By John Brindley - Staff Author
WHETHER or not teenage bride Shamima Begum should be allowed to return to Britain is merely a sideshow in the story of modern-day radicalisation.
Many people simply can’t grasp how a young girl living in Britain can have her beliefs so savagely manipulated that she willingly gives herself to the murderous mission of the Islamic State.
That’s because we are largely blinded to the mind control that routinely turns our own innocent young people into killers.
I’m referring to the programming that occurs throughout our life here and is then turned up to brutal levels when someone makes the naïve decision to join our armed forces.
Naturally most of us are peaceful beings. There are exceptions, of course, but the proportion of ordinary people who would shoot or knife their neighbour in cold blood is undeniably very, very small.
So what happens to enable that same essentially peaceful being to not only kill people they have never met but to accept the congratulations of their peers for doing so?
That is OUR form of radicalisation – and it works like this.
Throughout our lives, we are taught about confrontation or us against them. We are invited to take sides, whether it be in politics, religion, your sports team, even the school you go to.
So you become accustomed to viewing some ordinary people as your friends and colleagues and others, equally worthy people, as your opponents and enemies.
We also soak up a continual stream of lies about Britain’s role in the world, both in the past and the present day.
We are fed the line that we are a democratic country – which we are not – in which the people are free to say and do what they wish – also a myth.
Britain’s role in the world is to defend our freedom and try to extend our values to other nations. This, pardon my French, is pure bollocks.
So we instinctively see some countries as being complementary to Britain and others to be potential enemies.
Those run by dictators are always prime candidates to be an enemy, Russia is continually demonised because, well, that’s just the way it is and Republics are usually regarded with suspicion because we’re run by a Monarchy – God save us!
Some alliances make sense because they are European countries and therefore closer to home, others are more difficult to fathom.
We have a ‘special relationship’ with America ‘because they helped us in the war’, or so we are told. Whilst enduring support for brutal Saudi Arabia and the violent state of Israel are beyond our comprehension, but who are we to argue?
Taking on board the generally accepted British narrative gives us the potential to become very easily radicalised once we put on a military uniform.
Then it is drummed into young people that it is us against them, your life or that of the enemy.
There’s the very powerful, intoxicating feeling of ‘belonging’. You are part of a group of people who always have your back. Whatever you do, they will be there to support you (this is until you return home with broken limbs and are of no further use, of course).
The enemy is demonised and verbally assassinated. Suddenly there are no grey areas, only black or white. You are one of the good guys with a positive mission. If you believe in that kind of thing, you’ve even got ‘God’ on your side. The enemy is misguided, evil and deserving of its fate.
Even a few weeks of this propaganda and a young person can be convinced that a person they would happily share a pint of beer with or sit alongside at a football match is someone you could kill without a hint of guilt.
Meanwhile the mainstream media daily spits out more and more one-sided rubbish about ‘our boys and girls’ and what a great job they are doing.
Forget those one million people protesting in London – they’re worth about 30 seconds on the news – we are all behind our murderous armed forces because they represent our team against the opposition.
There’s nothing like a war to unite the country because radicalisation removes those awkward questions like ‘what would it be like if we were being bombed?’ or ‘are we really morally in the right?’
Our ‘radicalised’ servicemen and women return to s thunderous reception. Their names will be immortalised in newspapers and statues for years to come. Proud family members will talk of their bravery, their selflessness and sacrifice and not think about the innocent blood they have shed.
But ‘radicalisation’ doesn’t last forever and that brings me back to the young Syrian woman.
Left to her own devices and far away from the barbarism of her mentors, Shamima may well wake up to the horrors of some of the things she has seen and heard in years to come.
Perhaps her conscience will be pricked, and she will begin to ask herself is she really did the right thing.
This is because mind control and programming have their limits. It is not ultimately as powerful as our human spirit.
And so it is with many folk who have served The Crown overseas in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and other countries.
As they draw away from the ‘cult’ of the armed forces, they will often have nightmares about what they have been involved in.
They call it post traumatic stress syndrome or PTSD but, in this case, that’s a sophisticated name for a re-emergence of our conscience.
Radicalisation causes an extreme, distorted picture of the world. But when we are removed from it, the pieces start coming back into shape.
In short, we should have sympathy for Shamima, a young soul led astray.
And we should have sympathy, too, for those struggling with their memories of committing atrocities for ‘our side’.
Radicalisation works both ways. And we are far from innocent….
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