But do individuals, families, communities and their leaders, religious groups and their leaders, and society in general also have a role to play? “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it” says in Proverbs 22:6 of the holy bible. All persons who have been radicalized belong to families, communities, and have nationalities. They have or at least had friends in the societies they emerged from prior to their radicalization. At individual and community levels, we may have a role to play in their “unradicalization” and thinking of helping these persons rather than casting them out only to realize sooner or later that they are coming for our lives.
Can nations do more in ending terrorism? Isn’t it time we began thinking prevention rather than cure? Poverty is undeniably a major driving force for the extremist agenda. When people become desperate, hopeless and purposeless, they tend to be easily malleable to identify with some purpose or course whether good or bad. National leaders have the responsibility to create the enabling national space where economic activities thrive permeating the lives of its citizens and dwellers. Is it true that unnecessary interference in the affairs of other nations and bad foreign policies do not have a bearing on terrorist activities? I do not think it is true. In as much as the world needs reasonable policing to protect lives and resources, certain invasions of other nations have clearly been carried out on the wrong pretext or even if justifiable without the adequate think-through that something as phenomenal as a military intervention in another country deserves. The military activities of the United States and Europe in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya and their contributions to terrorism are fresh testaments to the symbiosis between western invasions of other nations and terror. More remains to be desired of the United Nations in checking some of these indefensible crackdown on other regimes. Clearly, we need to return to the drawing board and accurately assess the true cause and cost of terrorism, then we can more correctly determine strategies for its resolution.
Can we all see our contributions to the causes of terrorism and responsibility to be part of the solution? I hope we do, we have to, because no more life deserves to disappear this way.