Tuesday, 28 May 2013

In Defense of our Civil Liberties

Dave monitoring the Nation's emails

The tragic, yet unsurprising murder of a British soldier on the streets of London by two Islamic terrorists, has predictably inspired a call from certain politicians for the immediate revival of the discredited and oppressive Communications Data Bill. 

Well there's a surprise! Thwarted by the Liberal Democrats in their attempt to impose their totalitarian instincts upon the law abiding population of our democracy, these political control freaks once again clamour for the introduction of laws, which at best will insidiously invade everyone's privacy, and at worst give the government completely unwarranted powers to snoop and pry into every aspect of the population's internet and telephonic activity.

If I'd seen one jot of evidence, that giving the government and other agencies the right to view all our on-line activity would prevent acts of terror by Islamic extremists, then there might just be some justification for monitoring everybody's emails, telephone calls and social media posts. But, as informed and intelligent observers of national security issues have already observed: 'If you're searching for a needle in a haystack, it does not help to make the haystack bigger.' It also needs to be reiterated that: 'We cannot ensure the security, freedom and liberty of the people by extinguishing  the very principles which guarantee their existence.'

If we respond to threats of terrorism by passing into law legislation which allows the authorities to monitor everyone's private communications, then the terrorists have effectively won. At least, to the extent that they've undermined our hard fought freedoms and eroded our precious civil liberties.

It is rarely justified and never libertarian to erode the freedom and privacy of the population. To use the tragic death of Drummer Lee Rigby as an excuse to record everyone's private communications is a smoke-screen to allow the authorities to move one step closed to becoming the worst kind of surveillance state.

'It is not the government's job to monitor the people. It's the people's job to monitor the government.' 

I'm sure there is a potential price to pay for maintaining the liberty and freedom of our citizens. It may be, that some people will continue to die at the hands of Islamic terrorists, but the way to combat this threat is not to make every citizen a suspect. It is to robustly tackle the root causes of the problem, which is a course of action the government is clearly reluctant to take.

While we have politicians like Boris Johnson, the misguided Mayor of London, stating publicly that the brutal murder of a serving British soldier on the streets of our capital had nothing to do with the religion of Islam, then some of those entrusted with our safety are clearly refusing to acknowledge the truth and failing to recognise the real causes of the threats we all face from Islamic terrorism.

The clear wellsprings of the actions of Islamic terrorists are unquestionably religious, and specifically, some of the key teachings of the religion of Islam. To pretend otherwise, is a monumental failure of intelligence, honesty, reason, and most damningly, of courage.

If we in the West, are to have any chance of combating, let alone defeating the life denying medieval desert philosophy of Mohammedanism, then we must at least begin to acknowledge, that many Muslims truly believe in the teachings of The Koran, and wish to see Sharia Law and Islamic philosophy established across the entire world. Many Islamic fundamentalists have repeatedly asserted their hatred of democracy and their contempt for 'western values.' In many cases, citing their religion as the major justification for the murder of those who disagree with them.

To pretend that Islamic terrorism is simply a response to our intervention in the affairs of Muslim societies is disingenuous, dishonest and extremely dangerous.

If we, in the democratic nations of the world, are not prepared to defend our principles, in case we may offend our clearly stated enemies, then we shall have no cause to be surprised when totalitarian barbarism and tyranny rule every aspect of our lives. 

If we're not willing to fight vigorously for what we believe in, then we will most certainly and deservedly, lose. 

Note to readers: This post is a follow-up to an earlier article I wrote called 'The Surveillance Society,' which can be found under 'Older Posts.'  Your comments are welcome.