Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, November 22nd, 2019

The Fighting Strategy Should Comprise both Terrorists and Terrorism

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The Fighting Strategy Should Comprise both  Terrorists and Terrorism

In last four decades, Afghanistan has been facing domestic and international terrorism which left millions of deaths, disabled, orphaned and widows in the country. Given the nature of their successive attacks in Afghanistan, they have no commitment to any Islamic or humanitarian values. Though they try to attribute their brutal crimes to religion, they always attacked on the heart of religion killings dozens religious and none religious groups. The last Friday attack carried out on Nangar mosque can be considered as one of the latest example which killed nearly 70 civilian worshipers and wounded around 40 people. In line to this, they killed dozens of religious scholars, religious activists and Ulema gatherings in the mosques in 2018 in Kabul, Herat and other provinces.
Historically, the first suicide attacks are attributed to Tamail tigers and so the question is not what the origin of terrorists is but the question is how to combat terrorism in the cultural context, and can the current cultural trend towards suicide terrorism end it? Everyone knows that terror is an act of evil and those who commit terrorist attacks are criminals but we need to have a clear cultural position against the phenomenon. The first sign of deviation in fighting against terrorism is that we relate it to only external factor. However, it is not going exculpate those factors but want raise a question that there are a lot of religious and none religious people in the world why they are not allured by those factors. It means there must be something wrong in our fight strategy; for example, why a piece of cotton is easily burnt than other stuffs because its nature is different to other things.
In fact, the nature of every human being is subject to be changed by awareness, training and especially educational system or other means of advocacies. Unfortunately, very few people might ask why the terrorists groups knowingly kill themselves and others. What are their real motives to launch such brutal attacks on human including children, men, women and worshipers? This question will guide us to check the textbooks and educational program run by a terrorist organization. The regular condolence and then keeping silence until another deadly event will not be a good answer to such a vital issue. Therefore, in addition to physical fighting against terrorism, we need to fight against their intellectual resources.
Unfortunately, our society is not seriously and mentally opposed to suicide attack but merely disapproves of it. This might be because of our ill educational system, repeated events and lack of public satisfaction from the ruling system.  If such attack were launched by the government or international forces what would have been the reaction of community and religious authorities towards it. The answer to this question is somewhat clear. If this had been done by international forces, demonstrations would have been carried out in many cities against the perpetrators, and even controversy would have resulted in violence and ignition of some public buildings. When it is committed by a suicide bomber, whether a Taliban or IS, the response of the community, especially the cultural elite, to this issue is very superficial. In some parts of the community, terrorists live in their neighborhood, shop from their markets and may rent their neighboring houses but still the community seems just indifferent.
According to some analysts, terrorism can be a part of a culture of violence. Culture is a complex yet practical phenomenon that cannot be easily changed. During the eighties and early nineties of the twentieth century, the children’s textbooks were full of violent lessons taught to children to become familiar with the elements of war and killing. This way, they were prepared to fight against the former Afghan government and the Soviet Union. However, this situation changed after 2001, but it was not enough because many areas of the country are occupied by Taliban or its affiliated groups where are no government schools and most of the youth in those areas are illiterate or in religious schools under control of terrorists. These schools teach them violence and somehow continue the Cold War cultural discourse and even more so.
No society can fight against terrorists unless criticize the inspirational textbooks and teaching resource of terrorism, but Afghanistan’s closed society is not yet ready to cope with the sources and misinterpreted texts of terrorism. Some members of the community feel weak against these resources and their supporters, and flee from fighting against the terrorist to save their lives. However, this tactic may work for just a few days because sooner or later it will hunt everyone. Some members of the community even do not condemn the misinterpretation from religious resources and just watch how the terrorists target the innocent people. Therefore, the current cultural approach of our society is not successful in the fight against terrorism because no one targets the main source of suicidal thinking.
Overall, the ideological weapons of terrorist groups are sharper than their guns and grenades and so our fight will not be effective unless neutralize the misinterpreted resources and inspirational personalities that promote violence in our society. It is also the responsibility of the government to mobilize all available resources, regardless of religious or ethnic affiliation, against the suicide phenomenon. On the other hand, the religious scholars have a very big responsibility to articulate their positions against terrorism and any kind of violence.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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