What has been happening in the past few days has brought about a fresh clarity on the question of terrorism per se. Turkey, Bangladesh, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, it has been a cruel fortnight. The world has realised that it is a scourge that knows no boundaries and has no limits on its twisted philosophies or what it preaches as a gospel of violence.
Those who have linked Daesh ideology with Saudi Arabian doctrines will have to consider a rethink because terrorism has now spilled over boundaries. This target was not a temple or a church, it was the fountainhead of Islam which means everyone is their enemy and the Muslims are now facing the brunt of it.
After the blast in Medina — as the Islamic world prepared for Eid — and the violation of a very sacred spot one can sense the shock and dismay in the people. The public at large in incensed by the act and this could well mark a turning point in public perceptions.
The general tolerance we sometimes witness globally of every incident of militancy in that it does not concern us directly or is softened by distance is now no longer a luxury that can be afforded. It is not a newspaper headline or the first take on the news. Hitting at the very core of the religion and underscoring that nothing is sacred to these people must now translate into a common purpose: where every nation that calls for peace and prosperity and does not want its people waking up to the stench of cordite and the blast of the gun, comes together.
It is time to take into account that the double standards by media must also be removed. Je suis Paris should become Je suis World. But it does not. When it is Kabul or Dhaka, Baghdad or Istanbul the global coverage dips as if in unspoken agreement that 'it is them killing their own so not our problem'.
But it is. If we look at the blood trail, more Muslims than followers of other religions are targeted by Daesh. It would seem that Islam is now their primary target.
The innocent are killed so regularly now that we have, as human beings, gone into state of short circuited synapses.
The relative coverage is almost a silent acceptance that in some way the men, women and children in these countries deserve to be targets.
The Medina factor will make that difference and now even sympathisers will be hard placed to act as conduits of any sort, be it in giving refuge or supplies or moral support. And critics will have to ask themselves if they can lay to rest their hostility.
Governments themselves have no recourse now but to settle their other differences or put them aside for now and sit together and devise a consolidated multi-tiered plan of action. For the GCC and the Middle East, between wars and the increasing savagery of extremists, it is heartening that all nations are on the same page and mean business. Within 24 hours Kuwait struck at Daesh bases.
This is no longer a question of the West fighting the threat on its own terms or South Asia taking up the battle by itself or the Middle East going it alone or Africa having issues that do not concern others. Those days of isolated confrontations are over. The days of personal prejudices and hostility are also over. We have to see beyond our religious and geographical enclaves.
The world is now a singular target.
In this fashion, terrorist groups have also to be seen as a single entity and no longer divided into categories to suit political agendas. Terrorists have no nationality and no religious protection across the board.
Once this is done then every nation on the planet has to create a similar sense of oneness and share information, exchange real time data and co-operate as a team. If they cannot do that terrorism will never go away. Instead, six billion people would be potential collateral damage.
By that token the economic routes have to be traced and blocked as do the sales of armament. Terrorism is an expensive business and also a fragile one if it is not fed bullion and bullets. If these roadblocks are put into place recruitment itself will go into a slowdown.
The World Summit on Counter terrorism wants to discuss the unpuzzling of this global plague. The sooner it meets the better and gets on with the job of making the world a better place.
First Published On : Jul 5, 2016 23:25 IST