We must not let politicians use this story to undermine the case for universal human rights
The news this week was full of the controversy surrounding the British born suicide bomber Jamal al-Harith, formerly known as Ronald Fiddler. Al-Harith was picked up by American forces in Afghanistan in 2001, where he was suspected of fighting with the Taliban. He spent time in the U.S. detention centre at Guantánamo Bay, before being returned to the U.K. It seems that he subsequently traveled to the Middle East to join ISIS and launched a suicide bomb attack during the current battle with the Iraqi army for the city of Mosul.
Aspects to this story include whether security services had been monitoring his movements; whether the policies of previous Home Secretaries (including Teresa May) made it easier for him to do what he did; The Daily Mail’s ridiculous attempt to smear Tony Blair for being at fault; and the alleged £1m compensation paid to al-Harith. Continue reading “I’m Glad That ISIS Suicide Bomber Jamal al-Harith Was Paid £1m Compensation By The British Government”
What is it about Norwegian culture that they were able to resist the shrill call that “something must be done”?
(Les på norsk). There was an interesting piece on the radio this morning on how Norwegian attitudes to immigration have changed, since the Utøya Massacre last year. Apparently people have become more proud of being Norwegian, but also more accepting of immigration. This is the polar opposite of the cultural war that Anders Bering Breivik hoped to ignite when he committed his atrocities.
I would say that Norway has also ‘won’ in the sense that it has not compromised on its principles or the rule-of-law in its response to the terrorists. Breivik’s 21 year prison sentence seems ridiculously lenient to me… but it is the maximum allowed by Norwegian law, and they have stuck to it. It is admirable and noteworthy that the legal system has withstood such a traumatic shock. What is it about Norwegian culture that they were able to resist the shrill call that “something must be done”?
Compare this to the knee-jerk responses in the USA and the UK. More than a decade after the September 11 attacks and the invasion of Afghanistan, America still imprisons foreign nationals without trial in Guantánamo Bay. Here in the UK Parliament settled on 42 days detention without charge for terror suspects. Both countries allowed panic and fear to set policies that removed civil liberties. We should have been more like Norway, and stood firmer.