Noam Chomsky tacitly defended ISIS member ‘Jihadi John’ and the Charlie Hebdo killers during an appearance on Democracy Now when he justified their actions by pointing to ‘oppression’ suffered by the terrorists at the hands of the French and British governments.
Host Amy Goodman played a clip of CAGE research director Asim Qureshi, who was vehemently criticized last month for labeling ‘Jihadi John’ – the infamous executioner who has featured in numerous ISIS beheading videos – a “beautiful man”. Video subsequently emerged of Qureshi at a rally in London urging Muslims to back jihadists.
Chomsky agreed with Qureshi’s claim that Mohammed Emwaz (Jihadi John) and Michael Adebolajo, who killed British soldier Lee Rigby in the streets of London, were motivated to commit violence due to being shunned as “outsiders” and being forced to find “belonging elsewhere.”
“He’s right. If you—the same if you take a look at those who perpetrated the crimes on Charlie Hebdo. They also have a history of oppression, violence. They come from Algerian background. The horrible French participation in the murderous war in the ’90s in Algeria is their immediate background. They live under—in these harshly repressed areas,” said Chomsky, referring to poor Muslim areas of Paris.
Chomsky went on to justify the actions of Emwaz and the Charlie Hebdo killers by suggesting their attacks were a legitimate response to grievances over drone strikes taking place in the middle east. Emwaz has been blamed for the brutal beheadings of numerous hostages, including American journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley.
“People like those who live in the slums around Paris or, in this case, a relatively privileged man under harsh, pretty harsh repression in England, they also know about that,” said Chomsky.
Part of Jihadi John’s “repression” in England included his family being on state benefits for 20 years at a cost of £400,000 pounds to the taxpayer, during which time Emwaz enjoyed living in affluent parts of London.
Chomsky’s reference to the France-Algeria war taking place in the 90’s is also about thirty years out of date – the conflict ended in 1962.
By legitimizing the murderous actions of Jihadi John and the Charlie Hebdo killers, Chomsky, now 86-years-old, has only confirmed that he’s totally off the reservation.
The fact that drone strikes only increase radicalization and create more potential terrorists is commonly understood. However, Chomsky’s suggestion that the murder of innocent westerners is somehow justified because of the so-called “repression” of Muslim immigrants by western governments is completely ludicrous.
Furthermore, Chomsky only succeeds in disparaging the legitimate grievances of drone strike victims when he equates them with terrorists like Jihadi John and the Charlie Hebdo killers.