Instant Radicalisation

The popular theory of ‘radicalisation’ just seems to amount to ‘Monkey See – Monkey Do’. Roshonara Choudhry saw a video on YouTube telling her to murder Stephen Timms – so she tried to. So all we have to do is stop anyone seeing the same video, or any video telling anyone to do bad things, and there will be no ‘radicalisation’.
This is a wicked perversion of language and politics. The word ‘radical’ means ‘root’. The ‘root’ of Choudhry’s political attitude was not a public video-sermon by a religious micro-sect, but a series of political and economic decisions taken over decades and effecting millions of real lives. It is the world which ‘radicalised’ Choudhry, not words or pictures. The roots of her anger were real, not imposed. Whatever her crime, she is not a monkey. And neither is any genuine radical who ever saw the root cause of a problem and decided to take effective, rather than cosmetic action. This abuse of the word is an insult to every radical in history. The people who are the founders of those freedoms we do have.

It just so happens that Choudry was not a radical. In fact, the opposite. Her solution does not address the root causes of injustice, merely the symptoms. Stephen Timms being one. Her brand of religious hysteria is fervently reactionary. That is, it seeks to replace one form of injustice with another, relying completely on a mythical past for its idols and preferred power-structure. If it happened, she would not like it. 
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