Last week, the government published rules relating to the deportation of alleged terrorist sympathizers. It is a key element in the struggle against “evil ideology” of Islamism. However, this behavior may lead to a worsening of the situation.
After September 11, we were told that our enemy was a well-organized network. Consequently, it had to be fought militarily and that was the excuse to invade Iraq: to prevent the network from getting weapons of mass destruction. Actually, we are not fighting a network and our actions in Iraq have only inspired resentment against us in that country and in the Middle East. Last year I made a series of documentaries for the BBC, The Power of Nightmares: the Rise of the Politics of Fear, which showed how the fantasy image of Al-Qaeda had been created as a powerful and centralized network that, unlike previous terrorist organizations, could destroy our societies and our democracy. My documentary showed that this network was a bogus menace. Today, after the attacks in London, the “experts” have radically changed their approach and they are now talking about small groups inspired by the same ideology, which seems more real.
However, although we may all agree on the nature of the threat, there is still a risk: that this common ideology concept may be, like the network concept was, exaggerated and distorted to justify policies. Political Islam is a complex movement and you may disagree with Islamism but it does not mean that there is an inherent link between Islamism and terrorism. Having a reactionary vision of Islam does not necessarily mean that it implies a violent action. If we start acting in an unjustifiable way against the ideas of Islamism it would only make it more attractive for young Muslims who lack models.

The Guardian (United Kingdom)

Creating Islamist phantoms”, by Adam Curtis, The Guardian, August 30, 2005.