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Terror in Tourism

Tourism under siege in Bangkok and Mumbai

David Beirman  Dec 01, 2008

Terrorists in Mumbai and political activists in Thailand have both made it clear that if there is a sure way to publicize a cause--target tourists or tourism. The murderous attack in Mumbai which simultaneously targeted Indian civilians, Western tourists and Jews, traditional enemies of Islamonazis was guaranteed blanket global publication because of the fact that two of its prime targets , the Taj Mahal and the Oberoi hotels are high profile hotels popular with tourists from Western countries. On a very different level the largely non-violent occupation of Bangkok’s international airport by Thai anti-government protesters propelled an essentially internal political protest movement into a global issue because its actions closed one of the world’s busiest airports.

The most glaring difference between violent terrorists and violent criminals is that terrorists seek publicity and attention while criminals may not be averse to publicity for their acts they certainly do all they can to avoid identifying themselves.

Targeting international tourists and tourism is an absolute guarantee that publicity will be widespread and pervasive. In recent years we have seen that the 2002 and 2005 Bali bombings, kidnapping and murder of tourists in Yemen, Philippines, bombings of hotels in Spain, Jordan, Islamabad, Jakarta, Egyptian Sinai and other places have give the perpetrators and their sponsor organizations billions of dollars worth of undeserved publicity.

At times, the media’s coverage of terrorist acts even gives comfort to the terrorist groups. This week the BBC’s coverage of the murder of almost 200 people in Mumbai by Islamists sunk to a new septic low when it continually referred to the perpetrators of these murders as “militants.” For the information of the sensitive new age guys and girls of the BBC and ABC, a militant is a person or a group who express very strong views on a particular cause or subject and is prepared to fight for this cause but not necessarily by violent means. A militant is not a mass murderer. Many trade unions have their militants but they do not indiscriminately murder people. Every time the BBC and its copycat media organizations refer to terrorists as militants they actually provide justification to indiscriminate murder and desecrate the memory and the deaths of their victims

The events of the last week have brought to the fore the vexed issue of tourism security. After 9/11, IATA (International Air Transport Association) and global airport authorities significantly enhanced security on airlines and airports and been despite the closure of Bangkok’s international airport and the inconvenience it has caused to travelers, at no stage were the lives of travelers in Bangkok in mortal danger. The Thai demonstrators were indeed real “militants” but not murderers. The BBC, ABC, CNN and SBS may wish to note that distinction. The actions of the Thai demonstrators internationalized their cause by targeting tourism and their actions, right or wrong, their actions have hit the Thai government where its hurts most because in Thailand tourism is a significant part of the national GDP.

The Mumbai attack on the Taj Mahal Hotel and Oberoi and similar recent attacks against hotels by Islamonazis in Pakistan, Egypt, Indonesia and Jordan (among others) has emphasized the need to significantly upgrade both active and passive security in hotels, especially in the growing number of countries which are most susceptible to targeting by Islamist groups. Many of these attacks have taken place in the Islamic world and it is notable that the majority of victims in most of these attacks have actually been Muslims. It is clear that hotels in these countries especially, but high profile hotels everywhere now require ready contact and access to rapidly mobilized government anti-terrorist forces or need to train their security staff in counter-terrorist tactics. Regrettably, the days when just anyone can freely wander through major hotels without some form of screening must be numbered otherwise the fanatics of this world will continue to treat major hotels as a soft target which guarantees them publicity and a ready made killing field.

In the warped worldview of the Islamonazi, a Muslim who dies in the course of attacks against “the infidel” becomes a martyr with a passport to paradise, cold comfort to the families of the bereaved. The saddest part of many of the recent attacks is that the overwhelming majority of decent Muslims who do not subscribe to the fanatical credo of the Islamonazi become the victim of fear, suspicion and sometimes discrimination because many non-Muslims have begun to falsely associate all Muslims with the views of the fanatical fringe.

If anyone questions my use of the term Islamonazi then consider this. The Nazis of the Third Reich believed in the extermination of all people (not only Jews) who were anathema to their concept of Aryan racial purity and sought to legitimize it. The fanatical elements of Islam believe in the extermination of all groups (including Muslims) who do not subscribe to their version of Islam. There is no difference between the two concepts and, in the wake of the Mumbai massacre; it’s about time that “politically correct” imbeciles in the media called a terrorist a terrorist.

Tourism under siege in Bangkok and Mumbai
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