How to Stop Islamic Terrorism?

How do we stop terrorism from Muslim extremists? I feel compelled to write about this for the obvious reason that almost weekly we are reading about terrorist attacks in Europe. People are becoming really concerned. Ordinary people on the streets of any European country are quite possibly worried when they go outside. They may be looking for unusual behaviour. They may be nervous. Some may not care at all but in general the mood is one of apprehension amongst millions of people. And that apprehension is justified.

The point is this, we cannot go on as we are. The West, it is argued, has played a large part in creating this terrorism. It is said we are reaping what we have sowed.

We have to look forward. We have to do something differently. I do not believe that we can simply fight our way out of this war. It is a war. A different kind of war. It could be argued that it is the third world war.

Conventional wars you can fight to victory. This is not a conventional war. We are fighting an ideology. Killing people will not prevent that ideology. Killing people does not kill the ideology. In fact it can make it stronger.

There are two possible ways to stop the terrorism or at least minimise it. The first idea is to rewrite the Koran. Senior clerics, Imams or any other senior person within the Islamic faith should get together and modernise the Koran. The Koran was written centuries ago and its language is suitable to its time but references to violence in it are no longer applicable in the 21st-century. The violence referred to in the Koran when construing literally encourages violence in young disaffected men in the 21st-century. It justifies their violence.

I see no reason why senior clerics cannot provide a fresh translation of the Koran using modern terminology, clarifying its contents and removing references to violence. The rewritten, retranslated Koran should promote the true values of the Islamic faith in 21st-century. I believe that this would help to reduce terrorism because young disaffected men could no longer justify their killing by reference to the Koran. In addition it would provide a strong statement from senior individuals in the Islamic faith that violence is not part of the faith.

Secondly, despite the fact that we are dealing with terrorists and the motto is that one should never negotiate with terrorists, it is time to negotiate with them. We have to see whether we can give them what they want in the interests of our sanity and in the interests of people's lives. It is time for a radical review on how we deal with this terrorism which is becoming a way of life in the West.

Twenty years ago it would have been a massive shock if just one of these acts of terrorism had occurred. Nowadays we brush it aside as just another mass killing and we are getting used to it.

This is dangerous. We have to talk with the terrorists, find out what they want and if we can give it to them (if they know what it is) or a compromised version of it. At least entering into discussions may defuse the situation. We need to start thinking laterally. Carrying on as we are is not an option unless we are willing to accept a constant drip-drip of killings and shattered families.

That sounds like a weakness but I think it takes a lot of strength to do that. If their demands are impossible to meet then we would have no option other than to fight them. But the fight will be very long. The fight will take place over many generations and it truly will become a way of life for our children and their children.


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