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Terrorism, world hypocrisy and social justice

The parties that fund terrorist groups cannot be tools in combating them, and resolving social, economic and political injustice is the only ultimate solution to terrorism

Ahmed El-Sayed Al-Naggar , Wednesday 2 Dec 2015
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It is ordinary people who pay the bloody price of terrorism. Whatever the geographical location, ethnicity, religion or sect, the populations who are facing terrorism deserve our warmest condolences, sympathy and support.

The French people deserve this support, as do the Lebanese people who were targeted by ISIS terrorists in Beirut's southern suburb, which, along with south Lebanon, once presented us with a total victory over the Zionist entity. In return, Wahhabi terrorist insects gifted it destruction and blood.

Also deserving support also are the Iraqi people who lose their sons on daily basis at the hands of the terrorist killers. Those killers did not exist before the colonial, criminal US occupation of Iraq that broke open the gates of hell, releasing terrorism by establishing a ruinous sectarian system.

Above all, the Palestinian people deserve support; they have suffered for decades, first from the attacks of Zionist gangs and then afterwards the usurping Zionist entity, executed with decisive Western sponsorship.

Egypt perceives the importance of backing all countries facing terrorism because it is one of the main countries targeted by terrorism.

What is really astounding in the international campaign that was mobilised by the criminal terrorist incidents in Paris is that the holders of intellectual sources of religious terrorism and all terrorism sponsors, creators, funders and those arming terrorists joined that campaign, as if they were not responsible for all victims of terrorism.

This matter made the campaign for supporting victims of terrorism one of the most flagrant examples of world hypocrisy yet seen.

The truth is that when politics is mixed with religion, the inevitable result is excluding the other and condemning him or her for being an unbeliever, and perhaps making haste with his blood, land, honour and money, especially from those who do not have a heritage and culture except that of pillage and plunder, leading to a dryness of spirit.

All religions consider those who believe in other religions to be unbelievers or heathens. Some texts in this religion or that may be characterised with tolerance, but you will find other texts bearing extreme harshness and violence towards the other whom it considers a unbeliever.

Here it depends on the person, who chooses to apply one side of religion according to his approach. The solution relies on maintaining religion on its lofty pedestal; a special relation between man and his god, and that positive law be the foundation of relationships between citizens and the state, and between citizens and each other on the basis of citizenship and the equality of all before the law.

Religious terrorism is the worst and the cruelest kind of terrorism because it uses religion in justifying horrible crimes against humanity and against life itself.

An impressionistic image is marketed which portrays this religious terrorism as connected to Islam. It is a corrupt and a false image. For the "holy" Spanish war and the horrendous Inquisition were made by the Christian European world against Muslims.

The terrorist crimes committed by Zionist gangs in order to scare and evict the Palestinian people, uprooting them from their land, were committed by Zionist Jews.

The dreadful terrorist crimes of the colonial era were committed by European countries that have become professional in slaughtering, occupying and plundering for centuries, topped by Britain, France and Spain, and none them have apologised for their historical crimes, or compensated the peoples whose lands they occupied, who they killed at will, and whose resources they plundered.

The most recent international terrorist crimes were those committed by the US and Britain in invading and destroying Iraq.

It was all based on lies that were plotted in the darkness of ruined, colonial minds and intelligence agencies' dens, which are anti-humanity in both countries.

It ended up with Iraq torn by internal wars and ruled by a sectarian and denominational quota system and bearing the seeds of the destruction of the unified state, which these days exists in name only.

In Libya, France, Britain and the US participated in destroying the Libyan state while insisting on preventing the arming of the national army.
This army is struggling to regain the country's unity and cohesion in the face of terrorist hordes, armed to the teeth by the aforementioned countries during the confrontation period with the Gaddafi regime.

As for Syria, Western countries, led by the US and France, sponsored armed terrorist groups that raised their weapons in the face of the people and the state.

The objective of destroying the unified Syrian state and overthrowing it totally blinded these countries to the nature of the terrorist forces that used religion to fulfill their purpose. It was a repetition of the US crime of using religion in mobilising forces in Afghanistan and Arab and Islamic countries to fight the Soviets.

That American crime has "gifted" the world with the terrorist Al-Qaeda organisation which was funded and armed by the CIA. Some small oil countries, who have created and sponsored extremism and religious terrorism, have also contributed to sponsoring, funding and arming the religious extremist forces which are attempting to destroy the citizenship-based Syrian state.

All this has yielded the growth of the terrorist demons ISIS and the Al-Nusra Front. The point of departure for both organisations is the same Wahhabi takfiri intellectual package.

Erdogan's Turkey — driven by an obsession to lead the Islamic world — contributed to attempts to destroy the Syrian state, facilitating traffic in arms and terrorists.

We must also note that ISIS and the Al-Nusra Front are stationed facing the Kurds, and hence Ankara is also serving its objective of fighting the Kurds and their organisations.

If we take a historical look, we will find that Western countries and their regional allies are the ones who sponsored the creation, arming and financing of the most extremist and backward of the terrorist groups spawned from the Muslim Brotherhood — the Salafists, Al-Qaeda, the Al-Nusra Front, ISIS and other jihadist groups.

Those states embraced extremist leaders in order to harm our Arab countries, thinking that it would not backfire on them and their citizens.
That gamble seems to have been lost a long time ago.

Yet, in spite of this, Western countries do not get bored of repeating the same gamble and falling in the same manner in supporting terrorism in the belief that is distant from them. Then they are surprised to be hit violently and cruelly in the heart of their own capitals.

In the face of terrorism and its criminal, sabotaging forces in Syria, and against horrible scenes of collective burning and killing, cannibalism, rape and enslavement, the US and its allies were obliged to apparently wash their hands of ISIS and the Al-Nusra Front and declare a bombing campaign against them in Syria and Iraq.

This campaign continued for more than a year while those organisations were expanding not shrinking.

Moreover, concerning ISIS specifically, it received many American weapons under the pretext of repeated airdrops by mistake! It seems as if these organisations enjoy extraordinary power and defeating them is impossible. But the truth is that those who created terrorism do not want to strangle it, but rather to continue exploiting it.

When Russia started to bomb terrorist areas in Syria, it achieved swift and significant progress in cooperation with the Arab Syrian Army that had advanced on the ground in parallel with the bombing. A great change in the balance of power on the ground materialised, to the benefit of the Syrian state. It seems evident that defeating such organisations is possible for those who want to combat them directly.

Iraqi calls arose seeking Russia's help in fighting ISIS. At this point, the US treated the matter in a more serious way, so as not to lose its allies in Baghdad. However, terrorism has grown to an enormous size and its tentacles now reach all the way into European countries, especially those that permitted extremists to travel from them to fight the Syrian state.

At the Geneva conference, the convening parties agreed on a ceasefire between the state and the forces that the political process will include on its launch. But it was strange that some parties issued statements sticking to the logic of violence and insisting that if the Syrian president was allowed to stay, they would support the armed opposition to overthrow him.

This logic implies a blatant infringement on the sovereignty of the Syrian state and on the Syrian people in deciding whom they will choose to govern them — especially from countries that are ruled by regimes that have never gotten so much as a whiff of freedom or democracy.

On the economic level, the tourism sector and other sectors connected to it will be the most affected by the latest wave of terrorism.

It is worth mentioning that the number of tourists globally was 1.2 billion in the year 2014, and global revenues about $1.3 trillion. France came top in the number of tourists it received, at around 84.7 million, while its revenues amounted to nearly $66.1 billion.

As for the US, 69.8 million tourists visited it, with revenues even higher at $214.8 billion due to longer tourist stays and higher expenditure.

Following them was Spain with nearly 60.7 million tourists and revenues of $67.6 billion, then China at 55.7 million tourists revenues of $56.4 billion.

As for the leading countries in sending tourists, the first was China; around 98.2 million Chinese tourists travelled abroad last year, and their expenditures amounted to $138.3 billion.

As for Egypt, it received 9.2 million tourists in 2014 and its revenues were $7.3 billion dollars, while 5.8 million Egyptian tourists travelled abroad, mostly to perform pilgrimage, and spent $35 billion abroad.

Despite global solidarity towards confronting terrorism, this confrontation is difficult to make strong, straightforward and decisive in the presence of forces setting up, funding and arming terrorism, for terrorism-makers will not combat what they make. Either those forces change, therefore, or they be excluded.

Moreover, the factors creating a fertile land for the growth of extremism and terrorism should be treated. The absence of justice in international relations and the despair at achieving it begets violence and facilitates extremism and terrorism in attracting the minds of some among the youth.

What's happening in Palestine, which was usurped, its people humiliated and its holy places desecrated, begets all kinds of despair —not only in Palestine but in the whole region.

Furthermore, widespread poverty, unemployment and people's inability to earn a living in dignity in the light of huge disparities in income distribution and wealth, leads also to despair and creates a fertile environment for strife, extremism and criminal and political violence – i.e. terrorism.

Official data points to around 18 million unemployed individuals in the Arab world, but the real figures are double this, resulting in enormous numbers of people unable to earn their living in dignity, feeding strife and creating a readiness for violence.

Although I have mentioned before the huge disparities between income and wealth distribution in the world, there is no harm in recalling them: that seven percent of world's wealthiest own $1 billion or more, possessing fortunes equivalent to 44 percent of the world's wealth.

The wealthiest percentage of the world's population is at 8.6 percent, owning fortunes equivalent to 85.3 percent of the world's wealth, leaving just 14.7 percent of global wealth to 91.4 percent of the world's population, according to the World Wealth Report.

Within every country there is grievous income maldistribution. In this world of the values of justice, interdependence and joint advancement, it is natural to expect the rise of social, criminal, political, sectarian and racial violence within countries that are harshly and acutely class-divided, and between countries with different standards of living and quotas of control over the world's wealth.

Whenever the space of freedom and democracy narrows in the face of absorbing the cries of the wronged and peaceful demonstrators, they are driven towards violence or being crushed. Both are destructive for any society and are a favourable environment for terrorism to grow.

And what is really worth contemplating is the world's successive capitalist crises that are driving it towards higher levels of aggressiveness and a desire to capture the space afforded to freedoms. It's a tendency that generates violence and terrorism on the other side of the equation.

There will be no solution for humanity except approaching more just, free and sustainable development based on fair income distribution.

Despite the importance of current security confrontations against terrorism and terrorists, solving social, economic, political and cultural dilemmas is the real guarantee of a world without terrorism.

The writer is chairman of the board of Al-Ahram Establishment. 

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