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 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.
Hands up all of those who are still surprised by continued terrorist attacks around the world. I’m not. They will continue as long as their financing continues apace, their ideological support continues to be undiminished, and their apologists continue to refuse to accept the root cause and source of these cowards. If the world is serious about ending their reign, they need to have the courage to kill its source, not skirt around mired in political correctness.
Islamic terror is gripping the world with Muslims now being confronted – rightly – to do something about their own grown extremism. The world would no longer tolerate placebos and political correctness and simple condemnation. They want action. The world has also lost patience with Islamist apologists who maintain their myopic position that ISIS and Islam are separate and with that they absolve themselves from any other necessary action. “We have nothing to do with them. They’re not Muslim.” But they are! Everything they do is based on the Quran, Hadith or Islamic Tradition. In a literal rather than a figurative sense too.
Islam must take responsibility for the various violent and terrorist groups it spawned in its name throughout history.
My contention – just like the Dalai Lama – is that prayer is no longer enough. Muslims need to reform Islam and its core to expunge it from violence and prejudice. I know that this stance will not be popular but it is a discussion that is long past due, and I invite you to contribute to this topic in the hope that it will create a nucleus of change for the better of humanity, and ironically, the very survival of Islam in a modern and fast moving world.
Here’s the start of the discussion on my Facebook wall:
Well, ISIS has everything to do with Islam. Only when you reform Islam will violent groups effects will be mitigated. Until then, people who continue to be in denial and go on about how “IS has nothing to do with the religion of peace” are actually doing more of a disservice than even IS. So face reality and demand reform, separate religion from state and then you will have some semblance of normalcy in your lives. Until then, ISIS and groups like it will continue to be Islam.
Please click on the date in the following quoted text to arrive at the original post on my Facebook wall. Thank you.
Well, ISIS has everything to do with Islam. Only when you reform Islam will violent groups effects will be mitigated….
After a recent visit, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer, declared: “Yemen after five months looks like Syria after five years.” – BBC
What started as hope for change for the better, hope for a better future, hope for democracy and human rights, soon descended into calculated chaos. None of the countries afflicted by that spark have faired well. None. Heavy handedness in dealing with popular demands, deep mistrust between the ruled and the ruling elite, the view of the demand for change as an existential threat and prioritising myopic tribal or familial aspirations mandated the crushing of that hope.
What’s happened and continues happening in the Middle East will be rich text-book case studies for a plethora of topics. Sociologists and other scientists will have ample fodder for their consideration in the not too distant future. They will most probably look back and reflect on the central issue of how the rejection of dialogue and compromise disintegrated nations and directly contributed to their demise.
Back to the present, I cannot help but feel completely helpless as an individual when I witness various conflicts, civil wars, and an almost complete absence of democracy and human rights in this dystopian Middle East. What irks me more, actually, is the complete disregard of the plight of our fellow human beings affected directly by these situations.
Let’s take just two places where fighting is at its peak; Syria, with over 220,000 fellow human beings killed and over 11 million people displaced; 4 million fled the country and 7.6 million have been internally displaced. Over 12 million including 5.4 million children currently require humanitarian aid. With a population of 22 million, those should be very sobering numbers. [BBC / Wikipedia]
Yemen has an even scarier tally as far as the displaced is concerned. Out of a population of 26.7 million, 21 million require immediate humanitarian assistance, 20 million are without access to safe drinking water and sanitation, and 12.9 million have an insecure food supply. In a country were 90% of food is imported, the naval and air blockade has devastated human beings, let alone the country. [BBC]
I say all this from a humanitarian perspective, not a military or political one, and I fully realise that both Yemen and Syria – even before the conflicts – were failed states suffering from bad governance, instability, absence of the rule of law, cronyism and widespread poverty. War has amplified those ills by several factors.
Reading up on both the Syrian and Yemeni conflicts, it’s hard to decipherwho’s fighting who. The gullible will side with one sectarian faction or another depending on their own confessionalism or political affiliation. The reality of the situations is much more complex. I don’t believe these are simple proxy wars in which regional powers are just duking it out. That’s partly the case to be sure, but you would be remiss if you didn’t factor in the dissatisfaction of the people with the current rule and social injustice. These alone have given the necessary fodder for ISIS, Alqaeda and various other non-state actors who readily promise the creation of a better, more just society where Sharia rules supreme to establish a just society. In theory this is all good, and this is one of the main reasons why these groups receive the sympathy and support they need from a desperate populace to propagate and sustain their rule. However, in practice we’ve seen that it doesn’t work. That cloak of religiosity simply hides and also justifies their avarice, throne grabbing and terrorism they revel in.
How are these conflicts going to be resolved? History has taught us that political differences cannot be resolved through the use of force. In fact, the use of force should be expedient to get those who can influence change to the table; however, here, it seems to be used in vengeance, purely and simply. Decision makers conveniently forget that the only victory they will realise ultimately is a Pyrrhic one.
How these conflicts must be resolved is through dialogue and incremental victories for all sides. War is not and never has been the answer. It just doesn’t work. At best, war distracts governments from the real challenges that if not addressed immediately will ensure that the whole Middle East will not be habitable in just 25 years. Wars will just accelerate that eventuality. The challenges we face include the acute dearth of water, despicably bad education, unemployment, over population, an undiversified income and bad investments, the finite availability of oil, cronyism, and of course political and human rights ills. With these critical shortcomings, why add war into the mix? Isn’t it just another energy depleting factor sidetracking us from what we actually need to take care of? Aren’t the challenges we face not existential enough? Is war really necessary in the first place?
Let me add one more thing to that despicable list. We are morally bankrupt.
How can our countries see all the suffering of the people of Syria and Yemen and not open their doors wide to receive the refugees and the destitute to lessen their suffering, even if temporarily?
Why are our governments appear to be sitting idle while our Arab brothers and sisters put themselves in peril crossing seas and walking vast distances to seek safety, just to be rejected at borders?
Isn’t it our moral obligation to receive them and ease their suffering? Why are we leaving it to European countries to offer them succour and help in the name of human rights and we shun them completely as if they don’t exist? Didn’t we play a role in their destitution in the first place? While the conflicts didn’t just start because of terrorist parasites, they definitely greatly contribute to the conflicts now. Where did those fighters in Iraq, Syria and Yemen come from in the first place? Did they descend from space? No, they were bred and raised in our own countries only to now wreak havoc all over the world. Yes, we need to defeat them. But we also need to accept those who need our help and open our borders to them while we mount operations to crush the terrorists. The two are not mutually exclusive.
Our countries are a mess, but solutions are staring us in the face!
How about starting with respecting human rights and apply fair and universally accepted laws across the board without favouritism? How about introducing real democracy in order for the rights of everyone be protected and establish a more just society in which the individual regardless of affiliation is respected and protected? It can’t be that difficult. All that is required is political will to allow these changes to be adopted over time.
Remember though, we just have 35 or so years to real peril. Now that a timeline has been set in stone, we need to work toward those sustainable goals. Goals of peace and democracy.
We really have to give peace and democracy a chance. For our children’s sake.
Don’t teach religion in schools. If people want their children to be religiously educated, they should do it themselves. They shouldn’t be allowed to cop-out by delegating that important task to some other entity without their direct involvement and input. Getting Â a cookie cutter version of a religion to be shoved down children’s throats is obviously not the answer. That method failed, quite evidently.
If religion is to be taught in schools, then teach ALL religions, not just the state religion and don’t allow one to be emphasised as “the true religion” and all others are “bad” or “inauthentic” or whatever derogatory method is used to show how exemplary your religion is by denigrating the others. Encourage healthy debate, even at a young age. They’re just young, not imbeciles. One hardly teaches deep theological issues to six-year olds.
Introduce real democracy as a method of rule. Yes, I mean one-man one-vote. If you want to call it “Western” then that’s fine be me. It works. Countries adopting it are way ahead of any of ours. Let people have a choice in who they elect to follow and they should be able to peacefully remove them if they fail their duties, or when their terms expire. No one person for life any more please. That didn’t work in the vast majority of cases throughout the ages. Let’s learn from history for once, rather than continue to blindly repeat it.
There you have it. Maybe by adopting these, the next generation willÂ have a better time at integrating as human being with the rest of the world. And they canÂ choose for dialogue as a method of resolving differencesÂ with the others rather than chopping people’s heads off.
My thoughts and prayers are with all the families of the dead and injured as a result of this heinous crime against humanity. Terrorism doesn’t serve anyone and attacking the innocent doesn’t serve ANY any cause. The intention to do the maximum harm was quite evident in the selection of the Boston Marathon as a theatre of their hateful operations.
To all my American friends, you have my full support and sympathy. While I do not have the answers, I encourage you not to hate, because if you do, the dark forces behind this and other terrorism attacks win. I applaud the statement and reasoning of the US President who promised that “Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice.”Â which shows the humanity of that nation and its respect for human rights and due process, rather than go into an automatic collective punishment.
I do hope that those responsible are caught and they do feel the full weight of justice. As I hope their sources of sustenance do too because they are just as complicit in this as the perpetrators of the crime themselves.
My complete and unfettered sympathies. This is yet another sad day for peace loving people.
When the gun debate rages in the States after the killing of 27 people, mostly children, with the prevailing view to limit guns’ availability, in Bahrain the situation seems to have been reversed, with some people not only having easy access to them, but use them to terrorise others while the normally vocal authorities on “terrorism” quite quiet. That of course, leaves much room for interpretation. Are those vigilante terrorists officially condoned? I do hope that something is done about this phenomenon. And fast.
The events in Libya attacking an embassy and killing some of its inhabitant simply for a stupid movie is not only a heinous act and completely inhuman, but does Islam a complete injustice. Allah and His Prophet do NOT need anyone’s help and assistance, thank you very much, so keep your violence and your disgraceful attitudes and criminal behaviour out of peoples’ lives.
My condolences to the family of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and all of those who died in this heinous act, and my sympathies are with those who suffered from this in any way. To those who perpetrated this act do get my complete and unfiltered condemnation.
Another day, and another staggering example of Bahraini police inhumanity, irresponsibility and criminality which can only be borne of the certain escape from prosecution is shown to the world:
What possible reason encourages someone who’s been entrusted with the upkeep of the law and protection of citizens to do the diametric opposite and wilfully endanger the very charges he has been sworn (presumably) to protect?
And what of his colleagues who are sitting in those air conditioned Jeeps? Did their conscience not at least tickle them to prevent their team mate from carrying out this heinous and completely unnecessary act or throwing that tear gas canister into a ladies beauty parlour? What danger do those inside pose?
This is not the only instance in which we witnessed such behaviour from the Bahraini police. There are tens of others which are easily accessible to show that there is no other interpretation to their consistent brutality other than acquiescence from the very top of their pyramid. If there wasn’t, then what possible reason is there that clearly identified personnel demonstrably disregarding basic human logic by inflicting unnecessary pain and suffering from being prosecuted to the maximum extent of the law to ensure that others like them – like those persons in those two vehicles shown in the video above who are fully culpable in this crime – don’t follow suit?
It is absolutely abhorrent that these crimes are being perpetrated on human beings, it is even more so to find these acts are condoned and encouraged by the absence of any intent to prosecute and persecute those perpetrating them.
Security is absent in this country and it shall continue to be so until people answer for their actions in a universally applied rule of law.
A scuffle broke out in Hamad Town between Bahrainis and recently naturalized Bahrainis in which wooden planks, knives and swords were used. A good summary of this recent event is available on GlobalVoices. This is not the first time troubles between these groups happen.
Hamad Town is a council housing estate built to benefit low to middle income families in Bahrain. It houses Bahrainis from all walks of life. A percentage of houses and neighbourhoods are occupied by newly naturalized Bahrainis and scuffles regularly break out between them and others in the vicinity.
A day after the scuffle broke out, a group of apparent residents were seen walking the neighbourhood’s streets intimidating others in the area, and one was seen carrying a black flag some say is distinctly similar to the Al-Qaeda flag, as seen in this video:
And this screen grab with superimposed graphic for comparison:
Although I knew that there were sympathisers to Al-Qaeda here – I’ve seen pictures of bin Laden in some government offices just after 9/11, but haven’t since – I believe this is the first time that the Al-Qaeda flag is so blatantly exposed and by inference, their allegiance to that organisation is plainly shown. This – to say the very least – is a worrying development. The last thing we need in this country is to invite the trouble associated with Al-Qaeda and its criminals to this country. The government represented in the Ministry of Interior should take immediate action and must thoroughly and professionally investigate this incident. Ignoring this or delaying this investigation is akin to inviting some Al-Qaeda sympathiser to wreak havoc in this country by blowing himself up in Pearl Roundabout and kill several hundred innocents in the process. We all know that this is possible, as that organisation has shown the mindless killings it perpetuates everywhere it is allowed to set foot, be that in Afghanistan or Pakistan through to the United States and every other country in between.
For the sake of Bahrain, something must be done about this new phenomenon, and be done promptly.