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Real Solution to Terrorism Needs Fine “Prescription of Ideas”

Feb 09 , 2015
  • Wu Sike

    Member on Foreign Affairs Committee, CPPCC

The terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris at the start of the New Year triggered a chorus of denunciations from people of all races and beliefs all over the world. Besides deepening the world’s awareness of the danger of terrorism, the attack highlighted the consensus that, despite all the differences and conflicts in cultures, values, and religious beliefs, it is intolerable to resort to violence and subject innocent people to it. This is a bottom line all societies should observe.

But immediately afterward, the cover of a new issue of Charlie Hebdo again featured the cartoon image of the Islamic Prophet Mohammad with the signboard “I’m Charlie” in hand, in a show of contempt of the attackers and dedication to “freedom of speech.” The issue was so well received, in both France and some other European countries, that an additional 5 million copies were sold out in no time. Yet meanwhile plenty of others displayed doubts and worries. Even in western countries, many scholars and commentators expressed concern that the satirical cartoon may trigger religious conflicts and instigate extremist ideas. Not surprisingly, there has been an immediate wave of large-scale protests in the Islamic world. I was on a short trip to some Islamic countries in the Middle East at the time. I witnessed numerous Muslim protestors converging at French embassies, shouting slogans and holding placards, angrily condemning Charlie Hebdo’s insult of their Prophet and religion, which undoubtedly add fuel to instability in the already turbulent Middle East.

These days, the virus of terrorism tends to become a global pandemic. The threat from the ISIS persists in spite of the extensive strikes against it. Dying ambers of al-Qaeda are glowing again. Boko Haram is sowing unrest in West Africa. Terrorism is spreading in Central Asia. Extremist ideologies are being disseminated via new media. The new tendencies and changes in global terrorism determine that no country feels immune to it. The fight against terror calls for consensus and synergy. Building an integrated, institutionalized, and permanent global platform for anti-terror collaboration has become an imperative task for all countries, as well as a new mission for the 70-year-old Untied Nations.

The global campaign against terror must tackle both the symptoms and root causes of the problem in order to contain the spread of the evil. This is a consensus that the international community can’t avoid. Staffan Demistura, special envoy of the UN Secretary General for Syria said, “The terrorist attack in Paris was an outcome of the Syrian crisis.” This statement was thought provoking for many reasons. Making concerted efforts for the political resolution of such hot-spot issues as the crises in Syria and Iraq is an indispensable move toward the eradication of the hotbed for terrorism.

Terrorists often describe their anti-human crimes as outcomes of conflicts between religions, races, and civilizations. Therefore, any victim attempting to associate a terrorist attack with a particular religion or race can only worsen the problem and contradiction, and fall into the trap terrorists have set up. People of different religions and beliefs must see through and debunk terrorists’ ploy to conduct violence in the name of religion. More importantly, mutual respect and communication between different civilizations and religions are even more important in the era of globalization. Just as biodiversity makes the world rich and colorful, cultural diversity makes the world of human beings even more vigorous. Don’t do unto others what you don’t want others do unto you. People should not hurt others’ feelings with their own “freedom of speech,” or violate others’ freedom. Therefore, the fight against terror must advance with the time, constantly seeking fine “prescriptions of ideas” to treat the epidemic of terrorism. Building a harmonious coexistence of different races, religions and civilizations, can eradicate the safe havens for terrorists. From a long-term perspective, this is the only way to root up terrorism.

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