21 November 2015
International terrorism continues to be a significant threat to people everywhere as demonstrated by recent events in Paris, the downing of a Russian airliner and the mass killings of innocent civilians in Beirut (Lebanon), Bagdhad (Iraq) and Yola (Nigeria) in the past week.
Obviously security measures have a role to play in ensuring the safety of populations, often at the expense of curtailing of some human rights (hopefully as a temporary measure) and regrettably the use of military force may be necessary to disarm ‘an unjust aggressor.
However it is important that the underlying causes of terrorism be addressed. Unfortunately that is not a simple task as terrorism is a result of a complex mix of a variety of social, cultural, economic, political and psychological factors.
Whilst there is no single, simple solution to the problem, some strategies can be suggested. We can encourage our government to :-
- support efforts to improve the quality of life of disadvantaged populations around the world
- withdraw support from regimes that do not support human rights and democratic principles
- reaffirm commitments to work collaboratively at the international level through the UN.
- redouble efforts to work for just resolutions to long-term political conflicts such as the Israeli/Palestinian conflict which underpins much resentment towards the West.
at personal level we can also :-
- resist attempts to label and marginalise minority groups e.g. muslims, refugees
- reach out and make personal contact with those who may feel alienated and marginalised in our society.