Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Terrorism Category
Shamima Begum and the Quality of Mercy

Shamima Begum and the Quality of Mercy

  • February 17, 2019
  • by

What is mercy?   The Oxford Dictionary defines it as ‘ compassion or forgiveness shown towards someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.’  This definition highlights the essential component of mercy, which is forbearance and leniency from a position of power and authority.

This concept is well-established in various religious traditions.  The Quran declares: ‘ No one despairs of God’s soothing mercy except those who have no faith.’ (Quran, 12: 87).  ‘Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted,...

Peter Kosminsky’s Islamic State

  • August 22, 2017
  • by

The violence that we call terrorism has always been surrounded by a curious paradox. On the one hand virtually every terrorist emergency in history has declared terrorism to be a unique threat to society,  yet the societies under threat are generally not encouraged and are even actively discouraged from thinking about what terrorism is,...

History, Peace, and Beauty: On Barcelona’s Ramblas

  • August 18, 2017
  • by

Of all the massacres perpetrated in Europe in the name of Islamic State, yesterday”s slaughter in the Ramblas has a particular personal resonance for me. I spent nine years in Barcelona, living near the Ramblas for part of that time. Even when I moved further away from downtown Barcelona, hardly a week went by in...

The Terror Election

  • June 04, 2017
  • by

From a strategic point of view terrorism has a dismal predictability.  Whatever its context or motivation its central objectives are usually the same: a) to provoke a militarily more powerful opponent into an overreaction that will strain its opponent’s resources and draw it into a debilitating confrontation from which the terrorist hopes to gain...

Murder in Westminster

  • March 23, 2017
  • by

So far nothing is known about the murderer who thought it would be a good idea to mow down a group of pedestrians and cyclists on Westminster Bridge and assault parliament with a kitchen knife yesterday.   The murderer is dead, having completed his homicidal spree with an act of suicide-by-cop that was presumably...

Burkini Madness

  • August 25, 2016
  • by

Anyone who has travelled in France this summer will have found it difficult to ignore the   the ongoing state of emergency with which the French state has responded to Daesh’s savage provocations.     In Banyuls-sur-Mer, we found the main road by the beach guarded by armed soldiers, presumably mindful of a repeat...

About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Events