Sunday, April 22, 2007

Hamid and Flanagan on the GWOT

"[The] aspiration [for a more cosmopolitan identity] is entirely correct and I don’t think it’s necessarily doomed. The problem is, if we’re talking about a global cosmopolitan order, the collective punishment of people needs to be ended. In the United States, if there were people who were potential terrorists in the foothills of Appalachia, a police force would be sent in, it would do investigative work, and the people involved would be apprehended and put in jail. It would not be tolerated that cluster bombs would be used to wipe out several hundred people in the hope that some of them are terrorists. That kind of group punishment of people is the antithesis of global citizenship".
--Mohsin Hamid , author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, interviewed in Foreign Policy.
"You cannot justify murder," says Flanagan when [asked] whether his attempts to understand the motives of terrorists will cause him further vilification, "but the danger for western societies at the moment is that we seek to protect ourselves by creating and feeding difference, and by making people feel alienated, and that it's not possible to share with other human beings the possibility of being fully human. The best defence we can offer against evil and the possibility of terrible, murderous acts is by letting people back in. Then the appeal of a death cult starts to evaporate. But in a world where people feel ever more frightened, alienated and tossed out to the periphery, death cults offer a way back."
-- Richard Flanagan, author of The Unknown Terrorist, interviewed by Stephen Moss in The Guardian.

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