I once encountered some people who tried to recruit me for terrorism.
They told me that I need to go and fight against ‘our’ enemies and those that support them. I said that I do not want to join organisations that have a history of bombing and killing and torturing innocent civilians.
They told me they only target ‘military’ or ‘economic’ targets, and that sometimes civilians can be targeted in wars for the greater good, and that civilians are not always innocent and sometimes harbour or provide support for ‘our’ enemies, even if indirectly. They argued that they wouldn’t do it normally, but sometimes it is ‘necessary’.
I disagreed strongly, but asked to what purpose they fight? They said that war is necessary to spread their beliefs and way of life to the world, where all people should live under their system, and be ‘saved’ by it.
Again I disagreed strongly and responded that no one should be forced to live according to beliefs and systems they do not believe in. They replied that it is a great virtue and honour to become martyrs for such a cause, and that I should join them to fight, and if need be die for the cause – and I will be honoured as a martyr. I was disgusted by their obsessive warlike culture demanded by their cause.
Finally, they argued that it was a duty to fight for the defense of ‘our people’. I argued that, how is the defense of ‘our people’ served by attacking far off countries and their people?
They didn’t understand, and persisted – so I left them.
…that’s the last time I visit a British Army Recruitment Centre.
Photo … coalition air strike, Afghanistan 2011 (CNS)
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”.