Terrorism: Time for Self-Reflection

2016-03-24 08:41

It would be a pointlessness exercise to point out to many of Islam’s critics, who advocate things like #StopIslam, or any other Anti-Muslim rhetoric, that the Quranic condemnation of terrorism is clear and the punishment is also severe. .

While I understand the need for governments, conscious driven people, victims and their families of any terrorist attacks to be angry, why should I as a Muslim condemn every terrorist attack that takes place? Did I or any practicing Muslim for that matter carry out the terrorist attacks or violence? The answer is definitely, NO. So why should Muslims be forced to condemn the actions of some radical, obscurantist, minority, foolish groups that believe Almighty will grant them paradise and seventy two virgins in heavens for killing innocent human beings, Muslims or non-Muslims.

Over the years since 9/11, the Muslim community has done its fair share of condemnations and has made it very clear that terrorism has no place in Islamic teachings. Muslims are tired of being put on trial every time a terrorist attack or suicide bombings takes place anywhere around the globe.

After September 11, the former President of the United States of America, George Bush, invaded Afghanistan and started the “war on terror”. Over fifteen years of wars and the ever-increasing and pervasive security measures since 911, it seems the world has become more dangerous and bloodcurdling. The global war on terror has been evidently disastrous and it’s time to change strategies. Instead of dealing a powerful blow to the radical terrorist groups, it has given rise to more terrorists and monster groups like ISIS, Boko Haram, and Al Shabaab.

It is essential that global leaders address the root causes of all these terrorist attacks. Despite the horrifying nature of the latest terrorist attacks in Brussels and the anger that we are feeling today, escalating the war on terror will not bring about the necessary peace and civility.

The only way to stop this spiral of violence is for Western governments to do self-introspection/ self-reflection and examine the double standards in their foreign policies. In order to save lives and to stop the perpetuation of the cycle of violence and terrorism, global leaders need to ask themselves some critical questions. They need to re-visit and re-think their foreign policies and their ambitions for geopolitical domination. Our global leaders need to deeply reflect and think rationally in order to understand what makes young men and women commit such terrible and heinous crimes. Calling for further repression of Muslims or making anti-Muslim statements will not address the root causes of these terrorists’ attacks.

The occupation of Palestine, the geo-political games being played out in Syria, military interventions that have destroyed and destabilised most of the Middle East are some of the root causes of all this violence we are witnessing to-day.

Global leaders need to stop making hypocritical statements and address the double standards in their foreign policies. Period!

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