Against the Reductionism of the Foreign Policy Argument

Here is a very brief argument against Muslims who believe that modifying foreign policy alone will bring about the end of certain extremist elements amongst Muslim communities around the world.

If the people who want to blow themselves and others up, on their way to heaven, are really only acting out of a sense of disenchantment and anger with British foreign policy, why are you (as a Muslim) not doing the same? Is your concern with Iraq or Afghanistan or Palestine lesser than Mohammad Siddiq Khan’s concern about his “brothers”?

Please tell us why those who prattle the loudest about the pseudo-jihad do not sacrifice their own lives for the higher calling, but instead choose to sip strawberry juice whilst overlooking the Med? Why do they live off of lavish benefits, and then go through the very system they hate to try and keep their state welfare?

The counter-argument will go like this: we are duty bound to help our brothers.

Fine. Then why are you not helping your brother (and sister) who has no job with which to support his family; is likely to be living in squalor and in ill-health; and is more likely to end up in prison than his non-Muslim counterpart? That’s right, I am talking about your brothers living next door to you and up and down the country. In these problems Muslims are more than sufficiently “integrated”. Tell me, who are you in a better position to help? In which situation are your actions likely to have some benefit, in this life and the Next?

(Note, I am addressing Muslims here, although lots of people who are not Muslims also believe foreign policy is the ‘root cause’ of terrorism.)

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