Tag Archives: terrorism

How should one understand the rise of ‘fundamentalism’?

With the current wave of “terrorist” attacks, not only in France, but in other parts of the world such as Nigeria and Mali, too, “fundamentalist” organisations have become the focus of many questions, including the one concerning the reason why (particularly young) people join these despite risking their lives in the course of performing their…

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Paris attacks: ‘My entire body was trembling’

By Marianne Camerer The Paris police said stay put where you are, don’t go out unless absolutely necessary. The streets were starting to empty. My hotel was about a 20-minute walk away from the Odeon restaurant where my Parisian friend, Pierre, and I were having supper. Should we take a back street to my hotel,…

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Paris again: Has Huntington’s thesis been vindicated?

The recent events in Paris (not long after the Charlie Hebdo attacks), which have understandably shocked everyone who values peaceful interaction between people of different cultural orientations, will no doubt fuel renewed intercultural distrust instead. This is to be expected, particularly after reports that one of the attackers might have entered France a few weeks…

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How to eradicate extremism

By Dan Kuwali Extremism and radicalisation have fuelled violence and terrorism, which are some of the burning problems that affect communities around the world today. Countering these scourges is in the interest of all states, considering the borderless effects of such criminal acts. An extremist is a person who advocates or resorts to measures beyond…

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Why the Garissa attack was to be expected

By Stephen Buchanan-Clarke On April 2 2015, Kenya again bore witness to the horrors of another well-planned and executed Al-Shabab-led terrorist attack. Like a recurring Westgate nightmare, five gunmen stormed Garissa University College, separated Christians from Muslims, and executed 150 students, after making many lay face down on their beds. For a brief moment Al-Shabab…

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Terrorism or mental illness? Why race matters

When co-pilot Andreas Lubitz crashed the Germanwings plane, killing 149 people, “mental illness” was deployed as an explanation. If he wore a turban and had a beard, and if I were a betting man, I would put my money on the media labelling him a terrorist. Where would you put your money? Be honest. Have…

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Charlie Hebdo: How to talk about terrorism

Terrorism always shines a light on the human condition. The aftermath of an attack is often coloured with blame, apologies, and almost mind-numbing debate about the problem. More importantly: the aftermath can also shine a light on those who are interested in democracy and the political sphere, while simultaneously unmasking those who do not care…

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Isis and the end of history

In 1989 Francis Fukuyama proudly proclaimed that the world had reached the “end of history”. As the USSR fell into disarray and the Iron Curtain came tumbling down, the world was catapulted towards the acceptance of a liberal democratic political model and the neoliberal economics of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. It is of course…

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Of walls and refugees

Well, hallelujah! Turkey has started to build a wall along its border with Syria. Guess what, most of the wall is 2m tall and in some stretches will be over 2.5m high. The first part of the wall will extend for over 900km. Walls separate people and break up families. Walls cut people off from…

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ANC learning all the wrong lessons from Nairobi tragedy

There are lessons for South Africa from last week’s Al-Shabab terror attack on a Nairobi shopping mall. Unfortunately the lessons that this government chooses to draw from the tragedy are all the wrong ones. African National Congress Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe says that the Kenyan attack ‘highlighted the need for tighter immigration laws’. There was also…

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