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Tackling discontent could help turn tide of terror

Published 24/11/2015

Movements such as Isis, al-Qaida, Hezbollah and Boko Haram emerge out of situations of socio-political inequality, deprivation and dissatisfaction, which develop or are created.

Legitimate and peaceful requests, demands and movements for change get hijacked by violent extremists, often backed and perhaps instigated by foreign governments and multinational companies with vested or projected interests in the region.

Convenient ideologies, such as religion and nationalism, are harnessed to gain wider support. Focus is thus distracted from the underlying cause of unrest on to the popular ideology.

In the current Middle East situation focus is pointed towards Islam instead of towards the socio-political structure of the Middle East, which evolved, or was created, following the two World Wars. Nazism emerged from the humiliation of Germany's defeat in the First World War.

In Northern Ireland the IRA campaign emerged from the situation of discrimination and inequality following the partition of Ireland. The legitimate and peaceful civil rights movement was hijacked by the Provisional IRA. Funding and support came from abroad - as it also did for the violent reaction from loyalist paramilitary groups.

The lesson to be learned from terrorist atrocities is that such violence will continue until the underlying causes of discontent are addressed and rectified and will recur unless such causes are foreseen and ameliorated.

To this end foreign national and multinational vested interests must be restrained or constrained and redirected towards the worldwide common good.

I wonder: are we all vicariously responsible for the phenomena of Isis, al-Qaida, Hezbollah, Boko Haram, Nazism, fascism, IRA, INLA, UVF, UDA, UFF etc?


Strabane, Co Tyrone

Belfast Telegraph

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