IN a historic walk for solidarity, world leaders joined French Pres. Francois Hollande on Sunday, Jan. 11 to denounce acts of terrorism. This came days after 17 people were left dead following a string of deadly terror attacks in Paris, which began with the ghastly shooting at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine, on Jan. 7.
Calls for a moment of silence and sympathies for the victims and their families flooded various social networking sites, as #JeSuisCharlie (“Je Suis Charlie,” French for “I Am Charlie”) trended instantly.
Walking with linked arms, these leaders paraded the streets of Paris to encourage all governments and citizens of the world to combat terrorism in all its forms, and to fight for peace.
In this ever-changing and turbulent world, it is convenient to commit mistakes, to aggregate power, for war to be instigated. This makes peace more challenging. It can only be achieved when there is cultural integrity, respect for differences, protection of human rights, good governance, absence of war and sustainable development.
Terrorism is a multi-faceted problem and its mitigation will require action from multiple fronts. Religion is no excuse. Apart from exploring the details of this nightmare, we are compelled to also remember the lesson the Paris tragedy has left us, especially these days where armed conflicts seem prevalent. Because every day, people walk the earth daunted by national security challenges.
For some governments, terrorism is like a recurring nightmare. Even before it manifests, one terror threat is enough to cause a pandemonium. Who’s to say that the world is gaining momentum in its fight against terrorism? There are always incidents that transpire across the world to remind the people of the horrors terrorism can inflict in people’s lives.
These jarring reminders are not meant to induce paranoia. Instead, everyone is advised to take extra precautions, to ignite vigilance among the world’s citizenry.
People are reminded that violence doesn’t solve anything. War is never the answer. And no cause makes life worth sacrificing. Everyone must take a stand and take it upon ourselves to value the sanctity of every human life, regardless of nationality or creed.
Confronting this looming threat goes beyond the power of the governments. The war against terrorism requires a resolute individual to take a stand and confront it. This also means understanding terrorism: why it exists and why it has had adverse consequences on humanity.
For all the right humanitarian reasons and the sake of a peaceful tomorrow and a safer world, promoting peace and unity should begin within ourselves. In pursuit of this objective, we may encourage leaders of the world to resort to dialogue and cooperation in settlements to conflicts to avoid larger and costlier crises.