The current developments in Iraq and the surge of violence in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Syria over the past few months may be viewed by some as so-called al-Qaeda terrorism. Some appellations have become quite familiar, such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Boko Haram, the Nusra Front, al-Shabab, Ahrar al-Sham, and many others, which continue to massacre innocent civilians and military personnel in various countries.
However, this image does not properly describe the catastrophes created by these groups and their powerful supporters.
Terrorists are actually destroying the legacy of humanity, achieved over the course of centuries. Despite all the shortcomings of the current international order, especially its failure to establish a just and equal distribution of wealth and power, the system is the result of decades of common efforts and interaction between various actors in the international community to establish world peace and global security.
The 1648 Peace of Westphalia, the 1814-1815 Congress of Vienna, the establishment of the League of Nations in the aftermath of World War I, and the creation of the United Nations in 1945 were all meant to establish peace and security in the world. The aim was also to do away with Thomas Hobbes’ notion that “man is a wolf to man” and to create a more rational relationship between governments and citizens. This is also what the prophets tried to establish over the centuries, with the goal of making the world a better place to live.
Despite all the efforts of reformers and peacemakers to establish international institutions, treaties, and conventions, we are witnessing a new trend in the third millennium, in which a terrorist organization called al-Qaeda and its offshoots are mocking all these achievements of humanity. They infiltrate into countries very easily and commit a broad range of crimes, such as genocide, murder, rape, hijacking, the desecration of holy sites, and the destruction of historical heritage, violating the most basic human rights and displacing millions of people. They continue to flout international law before the eyes of regional and international organizations, which are mandated to defend human rights and combat terrorism. This is another paradox which has enabled groups like ISIL and others to easily destabilize the situation in various countries.
The continuing surge of violence in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan and the deafening silence of international organizations ring alarm bells for every country, since they know they may be the next in line. It is the duty of these international organizations to intensify their efforts to prevent the proliferation of the virus of terrorism, which is hundreds of times more dangerous than most natural disasters and epidemics of diseases. Terrorism is more dangerous than mad cow disease, since the madness of terrorism we are witnessing today in Iraq will surely reach the shores of other countries soon.
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