Harmful intent - GulfToday

The risks posed by fanatical ideology are chilling

NZ-Flower

Flowers at a memorial site.

I am deeply saddened by the alarming rise in killings in religious places. The sanctity of places of worship is shattered repeatedly. And though the world today is strongly united against the scourge of terrorism, the dangers posed by fanatic ideology and extremism are chilling.

The mass shooting at two Christchurch mosques in New Zealand, which left a number of innocent worshippers dead and several others injured, is a grim reminder that such acts of violence are not restricted to any region or religion.

There are multiple reports highlighting that the internet could be one of the potent sources used by the perpetrators of such crimes to terrorise people and inspire others to violent ideals.

It may be true in this case, but racism, Islamophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment are on the rise.

The time has come to get radical, in a good way, in tackling the curse of terrorism.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern showed a powerful way forward. She stood by the immigrants and the grieving families. What touched me most is her statement in the aftermath of the tragedy.

She divided the chaff from the wheat. “They (immigrants) have chosen to make this their home. They are us. The person who perpetrated this is not us.”

Yes, they are not us. They can never be us. World condemnation of the act has made it amply clear that terrorists have no safe place for them on earth. When it’s ‘them’ versus ‘us’, victory belongs to us.

Ismail Zaffar / By email

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