The first week of 2015 will be remembered with the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris and the subsequent anti-terrorism raids in Belgium. These terror acts that caught Europe unaware once again shows that terrorism is no longer a problem confined to a certain part of the world.
In the wake of these incidents, 28 EU foreign ministers convened in Brussels in an effort to develop strategies in their individual countries and abroad to counter the growing threat of terror.
There was one thing unprecedented about the Brussels talks, however. It was the first time that EU foreign ministers ever called for an alliance with Islamic countries in their fight against terror misusing the name of Islam.
This intention was made clear by the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who said there had to be more cooperation both with Muslim countries and internally within the EU.
She said: “The threat is not only the one we faced in Paris, but is also spreading in many parts of the world, starting from Muslim countries. We need to strengthen our way of co-operating together first of all with Arab countries and then internally. We need to share information more, we need to co-operate more.”
While devising a comprehensible strategy in confronting terrorism, surely intelligence-sharing and cooperation with other parties, especially with Muslim counterparts, is essential and quite wise. Yet the issue must be tackled within the scope of the following question: In counterterrorism, who are entitled to be those counterparts among Islamic circles that the Western countries can truly rely upon and ally themselves with?
Many problems presented as those originating from Islam almost entirely stem from bigotry and ignorance of those claiming to be Muslims, but who are not savvy about the very tenets of Islam beyond a superficial understanding.
Therefore, if there is anyone who can help the Western world in combatting terror, those would be the genuine Muslims who live by Islam as it is related in the Quran.
A healthy interpretation of the Quran purges the minds from any impurities stemming from non-Islamic notions, superstitions and heresy.
Thus, only those following the true message of the Quran through reason and with a spirit of love and compassion can by trustworthy and astute counterparts in the struggle against terror that the Western world faces today.
Correcting ignorance by the teachings of the Quran is the only way to show the world that Islam is not the source of terror, but is in fact the one and only solution to it.
The other crucial element in this matter is the proper method to be employed. When countering terrorism is the issue, Western countries think forming military alliances is the best way to respond. They first and foremost come up with forms of combat based on smart military tactics and heavy weapons.
That is for instance why, assuming that airstrikes would have a “devastating” effect on Isis, the US launched an all-out aerial campaign in Iraq and Syria after the terror organisation captured most of northern and western Iraq. However the history of the US evinces the failure of military campaigns; against communism in Vietnam and the threat of the Taliban in Afghanistan, armed struggle did not deliver any positive results for the US.
The root cause of problems being ignorance and bigotry, the struggle must be of an intellectual nature rather than martial. An intellectual campaign that would edify people, whose minds have been clouded with unfounded beliefs, would be the only method to wipe out the intellectual background upon which terror organisations such as Isis, al-Qaeda and similar others are founded.
Once an intellectual campaign against bigotry and ignorance is accomplished, the Western world would no longer need the most advanced and effective counter-terrorism arrangements or form military alliances.
Eradication of the ideology will also root out terror-related problems at once, without having to deal with each one individually.
An intellectual struggle would also be instrumental in preventing the reoccurrence of terrorism, which may strike societies at any unanticipated time. The intellectual struggle is the only sure-fire method of defeating the radical mentality and the terrorism that results from it.
Adnan Oktar's piece on The Malaysian Insider: