At last, America has eliminated the world’s most wanted man. Not before time, many of us are thinking. It sure is a welcome boost for the US and its President. But what are the potential ramifications of the death of Osama bin Laden?
It’s obviously too early to say, but personally I doubt very much whether this is the end of Islamic extremism. Al Qaeda, since its ‘eviction’ from Afghanistan has become a weakened organisation. Lets face it, despite atrocities such as Madrid and 7/7 in London, it hasn’t really been that successful in mounting that many major attacks since 9/11. In fact, its more of an ideology than a group at the present time (notwithstanding the growing influence of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Penisula.) However, the cause is obviously very much alive and I’m sure someone, somewhere is planning a reprisal at some point. And there’s a new generation that’s wanting to take up the fight, I suspect.
The wars in Afghanistan and Somalia will continue to rage on for the foreseeable future, plus we now have the added turmoil in the Middle East as an additional concern. Who knows where that will lead? The hope is towards greater democratisation in the Arab world, but it could easily go the other way as Islamism could possibly find a foothold there. Again, its still all too early to say.
Back home in Britain, some of the usual fanatical voices have been making statements warning of another 7/7 (see article link to the Telegraph below.) We are certainly going to have to be a lot more vigilant in the coming weeks and months.
But what is the relevance to my novel, you may ask? Well, there is an Islamic insurgent element that appears in the book at some point (you’ll see when some of the chapters come back on-line.) They play an important part in the story. None of this is meant as as being disrespectful to what I actually consider to be a great religion (it was the more advanced culture during the Middle Ages and true Muslims are certainly not advocates of terrorism or the type of ‘Jihad’ Bin Laden advocated.) But still, their inclusion illustrates something of the continuing complexity of the political situation in post-Apocalyptic Britain. And certainly, the issues that a such controversial figure as Bin Laden stirred up are still very much at the fore in the novel – if not more so. The strategic aim of defeating the West (what’s left of it) and re-establishing the Caliphate remains in the back-ground. Meanwhile, in Britain itself there remains the treatment of the Islamic brotherhood that forms a major motivating factor for the insurgents in the face of a relentless onslaught from the Ironsides.
I’m not seeking to make any moral judgements here, I hasten to add. The aim here is to is merely to present what is often the reality of human experience – and very little is ever clear-cut. (Unless you’re talking about Osama of course – his fate was certainly well deserved!)
Until the next time…