It would have been all too easy to come up with an instant knee-jerk response to the atrocity committed after the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena on Monday 22nd May. Since Tuesday, I’ve been doing a lot of reading and thinking in a bid to get to grips with the twisted thinking used to ‘justify’ attacks such as this. The reason I want to understand why anyone could even contemplate, let alone pick the target they did is to start to work out how an ideology as poisonous and toxic as this can be taken on and defeated. These are the commentaries I’ve read so far that have played a part in helping me to achieve some sort of understanding – needless to say, the one by Kenan Malik was the most illuminating.
The Jihadi State of Mind (Kenan Malik – The New York Times) – https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/24/opinion/the-jihadi-state-of-mind.html
Terrorists see reason in madness of targeting public events (Jason Burke – The Guardian) – https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/may/24/terrorists-see-reason-in-madness-of-targeting-public-events
Why terrorists attack concert halls (Alyssa Rosenberg – The Washington Post) – https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/act-four/wp/2017/05/23/in-manchester-orlando-and-paris-terrorists-are-trying-to-kill-our-relationship-to-art/
Why The Manchester Attack Was an Attack on Girlhood (Charlotte Alter – Time) – http://time.com/4790753/manchester-attack-ariana-grande-girlhood/
Obviously there are other aspects of this atrocity and its aftermath that need to be considered. These are the raising of the terror alert level to critical, the (temporary) suspension of the general election campaign, the deployment of troops on the streets and the cumulative effect of all of this on the outcome of the election. So, in a few days, I may well be posting up another reading list… Eventually, once I’ve had the chance to discuss the implications of Monday’s atrocity face to face with trusted comrades, I’ll be writing one or more commentaries for our sister blog, ON UNCERTAIN GROUND.
Dave (the editor)