May 24th, 2013

me: walk softly and carry big stick

Extremism and society

I have a lot of feelings about the killing that took place in Woolwich this week, and most of them are bad.

I have seen friends supporting calls for the killers' deportation, and it makes me intensely sad. Because the killers are British. You can't 'send them home'. They ARE home. It is a grave mistake to let sociopathic murderers dictate the way we view them or determine the way the justice system treats them. This is their country. If they have committed premeditated murder here, then this is where they must be tried and lose their freedom - but not their lives, as our laws are more humane than they have been and would be themselves.

The killers have been convinced - through a grooming process not dissimilar to that employed to pressure young girls into prostitution - that they are not British. To encourage them in this misconception through deportation would be the worst possible outcome. It would reinforce and perpetuate the idea that British people can relieve themselves of the responsibility of respecting British law if they become sufficiently radicalised. To extend the analogy with the aforementioned young girls, it would be like telling them that the damage done to them was irreversible and placing them in permanent service to a brothel. There is nothing to be gained from turning the words and deeds of extremists into a course of action. Neither the atrocities they commit nor the falsehoods they speak should be allowed to dictate our laws or shape our society. That goes for the killers as well as the racist xenophobes presently demanding vigilante justice.

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