BuG 339 – Bericht uit het Gewisse – 17 september 2016
BuG 339 on-line
N-VA en VB
zijn communicerende vaten
Ere-doctoraat voor Martha Crenshaw aan de RUGent
en ook een beetje voor Bart Somers, burgemeester Mechelen
Zie ook het artikel van Rik Coolsaet in het nr 09/2016
Deradicaliseringsbeleid en de IS-generatie
Naar laudatio Rik Coolsaet in de tekst
Naar toespraak Bart Somers in de tekst
Universiteit van Gent ook een 'rechts nest'. Als je de opinies van Boudry
en Tanghe leest - vluchtelingen zullen het % moslims gevoelig optrekken,
Vlaanderen zal 20% moslims tellen, Brussel de helft, zijn zowat de
grootste dwaasheden die in z'n opinie in DM te lezen zijn - zou je het wel eens gaan denken. Carl De
Vos stevig in het
midden. Het emeritaat van Rik Coolsaet is een serieuze
aderlating, enigszins goed gemaakt door de toekenning van een ere-doctoraat
aan de Amerikaanse professor van de Stanford Universiteit Martha Crenshaw op 15/09/2016 in Het Pand in
Voor wie Het Pand betreedt is er een stevige 'religieuze ervaring'
weggelegd. Het is een katholieke omgeving met Sacristie, Novicengang, Priorzaal,
Kapittelzaal, Oude Infirmerie, Dormitoriumzaal enz als oriëntatiepunten.
Misschien daarom de aversie van sommige verlichte geesten uit Gent tegen al wat
Voor het eerst eens uitgenodigd voor zulk een ere-doctoraat en er naar
toegegaan. Het ere-doctoraat sloot aan op de emiritaatsviering van Rik
Coolsaet. Voldoende stof voor een BuG? De teksten opgevraagd bij de
belangrijkste actoren. De laudatio van Rik Coolsaet volgt hieronder
alsmede de toespraak van Bart Somers, beiden in het Engels. De toespraak
van Somers was, zo waren de reacties, van groot maatschappelijk en actueel
belang . De 'laudatio' van Carl De Vos in De afspraak van 16/09/2016 over de
toespraak van Somers zal de interesse zeker gewekt hebben, maar wie zal de
tekst(en) vinden, dus hier in deze BuG, langs een link in een apart
Laudatio van Rik Coolsaet en de
Toespraak Bart Somers en verder in de tekst opgesmukt met enkele
snapshots, om de gang van zaken en de sfeer bij zo'n toekenning weer te
Als de teksten van Freddy Mortier, vice-rector Gent nog toegestuurd worden
zal deze als link toegevoegd worden. Voor het standpunt en de bijdrage van
Professor Martha Crenshaw, zie het excellente verslag in
Terzake van 15/09/2016, haar
interview met de RUGent, op
HLN met het VTM-interview en in
De Morgen 16/09/2016.
Naar laudatio Rik Coolsaet in de tekst
Naar toespraak Bart Somers in de tekst
En er is een uitsmijter over
radicalisme en terrorisme in de culturele revolutie in China
by Professor Dr. Rik
Promoter of the honorary doctorate of
Ghent University, 15 September 2016
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Once upon a
time in the West, there was terrorism but no studies on terrorism. Such an
era is nowadays hard to visualise, looking at the avalanche of studies,
policies papers and in-depth reporting bears down on us every day,
increasing even more with every major terrorist attack.
Crenshaw started her journey into the study of terrorism, the land was
barren. An occasional book chapter, a rare entry in an encyclopaedia, a
couple of essays. And that was it. We have to wait for the second half of
the 1970s for terrorism studies to slowly expand.
As a bright
young student she took the first steps in what would become a lifelong
quest for understanding the root causes of a specific form of political
violence, called ‘terrorism’. She took courses the Russian revolutionary
movement in the 19th and 20th century. She then
started to investigate the Algerian war of the 1960s and the FLN, which
she turned into the subject of her PhD in 1973. Her continuing reflections
historical cases of
terrorist campaigns, such as the Russian revolutionaries, the European and
American anarchists, the Irish Republicans, and many others led to an
ambitious project: going beyond single case studies to present a
comparative framework for the analysis of the causes of terrorism. This
then became Martha Crenshaw’s landmark article published in 1981 in the
journal Comparative Politics:
‘The causes of terrorism’.
it was published 35 years ago, it still represents one of the most cited
articles in the field. It was and remains an exceptional contribution to
the field of Terrorism Studies. Of particular importance was her
insistence on analysing terrorism in its context.
today, her original emphasis on context is of particular relevance and
worth remembering in the light of the importance the study of
radicalisation has gained recently. As a concept and a subfield of the
Terrorism Studies, radicalisation studies arose a mere 12 years ago, in
the wake of the terrorist attacks in Madrid and London in 2004 and 2005.
position the concept of radicalisation acquired in policy, law enforcement
and academia as the holy grail of counterterrorism contributed
significantly to a shift in focus away from context onto the individual
and his or her ideas. One of our colleagues Mark Sedgwick has pointed out:
‘The concept of radicalisation emphasizes the individual and, to some
extent, the ideology and the group, and significantly de-emphasizes the
wider circumstances’ and the context in which it arises.’ This has not
only been detrimental to the ‘why-terrorism-occurs approach’ advocated
early on by Martha Crenshaw. Radicalisation moreover got embroiled in
growing Western public concerns over immigration, integration and Islam.
It came to be seen as a unique and contemporary process linked almost
exclusively to Muslim-related phenomena.
terrorism, and I quote Martha Crenshaw, cannot be understood outside of
their political and historical contexts.
The causes of
terrorism indeed lie
conducive or ‘instigating’ environment that permits its emergence and that
provides motivation and direction for groups and individuals to use
violence. But by itself this is, still according to Martha Crenshaw,
to account for terrorism, especially since it is the work of a small
number of people. So it has to be complemented by the study of the
individual’s trajectory into terrorism and by the dynamics of the group he
is part of. Put otherwise, the current emphasis on individual trajectories
by most radicalisation studies offer no clues if they are not projected
into the context in which the individual evolve. But this is politically
highly sensitive, because it implies taking a hard look into the
imperfections of one’s own society. It is easier to consider terrorism and
radicalisation an imported disease by suspect communities.
stands out because it represents the most robust framework for determining
systematically the different types of causal factors, operative at
different levels; and because of the opportunity it presents to integrate
all of these different types of conditions into one causal model.
During her whole academic career, Dr.
Crenshaw has been developing these different lines of inquiry. She thus
started to focus in the mid-1980s on
organizational theories of
terrorist behavior and on the psychology of terrorism. What we now call
radicalisation into jihadi extremism appears indistinguishable from that
of radicalization into any other ideology.
Also in the
1980s, Dr Crenshaw started to investigate the decline of terrorism. She
has warned against the governments over-reacting to the threat of
terrorism, since this might provoke rather than discourage terrorism.
Processes internal to the organization might be as
important a causal mechanism in a winding down process as external
constraints and pressures, particularly government use of force. One of
the conclusions of her study of the Algerian war, has particular relevance
too for today’s counterterrorism. Indeed, back then, by treating terrorism
as a military rather than a political problem, France eroded its own
legitimacy and bolstered that of the FLN. A prescient warning for many
insightful and history-based research into terrorism guided Martha
Crenshaw’s through the post 9/11 debates over terrorism. No, al-Qaeda’s
terrorism was not an entirely new phenomenon. She also argued that the
association of religion with terrorism is hard to establish with any
precision. Do religious beliefs motivate terrorism? Many if not most
actors, whether groups or individuals, that use terrorism have mixed
motives, and it is not always easy to pinpoint the specific role of
religious beliefs and doctrine as causes, even when the users of terrorism
explicitly justify their actions in terms of religious doctrine. Nor is it
clear that ideology always determines methods of violence.
Allow me to
quote Dr. Crenshaw one last time: “Terrorism remains a challenging topic
for academic analysis, never mind the extreme difficulties it poses for
policy makers. Its complexities are not easy to understand or explain.
Scholars in the field of terrorism studies are still struggling to answer
many of the same questions that were introduced forty years ago, even
though we have more comprehensive and precise data, more systematic and
sophisticated methods, and deeper accumulated knowledge. Defining
terrorism and distinguishing it from other forms of political violence
are still problematic, as is the puzzle of determining its causes.”
If we have
been able to progress in understanding the scourge of terrorism, the
contribution of Dr Crenshaw has been of tremendous importance, both in
terms of high-quality academic research and informed policy-making. Dr.
Crenshaw has advanced our knowledge and remains a real tower of strength
for all of us who have been grasping with these elusive concepts and cruel
For all this,
Martha, I thank you. And I’m proud to welcome you in the Ghent academic
Mevrouw de rector/Mijnheer de vicerector, mag ik u omwille
van al de vermelde argumenten vragen om het eredoctoraat uit te reiken aan
Dr. Martha Crenshaw.
Toespraak Bart Somers, burgemeester van Mechelen
op het ere-doctoraat van professor Martha Crenshaw
15/09/2016 - RUGent
start by saying that I am very honoured that I get the opportunity to
adress you at the occasion of the honorary doctorate of Martha Creshaw.
The work she did helps us a lot in understanding terrorism and violant
radicalisation, a social and political issue we are obsessed with for the
last few years. What can we do to stop the radicalisation proces ? How do
we prohibit that ISIS or Daesh can convince new recrutes to join them ?
How do we protect our civilians ?
confronted with something that for the most of us lies beyond our
comprehension. How can people who are born and raised in our country
prefer a totalitarian ideology that has no respect for human rights ? How
can they want to replace democracy by a barbaric dictatorship ? And -
mayby the most confronting of all - how is it possible that they are
willing to litteraly give their lives for this conviction? We simply do
not understand it. It drives us crazy, it goes against all we take as a
matter of course. We experience this as extremely irrational, we link it
in our minds with insanity and together with the horror of the bombings it
creates an deep fear, an angst that can destabilize our society but first
of all our politics. Irrational things are very difficult to fight, a
rational response is often insufficiant to do so. An American president
once said: "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself". And what we
see today proves he is right.
of this climate of fear we experienced a few very remarkable political
months. Politics is always complicated, especially in this country, but
now we really live in a time of paradoxes. With your agreement I will
summon up a few of those paradoxes.
first one. Some politicians believe they protect our freedoms and
fundamental rights by abolish or reducing them. Some politicians who brag
all the time that they are the most determined to protect our freedom
proposed to limit the freedom of speech, the freedom of press, to abolish
the freedom of religion and even the right to wear the cloths we prefer.
paradox: the people who speak the most about protecting our Western values
are often the first to violate one of the most "Western" of all those
values, namely the principle of non-discrimination. This principle, the
concept that we treat all human beings with the same standards, regardless
of their race, religion or background is a principle that makes a real
difference with most non-democratic societies and certainly it stand in
contrast with the ISIS-ideology. But instead of embracing this western
concept, those politicians are irritated by it. While it however forms the
most attractive element in our political system. It is the perspective of
hope we can give to everybody, regardless of who he is, what he believes
in and where he comes from. If we allow that people are discriminated in
the labor or housing market and if we allow that generation after
generation does not have the opportunity to make social progress, we bury
the promise of our political model, namely that everybody who works hard
en uses its talents can create a better future for himself and his family.
If for some groups in society social mobility
they will experience our system as hypocrite and lose every faith in it.
Everybody who claims to defend our western way of life should be the
biggest advocate of anti-discrimination maesures, but in practice they are
often the most determined adversaries of such a policy.
paradox: people who block every accomodation towards migrants or muslims
are not protecting our way of life but destroying it. The DNA of our
society is change, openess for new evolutions. Freedom is the motor behind
this dynamic proces. People here are free to debate, to bring in new
concepts and ideas and the dialogue, sometimes confrontation of ideas
gives new insights, new inventions, new solutions. That is true in science
and economics, but also true for our social and political structures and
convictions. They change all the time. The social conventions and
practices of today are completely different from those of one or two
generations ago. Time after time new groups came on the foreground and
demanded more respect, more attention for their situation. They fought for
equal rights, more just laws and a rightfull place in society. Workers did
that, women did so and are still doing so, gay people, disabled people,
elderly people, youngsters, in our country lingiustic groups and now
people with a migrant background and people with a muslim believe. They
ask a correct place in society and an equal threatment of their religion.
Of course we don't have to compromise on fundamental principals such as
the equality of men and women, the freedom of speech or ther rule of lauw.
But those who are in principal opposed against every such demand behave in
fact as fundamentalists. Only in the view of ISIS nothing changed the past
1500 years. ISIS demands that everybody acts and thinks exactly the same
as in the period Mohammed lived. Or as they think Mohamed lived 1500 years
paradox: a specific paradox out of the political situation in our country.
The political movement that was the first victim of emergency laws now
demands for exactly the same laws. During the second world war a lot of
flemish nationalists collaborated with the German new order. After the war
they were punished for that. The Belgian governement introduced at that
time new exceptional laws to do so. A number of those laws and special
procedures can impossibly be qualified as in harmony with the rule of law.
They introduced administrative detention and other administrative
sanctions without the possibility of an appeal before a court. These
emergancy laws made that in the repression period not only the guilty were
prosecuted. Arbitrairness and revenge made that also a lot of innocent
people became victim and others were punished in an unbalanced and unequal
way. The families of those flemish nationalists lost due to that period
every thrust in the Belgian state and identified her as hostile and injust.
The trauma of that experience was passed by or inhereted by their childern
and often even by their grandchildern. It was for decades the basis for an
anti-Belgian political attitude. It is a real paradox that precisely this
political movement now asks to create a legal basis for exactly the same
measures that will inevitably create the same demolition of thrust and
will form exactly the same basis for frustration and feelings of
alienation towards the state. Now not in nationalist families but in those
of migrants and muslims.
paradox. Politicians who say that you are not free when you wear a burkini
are not defending freedom but bringing it in danger. This summer a lot of
politicians said that when somebody wears a headscarf, or a burkini it is
clear for them that they do that under pressure. Somebody who is really
free would never do such a thing, is there conviction. Those politicians
do not understand that this reasoning is the beginning of totalitarian
thinking. You are only free if you think like them. All other opinions are
worthless and dangerous, because they are the result or the proof of being
unfree. A little bit like the carbuilder Ford. When people asked him in
wich colour you could get his famous T-model, he answered: "in every
colour, al long as it is black." Also communists were good in this. When
you were a dissident, they did not put you in jail but in a psychiatric
institute. Their reasoning was: "somebody who protests against the
communist system, must be insane". Our society, built on the concept of
freedom, does not promote one way of lije, it tolerates different ways of
life. And those politicians clearly do not understand that. If you follow
their logic and reasoning, there is even a paradox five bis so to say:
those politicians punish the burkini-women they say are victim of
suppression, not the perpretator who forces them to wear it. So these
politicians behave a bit similar to the judges in some countries where
women who are raped are punished and not the men who did the crime.
paradox. Where fundamental rights have the purpose to liberate people and
allow us to live together in diversity, some politicians transform these
rights into the oppposite: a weapon to force people and to impose their
way of life to others. The rethoric of populists tries to prove that islam
and the fundamental rights of our society are not compatible. In fact they
say that muslims can not be a real part of our society. They have to
choose: only if you reject your religion you can be a part of our country.
Otherwise there is no place for you here. It is my conviction that every
religion has in itself a core that creates a tension towards some
fundamental liberarties and values. But when a religion accepts tolerance
as a central principle and it accepts that you cannot impose your holy
book to others, coexistance between religion and enlightment is possible.
Fundamental rights are created to organise a society where people can
differ, can make different choices and can believe different things, But
some politicians distort these values as an instrument of intolerance
against others. Our fundamental rights garantee everybody the possibility
to emancipate himself, to make his own choices and even to free themselves
out of the background they come from. On the condition that they want
that. If it is their choice. You know, the purpose of our fundamental
rights is not to force people to make the choises we prefer.
times of confusion we get lost in all those paradoxes. And populist
movements together with extremist parties take advantage of our fear, our
incertainty and our doubts. They hope we make mistakes and they try to
provoke us to do so. ISIS knows that they cannot win a war against the
West. Military they are nothing agaist NATO, even nothing against the
military power of only the EU-countries. The only reason they aren't
already smashed on the battlefield is that we try to be more prudent than
during the Iraki war. And of course because of the very complex
international situation with Turkey, Russia, Saoudi-Arabië, Israël and
Iran very closely involved in this conflict.
also knows that they don't have a genuine support of the muslims in Europe.
Their message is barbaric and lightyears away of the convictions of most
of Europe's muslims. The support of for example the IRA in nothern Ireland
was much wider spread, much more intens and engaged than what they can
mobilise in our countries. But nevertheless they have a plan. They play
billiards. They count on a indirect effect. They hope that with the
terrorist attacks they can provoke a chain reaction. With governements
starting to generalise and blaming the muslim community. And of course
they count on their objective allies - populist en extreme right parties.
They hope that they get into power and that they start making conflicts
with the muslims in their countries. If that plan succeeds, there is a
real chance of getting a beginning of a bases of supporters that goes
further than a few individuals. Because if you constantly discriminate,
blame and humiliate people, if you put them with their backs against the
wall they begin to be more open for extremist ideas and solutions.
brings me to my last paradox. To overcome violant radicalisation our
reaction has to be the opposite of what we think we have to do when we are
angry and afraid. We have to invest in more social cohesion, more dialogue,
recognising the difficulties of muslims and migrants in our society, the
discrimination they undergo. Recognise also that muslims are two times
victims of violant radicalisation, one time as a citizen just like
everybody else, and a second time because those extremists hijacked their
religion and deformed it into a cult of death. We also have to stop with
reducing our fellow citizens to just only muslims. We are not
one-dimensional human beings. We are a father, a brother, in my case a
liberal, a lawyer, somebody who likes to read novels and all those
identities are possible links with others. If we reduce somebody to just a
muslim or a not-muslim, than ISIS will be grateful. We will do their work,
we will convince people of their view on the world. Because that
one-dimensional focus is the way they look to human beings.
One-dimensional depersonalised members of a group.
have to see each other as an inidividual, as citizens of the same society.
A society that is changing rapitly. We have to understand that mobility
and diversity is the reality of the 21st century. A reality we all have to
get used to. Not only people with a migrant background, but everybody has
to integrate in that new era. A difficult one, but also very exiting time.
We have to get in another mindset. Stop seeing changes towards diversity
as a loss. We think to much in a logic op caputilation, a zero-sum
reasoning. The idea that whatever a muslim gets is taken away from us is
destructive but most of all nonsens. Everytime our muslim-neigbour asks
something - the right to wear a burkini or a place to get buried -
populists wants us to see this as again another retreat, another defeat.
While in reality it is not a retreat, it is an enrichment. It is not
weakening but strengthening the fundament of our political system. It
gives new dimensions to the freedom we cherish, it proves time and time
again that we are able to incorporate new ideas, new people in our open
society. Never forget that with everything we impose or prohibit to others,
we impose and prohibit to ourselfs. And with every broadening of the
freedoms and rights of others, we broaden our own. That is the only way to
go. Our compass in times of incertainty are our fundamental freedoms and
rights. We have to embrace them but without fear. Make them stronger, not
weaker. Believe in our political system, in her strength to bind people to
it. And the more consequent we do that, the more attrative for alle people
around the world. And the higher our wall that protects us against violant
mayor for 15 years already in a small town with 128 different
nationalities, I am confident that we can succeed in this task. Living
together in diversity is possible, it can even be a success. On one
condition. Because the honorary doctorate is an American, I will
paraphrase a famous quote of a famous America president to discribe that
condition. "Do not focus on what the others have to do for our society,
but ask what you can do to bring us more together". I thank you.
Rechtstaan voor de Vlaamse Leeuw, het
Belgisch Volkslied en het Europese lied
De Croo en Somers schrijven in de huldeboeken voor Rik Coolsaet en Martha
Uitsmijter: Op een receptie waar je weinig mensen kent is het
altijd uitkijken voor wat social talk. Rik Coolsaet had ik nooit
ontmoet, dus dat scheelde, en met Herman Decroo, een van m'n fervente
BuG-lezers kon ik even een boompje opzetten. Maar Chinese aanwezigheid
is altijd al een stap gemakkelijker. Van waar ben je, bij Shangai, heb je
het interview met de vrouw van Paul De Grauwe gelezen in de Humo, de Humo?
En wat studeer je, politieke wetenschappen, en waar focus je op, op de
verhouding Taiwan-China, dan wens ik dat je een echte bijdrage kan leveren
zodat Taiwan zo vlug als mogelijk opnieuw een deel wordt van de
Volksrepubliek China, daar kwam zelfs een enthousiaste reactie op. Heb
zelf politieke en sociale gedaan in Leuven tussen 1968 en 1972. Jawadde,
dat is lang geleden. En ik was toen 'Maoist", dat ging zo bij sommige
studenten, en de Culturele revolutie was een groot voorbeeld, ook toen ik
directeur werd van een home voor gehandicapten. In China werd de
culturele revolutie binnen de kortste keren verbrod door radicalisme en
terrorisme door de Rode Garde. Maar in 1982 maakte ik er een Westerse
toepassing van: iedereen die de gevolgen van een beslissing ondergaat kan
er hoofdelijk over meestemmen, en elke hiërarchische of staffunctie deed halftijds dit werk maar ook halftijds het werk waarvoor hij
verantwoordelijk was. En dat werkte, ook in grote lijnen nu nog. Zo zie je
maar wat uw land de wereld heeft bijgebracht, zo ronde ik af. Maar als
je nog een onderwerp voor een thesis zoekt ligt ze vandaag voor het
rapen: pas de theorie en methode van Martha Crenshaw eens toe op de
culturele Revolutie en maak eens een analyse vanuit het huidig denken
over radicalisme en terrorisme, ook al bestonden de begrippen toen nog
niet. Je gaat er dikke punten mee scoren zo besloot ik. Altijd interessant
zo 'n gesprek met Chinese studenten.