Countering terrorism and counter-terrorism

Saturday night marked the third time in as many months that the United Kingdom has been subject to an appalling and brutal act of terror. 

These attacks are not representative of any religion. After all, Islam is to Islamic extremist, as Christianity is to the KKK. What these attack represent is extreme fundamentalism attempting to hijack a religion, and the indoctrination and brainwashing of a select few. In times such as these, it saddens me that some need reminding that religion didn’t do this; fanaticism did. 

On the whole, the western world practices pluralism and tolerance for those who view the world differently to us. We need to stand by that, now more than ever. When met with violence and devistating aggression, our response cannot be in kind.

There is a quote that I find pertinent in these times:

“We did not seek, nor did we provoke, an assault on our freedom and our way of life. We did not expect, nor did we invite, a confrontation with evil”

The victims of these heinous crimes did nothing to deserve this, nor did their families and friends, who have to live on with immeasurable pain. The pain is raw and undeserved, and to some degree is felt by all. 

Yet if the last three months have taught us anything, it is that we need to have a frank and honest conversation about the causes of terrorism. What contributes to, and further perpetuates the mindless cycle of violence. This isn’t condoning it. Far from it, we need to condemn this, but to successfully combat the issue, we need to first better understand it. 

Clearly our Government’s current strategy is not effectively working. Something needs to change, but meeting extremism with extremism, hate with hate, and violence with violence is not the answer. Regardless of which party, or leader,  is elected on Thursday, we need to address our approach.

Some have called for internment, the legality and morality of which is more than questionable. Others have called for yet more extensive bombing runs, which would represent the continuation of a failed foreign policy strategy. A few have advocated for an immigration ban and deportation, which again, would most likely further perpetuate the cycle, and fails to offer us a better understanding of terrorism.
Whereas some would suggest that failure to adopt one of these strategies shows weakness, I believe it would show strength, and resolve not to fall back on inadequate and reactionary measures. Whatever it might be, we need to find, and develop, a proactive approach that tackles fundamentalism at its source and works towards eradicating our need to respond.

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