Pakistan assault reveals the reality about terrorism: it kills more poor Muslims than wealthy westerners

Those who suffer most from Islamist extremism are not individuals in wealthy western nations, but other bad Muslims.

This is the fundamental truth that obliterates the false cloak of righteousness so ostentatiously donned by Islamist jihadists: the very people these misguided guys and girls declare to be fighting for, are the ones they destroy in biggest numbers.

Headlines in the western planet seize upon the self-evident truth, borne out by the statistics: terrorism is rising, and a lot more and a lot more men and women are dying from it. But there is a basic deceit to this claim. The devil in the detail lies in who is currently being killed.

The city of Sydney – nonetheless the attack in Martin Location is characterised – has been shaken to its core by brutal, senseless assault this week, as London, New York, Madrid, and other folks were ahead of.

But the Taliban’s assault on a school in Pakistan a day later on, killing at least 141 folks, 132 of them schoolchildren, is a stark reminder of the outsized value paid by the Muslim world for vile actions of a misguided handful of proclaiming the lead to of their religion.

The global terrorism database maintained by the Nationwide Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland demonstrates a surge in terrorist attacks in recent many years – from about 5,000 in 2011 to far more than eight,000 in 2012 and virtually twelve,000 in 2013 – the three largest years on record for terrorist attacks.

But, as Bernard Keane analyses right here, the raw numbers are not the complete story. The quantity of terror attacks in western nations did rise, and rise drastically, final year.

In 2012, there have been 140 incidents of terrorism in the west. In 2013, that figure was much more than 250, the enhance driven by a sharp rise in attacks in Northern Ireland and Greece. Twelve individuals died.

But these figures are dwarfed by attacks outdoors the west.

In non-western nations, the increase was from 8,000 incidents in 2012 to much more than eleven,000 in 2013, the rise driven by continuing sectarian violence in Iraq and Pakistan, and deepening unrest in the Philippines and Egypt.

The amount of non-western terrorism deaths in 2013 was above 22,000.

In November of this 12 months, virtually five,000 men and women died in Islamist fundamentalist terror attacks, the vast majority of those at the hands of Islamic State (Isis) or Boko Haram.

Just more than half the dead had been civilians, “the vast bulk … Muslim,” the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation said.

The “war on terror” is a instrument of political rhetoric, not a real war. But its victims are genuine. And, overwhelmingly, it is the world’s Muslims who suffer most. Pakistan has lost a lot more civilians to the “war on terror” than nearly any other nation.

In the wake of the Peshawar assault this week, the hardest element for Pakistan now will be to hold its line. The country’s best weapon towards the scourge of terrorism is not more bullets in response, but education.

It is girls and boys in school.

In Pakistan’s Swat Valley two years ago, I visited an army-run school named “Sabaoon”, an Urdu word that broadly translates as “the first light of dawn”.

It was a school for suicide bombers.

The boys who sat quietly there, in their green-and-white-striped uniforms, had previously been kidnapped or brainwashed by the Taliban. They’d been arrested or rescued from the insurgents’ mountain strongholds. Some had carried weapons into war, some had killed prior to.

One 15-yr-old informed me how he’d been dressed by his militant “brothers” in his heavy explosive vest a single winter morning, and very carefully informed which wires to touch together when he reached the police checkpoint. Then he was driven to the police publish, and advised to stroll in direction of the males in uniform.

It was only the intervention of a fast-pondering officer, who noticed him shaking in concern as he approached, that meant that this boy was alive and in college to tell his story.

I asked the head of the college, a gruff, uniformed key, what the root result in of radicalisation was.

What was the fundamental, underlying explanation why these boys could be convinced to kill in the identify of a distorted religious interpretation, to don a vest they knew would destroy them and walk in the direction of a target?

“Poverty,” he stated.

“It’s poverty, and that comes from a lack of education.”

Boys in school, he explained, didn’t develop up to become suicide bombers. Young men with very good jobs didn’t run away to the hills to join the Taliban.

Literate women go on to lift complete families from poverty. Females with an schooling really do not allow their sons to be radicalised.

The value now might look also higher, but Pakistan must maintain its kids in college.

That’s how the war will be won. And the whole planet will benefit.

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