"Terrorism's real nature" - A View from Pakistan

Terrorism's real nature
The News, May 25, 2010
Saleem Safi
The basic faults in the strategy against terrorism will make success in the war against terror irrelevant at best. While devising a strategy both the US and Pakistan have missed the point: it is a multi-dimensional problem. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are fighting this war professionally and cover all fronts of the war, while the US and Pakistan are fixated on a single point of armed response to the threat. They ignore the ideological, social, political, economic and strategic aspects of the problem.

Terrorism in the region sprouts from ideological and religious sentiments. Al-Qaeda and affiliates believe in a certain interpretation of the Islamic concepts of jihad, state, crusades, non-Muslims and killings of Muslims who support non-Muslims in this conflict. The Afghan war ended but the ideology survived for more than 30 years and a whole generation was brought up on this theology. Al-Qaeda has now shouldered the burden of propagating this ideology through mosque leaders, the internet, CDs and all other means of communications, not only in the region but in the whole world.

Contrary to the ideology of Al-Qaeda and others, the traditional Islamic interpretations eulogise love for humankind, sympathy, peace, respect for life and property of every man and a belief in peaceful means of preaching and propagating Islam. The US and Pakistan needed to counter the Al-Qaeda through promotion of this true interpretations of the concepts of jihad, state, crusades and Muslim-non Muslim relations shared by an overwhelming majority of ulema. The majority of people who oppose Al-Qaeda's interpretation of Islamic concepts are either terrorised into silence or are indirectly used for promotion of that ideology. Only a few, though at the cost of huge threats to their lives, are fighting the Al-Qaeda ideology.

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Related: On Afghanistan Side
Former Taliban chief who became top policeman says peace will never come - The National

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