THE BLOG
20/12/2013 05:48 GMT | Updated 18/02/2014 05:59 GMT

Lee Rigby's Killing: The Problem With 'Terrorism'

Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, have been found guilty of the murder of soldier Lee Rigby, as he walked back to his Woolwich Barracks in south-east London on the 22 May.

British Prime Minister, David Cameron, commented: "We have to redouble our efforts to confront the poisonous narrative of extremism and violence that lay behind this."

Is Mr Cameron against violence? He supports wars abroad - they are most definitely violent, in a highly organised fashion. Does violence somehow change by location? The Prime Minister mentions a 'narrative of extremism'. Lee Rigby's murder wasn't a terrorist attack, it was an act of warfare - the same that the British Army engages in daily. Apart from when the British army kills civilians, which it certainly has a history of, then it's engaging in terrorism.

Do we consider soldiers, like Lee Rigby, extremists? On the day of the killing, Adebolajo explained his actions to cameras, saying "the only reason we have killed this man today is because Muslims are dying daily by British soldiers. This British soldiers is one. It is an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth".

Similarly, a 7/7 bomber filmed himself prior to the attack explaining he wanted "the people of London to know what it's like to live in Iraq".

After 9/11 the front page of the far-left Socialist Worker newspaper featured the Twin Towers aflame with 'The Bloody Fruits of Imperialism' as its headline. The reasons behind the Woolwich killing are no different. If Britain were not invading other countries, Rigby would still be alive.

Are there some differences? Absolutely. For one, I can't fathom why the Woolwich killing is considered terrorism. If we consider the definition, it has to be acts against civilians. The army refer to ordinary people, non-army members, as 'civilians' because they themselves are not.

The killing of Lee Rigby was an act of warfare, however wrong. It was not terrorism by very definition. A definition constructed by those who are now misusing this term and the horrendous event of Rigby's murder, to further take away our civil liberties. It is simply called terrorism in the press and by politicians because this term has become synonymous with any action the establishment deplores, sometimes violent and other times not, committed by Muslims.

It is not only the killers of Rigby who have blood on their hands. So do the politicians who lead Britain into imperialist wars abroad. It is these politicians who 'radicalised' young Muslim men, such as Adebolajo, more than any Imam ever could. You don't need a preacher to put anger into your heart to senselessly take lives, when you know the cold reality of hundreds of thousands dead. The reasons why so many have died are not untraceable, we know it was due to the powers that be in this country and the US. It is on their orders the British army acts.

Since the murder, we saw a brief resurgence in English Defence League demonstrations. The bizarre logic many racists employ regarding these events is, 'if you don't like our countries actions, why not leave' - the killings were about the UK's foreign policy, not British society on the whole. In Adebolajo's mind, why would he leave to fight British soldiers abroad when he could find them here? It is an illogical effort to make this about culture, rather than war.

I don't understand why people feel Islamophobia is justified because of the actions of just two Muslims. Rigby was white. So am I. Rigby had British heritage. So have I. Yet no one wants to hold me to account for his actions, assumes I wish to join the army, or hold a particular opinion about his death. Why am I allowed subjective freedom while Muslims are reduced to a stereotype that represents less than of 0.001% of those who claim the same religion? Murder is never right. We should make it clear it is be unequivocally condemned, but we don't have to agree with something to at least be honest and understand why it takes place.

Lee Rigby paid for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars with his life, on British soil. If I were a Muslim writing this I'd expect a knock on my door from MI5. As it happens, I'm a white atheist who has never been stopped and searched, let alone considered anything more sinister.

The backlash against the Muslim community must stop. Those concerned about foreign policy go beyond the Muslim community. The overwhelming majority of people in the UK disagreed with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But it is not the soldiers who are ordered to go and fight who are to blame. It is those who make the decisions to send them there. Let's fight them. Not with acts like those carried out in Woolwich, but by unseating them from power and never allowing them to hold power again - it'll hurt more and create seismic historical change. This isn't a plea to vote, it's a plea to do something, oppose imperialism actively, fight racism on the streets and keep in mind who really has blood on their hands - the politicians.