We need international cooperation against any kind of extremism, and in order to eradicate radicalism and its effects globally, education is the most important step — says Harun Yahya in this opinion piece.
It is apparent there is an urgent need to tackle the problem of radicalism for the sake of world peace. The important thing, however, is how this is to be done.
One concrete fact stands after 13 years of military operations, from Afghanistan to Libya and from Nigeria to Iraq; radical terrorist groups have not ceased to exist through military force, violence and oppression, and to the contrary, they’ve grow even stronger.
What is more, all kinds of military operations, including air strikes and ground operations just lead to more civilian deaths, damage cities and destroy infrastructure, causing increasing fury in the countries concerned and that fury mostly benefits radical organizations. Spending billions of dollars on producing people opposing it, and thus providing human resources for terror organizations, is a most undesirable state of affairs.
Although killing off the leaders of terror organizations is presented as an effective technique by some military analysts, looked at from a wider perspective, no results are actually obtained from it at all. The killing of Osama bin Laden obviously did not spell the end of al-Qaeda.
Besides, terror organizations are capable of skillfully turning even these armed attacks against them into propaganda. They have the skills to portray the attacks against them as evidence of the just nature of their cause. For that reason, organizations either grow stronger or continue their activities underground and that makes the military struggle against them less effective.
In order to break the spiral of terror, socioeconomic improvements need to be made and policies such as ensuring the implementation of democratic processes clearly need to be brought to the fore in regions where there are intense terrorist activities. In order for all these things to happen, however, it is essential to remove the ignorance that lie at the roots of all the errors of a radical mindset. The way to do that is through educational and cultural activities. Correct education with accurate ideas needs to be implemented, this would be far more economical than spending trillions of dollars on weaponry and later spending billions more on humanitarian aid, and is a method then will produce infinitely better results.
Instead of resorting to a new military operation that will doubtlessly last for years and produce no results, the rational thing is to turn to these proposals, which have never been tried before, but that would indeed produce the desired results: Unless the foundations of terror are eradicated through educational and cultural activities – unless the swamp is dried up, in other words – there is no point in simply swatting at mosquitoes.
It is possible to stop these militants before they turn into killers through precautions taken against the intellectual foundations of these organizations. Moreover, it would then be possible to prevent new recruitment to those organizations. No terror organization could ever resist such an intellectual struggle via television and radio and the internet. A movement that loses its intellectual basis cannot survive. The states should either take over this task or support non-governmental organizations that put themselves in for this task.
An educational mobilization against all terrorist organizations, no matter what their ideological roots are, is what it will take to prevent the outrageous terror we encounter all over the world.
NATO keeps pouring money into fighting extremism with armed force; yet then why does this menace keep growing? The answer is in the direction the finances are being directed. Trying to fight an extremist ideology only by using physical force will do little but increase the number of the supporters of that ideology. As the military campaign in the region costs more innocent human lives, the relatives and the close circle of those who died in those attacks will be motivated to join the extremists due to their resentments toward the West.
We need international cooperation against any kind of extremism.
Such dangerous movements must be brought to an end and their ideological basis should be annihilated all over the world. As a matter of fact, this is something that can only be done by the Middle Eastern nations with the help of their Western allies.
In that regard, in order to eradicate radicalism and its effects globally, and to uphold the positive ideals of humanity such as democracy, pluralism and human rights, education is the most important step. To prevent the proliferation of radicalism – a major new threat against global security – world leaders should seek ways for removing ignorance with intellectual efforts.
(About the Author- Harun Yahya has authored more than 300 books translated in 73 languages on politics, religion and science. He may be followed at @Harun_Yahya and www.harunyahya.com.)
The views expressed in this article are the author‘s own and do not necessarily reflect Arabian Gazette‘s editorial policy.