Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Jihads For All

To those of us, unlike our political masters, whose memories go back longer than last week and have thumbed our way through the odd history book during the more boring football on TV, Jihads are nothing new.  They were a regular feature of Empire and British activity in the relevant parts of the world.                                                
The means adopted for control were not a matter of proclaiming our later ideas of human rights or tolerance or trying to appeal to better natures.  Generally, it meant meeting fire with fire, prompt vigorous response, determination and a willingness to use force and weaponry.

One way of dealing with them is shown vividly from this brief clip of the film "Khartoum", and Wikipedia has a useful article on the film and another on the subject of the film Major General Charles George Gordon, who lost his life as a result of messy politics and bad logistics.  The film does stray from history in places.

This was in Egypt and The Sudan where Britain's expansion in the 1880's led to wars and conflicts.  In the Sub Continent of British India it was a continuing hazard for internal security and peace given the many and various differences of faith, loyalty and tribe.

Our present problems are twofold.  One is our dependence on oil from the Middle East in terms of the world economy and our own trade.  The other is that in importing numbers of people from both this area and the Sub Continent necessarily they bring with them all their diverse ideas and beliefs.

The notion that all that needed to be done would be to pass laws about rights and such and talk endlessly about community and living happily together ever after was always a nonsense given the histories, extended families and beliefs of some.

Conflict was not something from the distant history of the Crusades.  The TV series "Jewel In The Crown" did have the troubles of the 1940's as a theme in its relating the collapse of Raj in India, again as something past and limited.

It has always been there, always will be and is an important and continuing part of those societies, although a small minority.  To date we have bought off the worst by making concessions, not asking questions or interfering.  This was never going to last.

Now the time has arrived and not only do we not know what to do, but the old ways cannot be used and we have blocked many preventative options that would help.

Something will have to give.

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