Fighting against extremism
Fighting against extremism
The widespread condemnation of the latest string of terrorist attacks on Paris and the expression of collective outrage at them matter greatly. But by stepping up its offensive in Syria with unknown number of casualties, France is falling into the trap of responding to the provocations by the Muslim extremists. We cannot be blind to glaring global realities with religions inextricably linked with politics, lifestyle, culture and race. Samuel Huntington’s thesis about the “clash of civilizations” seems to gain currency in the present global context. A simplistic reading of issues involved gets us nowhere. The conflict between the West and the Islamic world with a strong religious dimension cannot be viewed in reductionist terms as ‘a battle between good and evil’. The West cannot ask us where we stand or want us to line up behind it when its foreign policy is based on the principle that ‘might is right’ and its exclusive economic interest. We cannot be faulted if we discern a link between the terrorist attacks and the West’s military interventions in the world’s oil-rich regions. One thing on which we can all agree is that both wars and terrorist acts disregard the sanctity of human life and assault our sense of humanity. No doubt the surviving perpetrators of the astonishing attacks must be brought to justice. But then the powers that marshal their military prowess in Syria and other war-ravaged countries too must be held to account. The West must shelve its policy of pursuing ‘robust military action’ involving innocent causalities and agree for major policy changes for a more equitable world order. The West extends unqualified support to Israel and maintains Saudi Arabia as a vassal state to suit its convenience and its rapacity explains its disproportionate consumption of the world’s natural resources, mainly oil. This should change to mitigate hostility and close down supplies of terrorism. On their part, the Muslims have to voice their opposition to the ruthless ways of the single-minded jihadists and save their faith, Islam which means “peace”.
G David Milton, Maruthancode
Tolerance levels are just fine
Apropos of the edit “Intolerance debate is good” (FE, November 17) India has exhibited exemplary tolerance by not taking any action against former Union ministers Mani Shankar Aiyar and Salman Khurshid of the Congress for their comments on the soil of Pakistan. They were all praise for the Pakistani prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, but spat fire against Indian prime minister. They projected Modi as the biggest hurdle for cordial relations between India and Pakistan! In other countries, such happenings would have been dealt with severely, and perhaps this is why politicians of other countries avoid anti-national comments in public.
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