BuG 339 – Bericht uit het Gewisse – 17 september 2016
BuG 339 on-line                                       Printversie (33p)

Peiling RTBF/LLB: 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

Is de 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 Gent.

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 religie is.

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 document, de 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 geven.

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 Coolsaet,
Promoter of the honorary doctorate of
Professor Martha Crenshaw
Stanford University
Ghent University, 15 September 2016

Madame Rector/Mister vice-Rector,
Distinguished guests,
Dear colleagues,
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.

When Martha 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 about specific 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’.

Even though 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.

Especially 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.

The central 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.

Campaigns of terrorism, and I quote Martha Crenshaw, cannot be understood outside of their political and historical contexts. The causes of terrorism indeed lie in a 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, insufficient 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.

Dr. Crenshaw’s model 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 governments today.

Her 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 realities.

For all this, Martha, I thank you. And I’m proud to welcome you in the Ghent academic community.

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

Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me 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 ?

We are 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.

Because 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.

The 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.

Another 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 stays an illusion, 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.

Thirth 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 ago.

Forth 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.

Fifth 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.

Sixth 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.

In 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.

ISIS 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.

That 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.

No, we 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 readialisation.

As a 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 Crenshaw

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.