Prayer, no matter how well intentioned, isn’t enough to defeat terrorists. Every one of us has a responsibility to confront them intellectually and morally at least. Governments with influence on countries which incubate and empowers terrorists and terrorism must act responsibly and take action beyond immediate economic considerations to force them to flush out sources of terrorism and terrorists and deal with them appropriately.
In addition to that, it is really up to us individually and collectively to compel our governments to take real action in this regard. We can’t stand idle or continue to react to terrorist events by simply asking for prayers. That will not do. Because we too will become direct victims of terrorism one day if we fail to confront them.
To defeat them, we need to deal with their thwarted ideology and erase their influence on the educational systems throughout the Muslim world. We need to deal with their exclusionary thoughts. Governments can help. The Emirates recently appointed a minister for tolerance whose first mission must be to eradicate this ideology and seek better rapprochement with all within society and stop the discrimination against anyone using any denominator. The value of humanity must trump all other considerations. Muslim governments are in dire need of this and must do the same by creating and giving that portfolio full authority to deal with this scourge.
In Bahrain we do have a huge problem with discrimination, regardless of the empty platitudes of us being one family and we’re all brothers etc. Witness this for instance: visitors to the Bahrain International Book Fair were surprised, once again, of finding books that publicly expiate Shi’a Muslims.
My translation: “The (Bahrain International) Book Fair this year registers progress in publishing books of Shi’a expiation”
Others aren’t surprised at all – which is an indication of the deep rooted problem which must be resolved:
My translation: The last time I went to the Book Fair I found all the books are expensive, except for those which expiate Shi’as, which are distributed for free.”
And of course you will find a plethora of exclusionary Tweets about the Shi’a, some using choice words to strip them of their humanity simply because the writer does not agree with their outlook or interpretation of the religion. Most of those Tweets actually come from young people, boys and girls. What does that bode for the future and one must ask how did they get poisoned to this level of hatred?
Well, the result of that indoctrination are the terrorist acts all over the world, sparing no one. The only way to deal with this is to recognise its seriousness and putting a concerted effort – globally – to combat its sources wherever they may be. Maybe only then the world will know a semblance of peace.
My heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of those who perished in Lahore and elsewhere in the world due to terrorism and intolerance.