Monday, July 25, 2005

Unrelenting Terror

Terrorism reared its ugly and destructive head again in Egypt's Sharm-el Sheik yesterday. Again, the target is where western tourists congregate. Again, the majority who died are not the western tourists, but the innocent locals who are just trying to earn an honest day's living. Again, its the Al-Queida organisation or group affiliated to it that is claiming responsibility. In July alone, they have bombed and killed in London twice and now the third time in Egypt. Where next? I can understand the heightened state of alert everywhere. Singapore will be no exception as it has been firmly behind the US in its war on terror.

Don't these terrorists know that for every person you murder, someone else would have lost a father, a mother, a brother, a sister, grandson or grand daughter? That a source of income and livelihood is lost and life is adversely affected? Yes, you might want to hasten your journey to heaven, but there are still people on earth who want and need to live. Can a heaven-bound journey be certain if the means are through murderous death and destruction?

On a similar note, it is interesting that the US government is now stressing that the war of terror must be fought along the hearts and minds of people. This is the same way that communism in Singapore and Malaysia was defeated in the 1950s - 1970s. It had to take 20 years or thereabouts to resolve the problem with the communists. It will probably take just as long to eliminate the terrrorists acting in the name of Islam.

This war on the hearts and minds must involve the Muslim nations, who eventually hold sway. If sanctuary is denied, if sympathy is witheld, if weapons are siezed, it will go a long way. But more than bombs, if youth are put onto the right path, to see terrorism for what it is, if they can be given opportunities away from such destructive missions in life, it can go a long way to eradicating this modern scourge. That is the responsibility of the teachers, the community and the family.

Can hate persist for long? Can killing become a way of life? Does suicide achieve anything? Will murderers go to heaven? The answers are obvious.

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