22 November, 2015: The ghastly terrorist attacks in France’s capital Paris on November 13, 2015 and African nation Mali’s capital Bamako on November 20 and growing terror incidents across the world, have strengthened India’s view that terrorism has not remained problem of a particular country or region but the “devil of terrorism” has extended its presence across the world and terrorism has become the biggest threat to the world’s peace, stability and economy.
The Mali attacks by terror outfit linked with al-Qaeda in which about 27 people were killed, Paris attacks which claimed at least 128 lives, Russian plane incident, which is understood to be a terrorist attack that claimed about 224 lives, killing of innocent people by terror outfit Boko Haram, terror attacks in Kenya, Iraq, Egypt and other countries have claimed lives of thousands of people.
The world should now realize after these barbaric incidents that the entire world will have to be united against terrorism and radicalism. Paris attacks also give a lesson that there should be no double standard on terrorism because terrorism and radicalism are the biggest enemies of the humanity and peace across the world. Some western countries intentionally or unintentionally have helped in creation of evil elements such as Baghdadi and Laden in the greed of oil well and competition to have control over them.
Recent Paris attacks were barbaric similar to the 2008 Mumbai attacks. These terror organizations are beheading innocent people before the cameras, are killing small children in their schools, killing people during Namaz. Their cruelty has shaken the humanity. Their act violates the principles of Islam. The entire world and media has been calling these evil acts as “Islami terrorism, Jihadi terrorism”.
When ISIS, al-Qaeda carry out their terror activities making the religion as their shield, the peace loving Muslims become afraid as these acts will impact them also. They pray for destruction of these evil forces. This is the reason that peace loving Muslims feel relaxed when Laden is killed and camps of Baghdadi were destroyed.
Western Europe has now been facing terror activities on large scale. Several people were killed and affected badly at bomb attacks at Saint Michael railway station in Paris on 25 July 1995; 11 September 2001 New York attacks at World Trade Centre claimed lives of thousands of people; train attacks in Madrid on 11 March 2004 which claimed 191 lives; death of 52 people in attacks on trains in London on 7 July 2005; attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris on 2 November 2011; Oslo attacks on 22 July 2011; attack on a youth camp in Norway which claimed 77 lives; killing of British soldier Lee Rigby in London on 22 May 2013; attack on Brussels museum on 24 May 2014; 7 January 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo office and now terror attacks in Paris and Mali- show that the terror groups are getting funds and arms from somewhere.
These terror elements have become a threat even for those forces that are helping them. These attacks have proved that terrorism has become a grave challenge for the entire world. Sydney, Australia based Institute for Economic and Peace’s Global Terrorism Index 2015 report claims that deaths from terrorism increased by 80 per cent in 2014 compared to 2013. According to the report, 32,658 people were killed in terror incidents in 2014. ISIS and Boko Haram were responsible for 51 per cent of these deaths.
The massacre carried out by the ISIS in Syria and other places has also resulted into migrant crisis in this region. Lakhs of people have been running towards Europe to save their life, it has also led to resources crisis. There are reports that some of those involved in Paris attacks came to France taking advantage of this migrant crisis. This fact is going to increase troubles further for these migrants.
Growing radicalism is one of the main reason behind terrorism. Several youths belonging to different nations have joined the ISIS and are being misguided to kill mercilessly. ISIS and al-Qaida are the worst form of radicalism. These groups want to establish their rule with the help of violence.
Time has come for a united war against terrorism at global level. There is need for united efforts by all the countries, Muslim world, religious leaders, intellectuals against the menace of terrorism and radicalism. Terrorism and radicalism are the biggest challenge before the humanity as well as Islam world.
The International Conference of Religious Discourse Reform and Tackling Radicalism was organized in Luxor, Egypt on November 14-15, 2015 which was attended by Imams, other religious leaders, intellectuals, Ministers from about 42 countries. I got an opportunity to represent India at this conference. It was a very fruitful event where nations put forward their views against terrorism and radicalism.
There was a unanimous view that there is a need for united efforts against menace of terrorism and radicalism. The gathering strongly condemned ISIS and other terror organizations for misusing the religion for the ill designs. The representatives of these nations declared war against terror elements as the Islam religion is being impacted negatively by these elements.
Islamic world is passing through challenging times because of radicalism and efforts of terror groups misusing the religion. These terror organizations are misinterpreting the Holy Quran for their narrow self interests.
Islam teaches about peace and brotherhood, most of the Muslims are peace loving and they oppose violence. We must remember that in the 7 th century, Islam was in the forefront of modernity, based on principles of social justice, economic equity, gender equality and democratization of polity. Islam, in fact, has provided peace and stability to different regions of the world for centuries. These principles have still not changed. There is a need for strengthening and make effective these principles to defeat and isolate those elements who are misusing the religion.
Those misusing Islam religion should remember that the message of Islam and Prophet Mohhamad (S.A.W) is loud and clear that terrorism is above all murder. Murder is strictly forbidden in Islam. The Holy Qu’ran says,”… who so ever kills a soul, ---it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and he who saves a life, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind.”
Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W) forbade the killings of women, children and elderly even in war. Prophet warned that he who kills anyone who has a covenant of peace will not go to Paradise. In fact, he taught that justice is not only to humans but must be shown to animals and all living things. So much so, that cutting of a green tree is banned in Islam. The message of the Holy Quran is that the sanctity of human life is to be respected and any violation in this regard would be considered the worst crime.
These evil forces can be tackled and defeated through communication, coordination among the society, religious leaders, government agencies and the media. Terrorism has been failed to establish its roots in India because of cultural and social unity and strong democracy.
Indian policy to tackle radicalism has been successful. Terrorist organizations have been failed to lure and misguide the Indian youths due to cultural and social unity, harmony despite of different languages, religions and castes. The society, religious leaders, media have played a crucial role for this.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi have appealed from various international forums to curb terror fundings, this will destroy capacities of terror groups. India and Prime Minister Shri Modi have played a laudable role in forming a unanimous opinion against terrorism. India also needs to be alert from ISIS, al-Qaieda and other terrorist groups operating from Pakistan’s soil. Time has come for joint action against the supporters and sponsors of terrorism. India has been facing terrorism emanating from Pakistan for the last several decades and has been able to defeat Pakistan’s evil design.
Pakistan, which is unable to fight India directly, has been using terrorism as its state policy. It has been giving shelter to terrorists. Hafiz Saeed and other culprits of 2008 Mumbai attacks have been roaming freely in Pakistan. Pakistan has become a safe shelter for these terror elements which has been posing a danger to the entire world. There is need to isolate such nations who are supporting terrorists, and then only terrorism can be defeated in real sense.
We should be careful that we should not look the terrorism through the spectacles of religion for political motive. The day we will link terrorism with religion we will be trapped into ill design of terror elements. Those elements who are indulged into such cruelty have nothing to do with Islam or humanity. Their only motive is murder of humanity. These coward people want to establish evil empire across the world by destroying the humanity.