Manchester attack. It is speculated that the societies across the world have become desensitized for asylum seekers and refugees. According to a survey carried by Pew Research Center, half the population in eight out of ten European countries assume that refugees can increase the risk of terrorism in their countries.
Both the Muslim world and the West need to work together to stop radicalization and extremism which manifests itself in the form of terrorism claiming so many innocent lives.
Preparing for war against online Radicalization rather baffles the world
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