Now I don’t usually get into politics, wars, religion and things like that unless I’m outwardly chucking salt but this time it is different, this is important. I posted this up on Facebook and there was little to no attention paid to it which is sad because it means my peers aren’t educated enough to understand the far-reaching implications of this issue, and if they are unable or more so unwilling to understand and engage these issues we’re already fucked. Mine is a generation of apathy for which we may all pay the price one day in the future.
Recently my Government proposed laws to bar people who fought for the Islamic State from returning to Britain. Many people are outraged and I understand that sentiment, a lot of us are angry and even I myself was swept into this line of thought. It does seem like a good idea when in fact it is far from it. People, including myself, have reacted emotionally and not rationally to this issue. When I actually stand back and realize what a terrible idea this is I cannot help but wonder if this is an attempt by the current government to gain the popular vote for the upcoming elections or just a misguided attempt to deal with a problem that by all accounts has grown out of control.
So where to begin? Let’s start simple shall we?
By not allowing these people to return home because we assume they are terrorists we are casting aside due process and the right to be innocent until proven guilty. If we allow this to happen we are directly contributing to the erosion of our civil liberties/rights. I know many would argue that terrorists don’t have civil/human rights but there’s the rule of all or none. If we forfeit the rights of others then we are in effect forfeiting our own. It’s all well and good when it is a suspected terrorist or someone who is suspected to have engaged in war crimes but what happens when it is one of our own? When the individual is in fact innocent or there a case of mistaken identity? By that time it will not matter because we’ve discarded the processes put in place to protect us, by then we’re already screwed. And that aside, governments have never abused their power before right?
These people are citizens of the United Kingdom, in being citizens they are subject to the laws of our nation. We cannot just ignore or export the problem, they were born and raised in the UK and it is our responsibility to deal with them appropriately. Also a lot of people here maintain an attitude towards those living in ISIS held territory that pertains to ‘They aren’t us, fuck them, let them fend for themselves.’ If you open your eyes, aside from skin colour and religion they are you. Those people are human beings and we have a responsibility to them, nobody deserves to have to put up with this sort of shit. Many people maintain the simplistic view that our money should not be spent feeding, housing and clothing these individuals in one of many wonderful prison facilities across the land but if that is the case then what do they propose we do allow them to run around in their sandbox to rape and murder at will? I’d much rather they be locked away where they can be of no further to anyone.
A lot of people also argue against attempts at radicalization/rehabilitation, many of them not realizing that a lot of the individuals who travelled overseas originally did so to fight against an opressive regime. Others did leave with the intention of fighting for ISIS but when they got there it wasn’t what the believed it would be, such is the folly of idealists. Many have tried to return home, few people actually have the stomach for war let alone outright genocide of a people. That isn’t to say we should feel sorry for them or they should not be punished, they deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of our laws. Again, we should deal with our problem. When you do not allow these individuals to return home they becomes stateless and in making them stateless we create much more than an individual who make a huge fucking mistake, we create a desperate situation that can only lead to more violence. We create an enemy of the state with no other option but to fight against us.
Even without considering those points allowing them to return home and monitoring their activities would provide valuable intelligence in our fight against ISIS. Another main point of this post is that there are many more intelligent ways of dealing with our current situation. Barring them from reentering the United Kingdom is the absolute wrong answer. If this isn’t a misguided attempt at dealing with our problem and rather an attempt to gain the popular vote then our leadership is even more incompetent than I ever imagined, dangerously so. The fact that many of my contemporaries don’t understand or are indifferent to my points about civil liberties is saddening. It basically means we’re already waiting to get fucked. I can understand people being angry and reacting emotionally to what is a barbaric and desperate situation but what I cannot understand nor forgive is the indifference, that is worse than the stupidity. That indifference has allowed some of the greatest evils in history.
People are stupid, our government more so and I have very little faith in my generation. Either way this is our problem and it’s about time we dealt with it, intelligently and precisely.