Radical Free-Speech Academics enable Jihadist Extremism

Rowan Callick, in The Australian, 29 December 2015, where the title is ASIO head’s terror gag ‘reflects academic fashion’,”

Academic theoreticians are to blame for Australia being in a position where ASIO head Duncan Lewis, “an unelected securocrat”, tells democratically elected MPs that “silence is the price they have to pay for an uneasy civil peace”. David Martin Jones, a former associate professor at Queensland University who is visiting professor at the War Studies Department at London University’s King’s College, told The Australian that, from a widespread academic perspective, “the market and the West perpetuate the real global ­violence, not terrorists, who merely resist the capitalist behemoth”.

DUNCAN LEWIS ASIO head Duncan Lewis ‘merely reflected a widespread view that criticism of Islam by a non-Muslim will only provoke Muslim rage and provide more recruits to Islamic State’.

He said that “in asking MPs and, by extension, the wider political community to refrain from commenting on the connection between Islam and political violence, Duncan Lewis merely reflected a widespread view that criticism of Islam by a non-Muslim will only provoke Muslim rage and provide more recruits to Islamic State”. Since the terror attacks on the US in 2001, “liberal political elites, academe and state broadcasters have consistently denied any connection between religion, in its Islamist form, and religiously inspired violence”.

He said that after the London bombings on July 7, 2005, and the more recent Paris attacks, “a predictable chorus of academic ­experts have appeared in the media to claim the latest outrage has nothing to do with religion”. “Well might they,” he said. “For the past decade, grants and chairs in terror or peace and conflict studies have been dedicated to showing modern terrorism has no Islamic association.” Even if some Islamic connection was conceded, he said, this was viewed as part of a wider, anti-capitalist “resistance” by the rest to the West.

The past decade, said Professor Jones, had witnessed a ­proliferation of peer-reviewed academic journals that reinforced this “resistance” message. These included, he said,Critical Studies on Terrorism and Critical Security Studies. “Tracing this critical posture reveals how deeply imbued contemporary academe has become with anti-western self loathing”. Such journals explained, for example, that “the rhetoric of freedom and the democratic way of life it upholds inflames the Muslim community”.

Professor Jones said that “the antidote they suggest is not to condemn, but to enter into ‘force-free dialogue’ with the forces of resistance”. Thus, he said, this academically fashionable critical theory shared an elective affinity with “the resistance”. Reading Islamism as a form of revolutionary Marxism with a relig­ious facade, he said, “enables the Western theorist to present the Islamist in more attractive academic garb as a fellow critic ‘representing a distinctive combination of Islamic and enlightenment thought’ ”. Not surprisingly, he said, Islam­ism’s most effective online journals embraced this unmasking of the “true” sources of terrorism. “They also consider the war on terror ‘a narrative’ and a distorted Western ‘construct’ that Islamism ‘deconstructs’, and accept that orientalism and colonialism are the real causes of their ‘radical’ reaction,” he said.

Professor Jones said that “ultimately, to empathise with Islamism and provide it with a justification for its hyper-megalomaniacal violence was delusional”. “Such a delusion, ironically, depends on the liberal pluralist tolerance that both Islamic State and critical theory otherwise abhor,” he said. The result was “a curious disjuncture between what Islamists say and have said for a while, and what the critical theorist and now ASIO say they mean — and what Islamists actually do.”

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ALSO SEE

Michael Roberts 2015 “Diannah Paramour arouses an Australian Tamil Tiger Nest,” 18 September 2015,  https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2015/09/18/diannah-paramour-arouses-an-australian-tamil-tiger-nest-mid-2015/#more-17797

Michael Roberts 2015 “One-Eyed Zealousness: Extremist Australians For and Against the Tamil Cause in Lanka,” 1 October, 2015, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2015/10/01/one-eyed-zealousness-extremist-australians-for-and-against-the-tamil-cause-in-lanka/

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Filed under accountability, australian media, cultural transmission, democratic measures, fundamentalism, human rights, Islamic fundamentalism, legal issues, politIcal discourse, power politics, slanted reportage, terrorism, tolerance, truth as casualty of war, vengeance, world events & processes, zealotry

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