Terrorism is a widespread phenomenon. Most of the countries suffered from its effects since the dawn of history. While there have been modifications and aspects at which it is employed by terrorist groups, the ultimate goal is to instill fear and to weaken the states in order to impose their ideologies towards other societies. Thus, international terrorism has indeed posted a great amount of uncertainties, doubts and fear among the people. The solution to the terrorist incidents is yet unknown, however there are different views that are of great importance in order to solve this dilemma.
United States of America, with its hegemonic leadership, has also claimed about being victims of terrorism. Attacks launched against United States have put them under fire. And as such, the actions committed against their government and stability fueled counterattacks, and the has rather put the emphasis in battling terrorism intensified than ever.
United States Terrorism
The terrorist attacks committed against the United States of America flared up a number of heated reactions and counter aggressions. The attacks on September 11, 2001 marked the aggressive counter insurgency acts against their perceived opponents. Simultaneously, the United States government made an international statement that involved United States allies in their fight against terrorism (Zunes).
When the attacks occurred in United States, the government was prompted to retaliate and create plans of action in order to restore peace in the country. Counter terrorist actions are also geared towards eradicating terrorists activities around the world. The United States government under George W. Bush administration claimed that the actions that they initiated were aimed at helping other countries that are suffering under the claws of terrorism.
However, some observers within the international community had different views on the United States intention behind their savage plans of action against the countries which they thought and believed were supporting terrorist groups. Given the history of warfares that United States engaged in, some believed that there were far larger motives behind the attacks they launched, specifically against Iraq.
Solution to Terrorism
The incidences of terrorism have been excessively alarming. And the past counterattacks to subdue terrorism have never been proven to become useful in solving the terrorist dilemma. Instead, the counterattacks that targeted United States aggressors rather intensified the chaos brought by insurgencies.
Religious disputes have been for long, the root cause of ideological differences which often result in religious wars. The United States deliberate refusal to recognize their religious differences with the Muslims, further heightened the animosity between Muslim states and United States and their allies.
Violence is never a solution for violence; as such, war will not be able to put an end to wars. The recent experiences of United States in their engagement in wars will prove that further involvement in such will only increase atrocities rather than solve the conflict. During the three years wherein United States participated in the war in the Middle East is a proof that chaos countered with chaos shall only never succeed in bringing democracy in Iraq, Israel or countries in the Middle East that are being questioned for support to terrorism (Zinn).
These actions from the United States are only proof of them being inevitably indiscriminate and morally reprehensible (Zinn). The truth that the United States resorted to use violent means in dealing with such situations, rather than employ democratic ways of solving conflicts is a proof of their refusal to make amends to ensure international peace. In addition, these attempts to seize the lands and territories of Unites States opponents have only acquired them more enemies rather than allies. It further increased the animosity between races and religions, which definitely will not work to the benefit of the people.
It must be reiterated that increasing the animosity between two sides who believe in different religion, culture and ideologies will never put an end to international chaos. Rather, if two opposing sides will try to meet despite their differences rather than widening the gap, international peace may be attainable.
In this light, it must be put into consideration that indeed religious differences are important factors in solving the terrorism dilemma. People must learn to believe that Islam is not, and was never the source of terrorism in the world. The concept of Islamic Terrorism in the world has widened enough the gap between the Muslims and people who belong to different religious groups. Islam is not cause of terrorism. And as such, acceptance of this fact may lead the international community towards a solution in combating terrorism in a rather peaceful way (Yahya).
According to Islamic believers and scholars, Muslims do not view war as the sole solution to bring peace in the world, neither to impose their beliefs amongst the people. The values taught to them from their religion states that spreading terror amongst the society is never an option, nor killing innocent lives. Religious wars and retaliations are only allowed and necessary if their beliefs and race are being trampled by other people (Yahya).
The Root Cause of Terrorism
The increasing trend of third world animosity is one of the most important factors that contributes to the occurrences of terrorism. Islam, being a widespread religion and belief among members of the third world countries has become a target for first world countries who have beliefs different from what they are accustomed for.
Members of the first world countries, the United States in particular have always been a fanatic of providing enlightenment and camaraderie amongst less developed countries. Americans and their allies have always assumed the role of leaders and international pacifier. Thus, they have neglected the need to recognize their differences with other people of other descents.
This animosity and eagerness of the Westerners to educate and liberalize their counterparts in the East has increased the gap between the more powerful West and the less developed East, particularly the Muslim nations who have always considered their beliefs as sacred. The Westerners inability to understand these differences caused the Muslim Easterners to feel dislodged from the international community. And the massive attempts done deliberately to lure them into embracing the Western culture only aggravated the gap and the hostility among nations.
Terrorism has occurred as a response to the Westerners, particularly United States attempts to extend their influence over other countries. These retaliations were geared towards preserving their culture, and protecting their beliefs and territories from foreign invasion. However, United States with their distinct influence and control over the majority of less developed countries were able to rationalize their attacks and actions against Muslim countries as noble acts that are only intended to keep the international community peaceful and less chaotic.
Conclusions and Recommendations for the West
The Western notion on the use of terror in the Islamic context is often misplaced and deliberately misused to serve the Westerners purpose. The continuous beliefs by the majority of the world that Islamic fundamentalists are terrorists add to the animosity and anxiety of Muslims against people from different race and religion. If this shall perpetuate and continue, the gap between Muslims and Christians, Westerners and Easterners and third world and first world countries shall never be resolved.
In order to put an end to these animosities, the continuing clash of civilization must stop first. The notion of West superiority and their desire to civilize the East will not work at all times. Other states will retaliate and oppose this noble cause. As mentioned, the Muslims are highly trained to believe that their religion is sacred, and attempts to forge another belief into them will cause further violence rather than peaceful amendments. Thus, rather than trying to impose a new culture, religion and set of beliefs to them, the Westerners should learn how to cope with their differences and try to become rather open in dealing with them.
Most importantly, the source of all the conflicts in the international arena is anchored on the ignorance of the people and their deliberate attempts to enforce bigotry rather than acceptance. Thus, instead of insurgencies and counterattacks against those who believe differently from what they have been accustomed at, people from different countries must try to become open at accepting differences.
Gaining a better understanding of the occurrences behind terrorism and recognizing the differences between races, ethnicities and religions, a solution to terrorism may be found in increasing the openness of different societies with each other. Cultural and religious relativism may decrease incidents of terrorism. In addition, recognizing the pursuit towards political, economic and religious autonomy from the dictates of more powerful nations may help in subduing terrorist threats.
Different people who belong in different races are always prone to misunderstandings. However, given enough concern and openness to the varying opinions from people who were raised in different cultures and societies will lessen the hostility between races and ethnicities. Thus, instead of engaging in wars and resorting to violent means of resolving these differences, governments of states must think of better and more proper ways of reaching out to other states. Imposing ones influence through the use of coercive force is not effective, it rather brings forth violence while instilling fear among the citizens. If we want the world to become peaceful and less chaotic, we must start employing peaceful methods to battle terrorism, violence and hostilities between countries.
Yahya, Harun. (n.d). Islam is Not the Source of Terrorism, But its Solution. Islam Denounces Terrorism. 24 July 2008
Zinn, Howard. (2006). War is Not a Solution for Terrorism. Boston News. 24 July 2008
Zunes, Stephen. (2001). International Terrorism. Foreign Policy in Focus. 24 July 2008