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Challenges of Terrorism
Published by Dr. Albasheer Almutaqi
Dr. Albasheer Almutaqi.  

It is necessary to propose a conceptual definition of ‘terrorism’ as a serious phenomenon and to identify it as a scourge threatening the security and future of communities and nations worldwide. According to most definitions, terrorism is a form of terror and intimidation. The term terrorisme was adopted in the French dictionaries since 1794, which means the policy of terror through imposing terrorism or terroriser or making a person terrified terrifier.

This is a more comprehensive definition of all practices that are dangerous and threatening to human life, stability and tranquility regardless of gender, beliefs and loyalty. Any attempt made to destabilize the entity is considered an intimidation according to this view, which requires accountability for many practices both by governments towards individuals and vice versa in the equation of violence and counter-violence. Yet, who is held responsible for the consequences of such practices on civilians and innocents? Again, what if violence and intimidation can possibly broaden the base of those associated with the ideology of extremism?

If these attempts to define the phenomenon of terrorism emphasize the infliction of psychological and moral harm and not just physical harm in a glaringly tangible manner, then what we observe and witness today has exceeded all the conceptual limitations: terrorism in the heightened and overwhelming sense refers to the tangible physical violence, displacement, murder, execution, bodily mutilation and other types of physical attacks on human beings who are innocent in the political equations and systems, while it is difficult for such a societal combination to be dismantled under new sociopolitical shifts, which require a great effort to understand the interlocking causes under the new global variables.

If the states are attempting hard to stabilize and maintain philosophical and political values and principles and to settle the legitimacy of their governments, then in some models this is accompanied by the use of violence and power, especially under totalitarian regimes. This has been criticized by researchers and intellects (Hanna Arendt), Dutch researchers and others, and consequently it contributed to the outbreak of World War which reflected the conflict of ideologies and interests as a primary determinant of inter-state relations and the establishment of a new international order based on the logic of dominance and hegemony and the continuation of the logic of conflict.

The salient features of this transformation have contributed to the expansion of hotbeds of tension and the high proportion and the severity of international crises, and the international regime has been unable to overcome most of the political problems and resolve the most severe crises, thus; creating new points of tension and more interest-based polarizations. In these international political situations, extremism in all its political manifestations has begun to sweep into the international arena: extremism has increasingly been growing and has resulted in violence which has developed into terrorist acts against the stability and security of a whole host of countries.

The salient features of this transformation have contributed to the expansion of hotbeds of tension and the high proportion and the severity of international crises, and the international regime has been unable to overcome most of the political problems and resolve the most severe crises, thus; creating new points of tension and more interest-based polarizations. In these international political situations, extremism in all its political manifestations has begun to sweep into the international arena: extremism has increasingly been growing and has resulted in violence which has developed into terrorist acts against the stability and security of a whole host of countries.

Today we are facing new political violence, which is against the logic of the modern civilized states and organizations, and it has turned into terrorism based on the violation of the sanctity of human life and the violation of the individual’s right to live safely. It is entirely contrary to the logic and foundation of the emergence of state and power. The doctrinal theories emphasized the idea of moving from a state of nature based on the innate nature of evil in man, violence and counter-violence, the assault on the freedom and property of others, and the outbreak of “war of all against all” (Thomas Hobbes), to a state of contracting, stability and ensuring the most basic rights in the state and the embodiment of public will (Luc Russo). What we are witnessing today is to become a state of chaos in many countries which are not controlled to expand the state of nature from the perspective and logic of the “Philosophers of Enlightenment”.

This constitutes greater challenges on the international community which calls countries to joint their efforts in order to limit the expansion of the phenomenon of terrorism and dominant violence, increase and enhance regional and international meetings and conferences, develop agreements in security and peace, evaluate the course of previous treaties since the first legal conference on this subject in Brussels in 1926 and after 1930, which mentioned “terrorism” for the first time and to identify the acts and methods used in terrorism.

This stage calls for opening a new page of the international debate to evaluate all initiatives in the context of enhancing strategic cooperation to stop the expansion of all extremist phenomena that are practiced and prone to violence and terrorism at the local and international levels.

It can be emphasized in our current reality that the greatest danger is that terrorist acts have become a prominent headline in the media and everyday life news, as if they were normal, and have become familiar in our daily life. So, as such we no longer hear shouts of disapproval (boos) and reactions from the public opinion which contributes to widening the spread of terrorism, extremism and terrorist acts in different regional areas, claiming the lives of innocent people as is the case in a whole host of countries.

The urgent need to open a real and interfaith dialogue among countries has become essential to identify the levels of evolution of the ideology of violence and terrorism and to monitor the sources of their motives so that the causes of extremism can potentially be eradicated, whether it is extremist understanding of religion, religious practices or narrowly triggered motives of racism and sectarianism, which may be further exacerbated by the distinctiveness of belonging to the sacred, or the feeling of being marginalized, social exclusion and ignorance which may generate hatred and exacerbate isolation, arousing more elements to be factored in the price paid for extremism. As such, they tend to be easily persuaded to into believing of the legitimacy of violence and terrorism which could widen its base in all countries unless all social, political and mass media institutions work harder than ever before to instill the values of citizenship, tolerance and peace in the present and future generations, especially as we face the dynamics of migration across countries, and the development of communication technology among individuals within the framework of globalization, in which terrorism has become transboundary, and this will impose the mobilization of all countries without exception to be fully engaged seriously and in accordance of set priorities to narrow the spread of terrorism, and to adopt a strategy to build and expand the culture of tolerance, coexistence and peace.

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