The acts of terror and violence that worsened during the last quarter of the previous century in particular have today stopped being a problem afflicting only certain countries and regions and have turned into a threat that can be encountered anywhere in the world. Its latest point of call is Europe. Consecutive acts of terror in Europe are now on the global agenda.
Acts of terror in various parts of Europe following the killing of the 12 Charlie Hebdo personnel at the beginning of this year set the whole continent on guard. Intensive security precautions were brought in around places through to be priority terrorist targets, such as government buildings, newspapers and magazines, metro stations and shopping malls, as well as synagogues, mosques, charities and kosher shops. The latest terror attack on a meeting held in the Danish city of Copenhagen in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the Charlie Hebdo attack once again revealed the scale of the problem Europe is facing.
Two police and one civilian bystander were injured in the second attack on a synagogue which followed the first attack in which one person died and three police were injured. Intensive security measures were then introduced across Denmark, while terror warnings were issued in several other European countries, particularly Belgium and Germany, and measures were brought in against possible attacks.
As all this is happening and terror continues turning into a spiral of hatred across the world, it is ordinary, innocent people who are most harmed and affected by events. Terror, anarchy and violence, the worst scourge of the century, target not only the security forces, but also innocent people, depriving them of their rights and lives, setting brother against brother, turning them into enemies, and breaking apart nations and countries.
It is without doubt Muslims who have been most affected by terror in both material and psychological terms. Acts of radical terror, which have become one of the main items on the global agenda since September 11 and are incorrectly referred to as ‘Islamist terror,’ are causing grave concern to the whole world, especially the U.S. and Europe, and is putting societies strongly on the defensive. The inhuman actions of radical terror organizations with a fanatical mindset that has nothing to do with the true Islam, and that portray themselves as representatives of Islam, are causing Muslims to be regarded as potential suspects across the West. Their rights are then circumscribed and they are exposed to humiliating treatment.
So what does the world need to do to put an end to the radical terror that is making the world uninhabitable?
The fact is that while security measures are sometimes instrumental in successes against terror organizations, they cannot eliminate those organizations entirely. It is actually the perception of the fight against terror that needs to change, with the realization that the problem cannot be solved by force alone. The only way of eliminating a false ideology is by teaching the true one. And the way to eliminate radical terror is by the intellectual demolition of the idea that represents the basis of violence and hatred. What is particularly essential is to differentiate between radicalism and Islam.
There is no room in the radical conception of religion based on false hadiths and superstitions for anything that encourages love, brotherhood, affection, compassion, the valuing of women, the superiority of women, or arts and science. To put it another way, there is no room in the fanatical and radical way of thinking for anything that brings people joy and brightens their world. In contrast, if anything, there is repression, compulsion, violence and ruthlessness. Radicalism and fanaticism are a system that literally puts people in the grave before they are dead and deprives them of all beauty.
However, like all the other revealed faiths, the aim of Islam is to bestow love on people. There is no place for hatred, anger or killing in the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam. There is only peace, brotherhood and living together in love and a spirit of solidarity and unity. In order for the violence and hatred that derive from radicalism to come to an end, there needs to be a move to an education policy that explains how radicalism has nothing to do with Islam and that the values espoused by the radical conception of religion are incompatible with the Qur’an. So long as fanatical ideas persist, bombing Islamic lands with drones, sending troops to the region and killing the leaders of terror organizations, responding to violence with violence in other words, will never put an end to terror. On the contrary, it will incite it and make it even more of a threat.
What is needed is a climate in which ideas do the struggle, not weapons. Islamic communities need to be told that the supposed hadiths based on violence are false and that Muslims have a duty to abide by the loving, rational and moderate values in the Qur’an. When young people are brought up with an education based on the true conception of Islam that commands love and peace, radicals who turn to violence will no longer be able to say ‘We are speaking for Islam,’ and fanatical philosophy can soon be eradicated by an intensive educational mobilization. Only then will the peace, brotherhood and love for which we long prevail across the world.
Adnan Oktar's piece on Arabian Gazette: