The Paris attacks are horrendous
and all terrorism is always wrong.
One of the problems we have today is that we are still distinguishing between one form of violence and another. We have, in other words, taken the saying that “one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist” a bit too seriously. Any form of terrorism is a statement against civilised behaviour and, therefore, by definition, to be condemned. Frankly, what James Bond is doing in films would be as horrendous if it happened in practice as what was done in Paris last night. None of this violence is acceptable.
There is no need to go into details here, because there are plenty of examples. But while societies champion any form of black ops activity, they are also in effect giving some licence to the terrorists to defend their own despicable behaviour. This is no defence. There is no moral credibility in killing, maiming, or terrifying another. There is no such thing as “collateral damage”. There has to be an understanding that there can be only an absolute condemnation for all such activity.
The ISIL/ISIS/Al Qaida campaign and response can only stop when there is a clear understanding that terrorism is unanimously wrong. This needs to be clearly established in the West and in the Islamic world. It is a moral and a religious issue more than a political one. Politicians will always adopt a pragmatic goal, but we need to establish and re-affirm some absolutes because the rhetoric of retribution can sometime confuse the issue. These absolutes are already in the key texts but they need to be repeated because of the damage done to the texts by revisionists like, for instance, Khomeini: suicide is always forbidden in Islam and the death of any innocent is always forbidden in any conflict. These two statements alone rule out most of the acts of terror we have been witnessing recently. There can be no way to challenge this and we badly need a pan-Islamic council recognised throughout the Muslim world to champion this fact. Everything else is a footnote to this.
Then, we have to undertake as civilised societies to stop the secret war- to reign in the assassinations and the abductions. Bond might make great entertainment, but it is not the way to conduct international business or to fight this campaign. It is time to draw a line.