Global peace in the face of unspeakable terror seems to be a hard nut to crack. The world is painted red with blood, from the French capital Paris to Kenya’s border side Garissa town. Mali’s attack adds to the list of terrorism victims who paid the price of wars that they seldom understand, with their blood, sorry their dear life. All these events obviously make global calm just but fantastical wait in the universe. Dear readers, have you imagined a world that has no terrorism at all? That the suspicion between Christian and Muslim communities are just but things of the past? I think we are still miles away from global situation characterized by zero terrorism incidences. Nonetheless, I refuse to be labelled a cynic based on my assertion. I have reasons why fighting terror hits a brick wall more times than not. Here they are:
Muslim Community “Comfort Zone”
Terror has lived with us for quite some long time now. Every time terrorists strike, they claim responsibility and are quick to laud their efforts of killing innocent people for what most of them term as “religious purposes”. Most terrorists claim to be having strong religious views. In defending their actions, they always justify and tie them to their ‘divine obligation’ to defend their faith. According to the arguments of terrorists, their terrorist acts are their pathway to transition to the undisputed glory. When they use Islam religion to justify their actions, some Muslims come up with counter arguments that they do not share same sentiments with the terrorists. For instance; after the massacre of hundreds of innocent people, they will call press conference and talk to handful of reporters and call it a day. The first reason why terrorism will still bite is that terrorists claim to be executing their actions with the full backing of Islam. On the flipside, the Muslim community is yet to come up with a global campaign that is aimed at denouncing terrorism and explaining the stance of the global Muslim community. When these attacks take place, many people would expect the Muslim community to say “enough with the misuse and abuse of our religion. It is time to explain to the world that our values do not support terror”. But with the deafening silence, terror is bound to continue.
Money came in to facilitate transactions. Goods and services can be sought and given and valuated on the basis of money. That the world predominantly embraces capitalist ideology is not strange. Everyone is looking for money. It may not matter any channel that one has to follow to get that money. After all, don’t you think the ‘dirtiest’ business is highly prized and pays more? Arms trade, human trafficking, drugs, oil business to the trade in ivory that has threatened Kenya’s national heritage with collapse have huge sums of revenue attached to them. Owing to the fact that they are illegal makes them even more ‘precious and valuable’ to those who participate in them. Terrorism is rapidly going the same root. But unlike the other illegal businesses which are based on “businesses” which involve transactions, terrorism involves personal pledges during the subscription to some particular thinking. Terror groups pledge huge sums of money to their targeted recruits. So irresistible that young boys and girls consciously seek for these militants to join them. Whether they eventually get these promises fulfilled is something that remains on the mystery mode. But when the pursuit of money takes shape, the fight against terror becomes so cumbersome for the anti-terror officers and governments. An indication of how corruption can fuel terrorism can be supported by the allegation that surfaced after Nairobi’s Westgate attack where over 140 people were massacred. Allegation was that the wanted British terror suspect Samantha Leithwhite once bribed the Kenyan police for her freedom when she was arrested in Kenya.
Terrorists’ grasp of new technologies and vast information sources
Ever heard of the grapevines about the ISIS or Alqaeda released tapes? Where they issue all manner of threats and claim responsibility for the heinous terrorist attacks on the humanity. This is what I mean. Terrorists are human, they are educated like any other academic you could meet in the streets or the offices within the cities. For instance, Somalia-based terror group, Alshaabab have an active twitter handle which they have used to claim responsibility for the attacks on Kenyan soil. When these terror groups recruit individuals, they do so with their eyes on the society’s elites. They select those who can possibly help them with ideas on how they can get information easily, and sensitive information for that matter. Such people can only be found in the higher learning institutions. Allow my assertion that the road to winning a war is through the use of propaganda. The videos that we meet in our social media pages like Facebook.com, Twitter and many more from the terrorist groups are meant to send panic. These groups have mastered the art of initiating and sending panic on humanity. Quite, funnily, they use the technological platform so that all those subscribing to such technological platforms will stumble on them. What complicates the fight here is that governments grapple with the bid to seal the videos to avert panic, or even stopping them from accessing these technological platforms. Cyber terrorism is also perpetrated by the same terror groups.
“Vulnerable Common man at risk”
Most terrorist activities are founded on religious grounds. But at the moment, there are confusions because terrorists tie their actions to their spirited fight of ‘protecting and fighting for their faiths’. In fact, this forms the fountain of conception the term “Jihad”. Though Jihad seems to be endorsed by the ordinary and non-radical Muslims, they have never offered explanations of instances having Jihad or whether they have happened and justified in history. On the other hand, extremist groups which comprise the terrorist groups have justified their actions as pure Jihad. But what happens dear friends? The groups that suffer so much are the non-Muslims. They do not suffer because they are fighting the terrorist groups but they fall under the opposing faiths that the extremists seek to oppose and persecute. It is the common person on the ground that bear the utmost weight of terrorist activities. For instance, when terrorists hit local markets like Alshaabab hit Nairobi’s Gikomba market, would we expect a Kenyan minister’s spouse to die in the incident? May be distant relatives will. By assumption, if terrorists kill a prominent person, the country would be sent into panic and the fight against terror would be much more intensified. When the elite ruling class feel more endangered, they will concentrate on the fight. In a nutshell, when the ‘common’ citizens bear responsibility, fight against terror will be so ordinary.
Education is not helping in the fight
I think that the debate on whether terrorism is an art of war or just induction of panic is set to continue. To the extremists, terror appears like a tradition or a fulfillment that they have to fulfill in the bid to retaliate and “protect their faith”. However barbaric it seems to be. When people gain educational excellence and get enlightened, some begin to question their religious beliefs. As a result of education, scientists have framed up theoretical explanations that delinks the Supreme Being with existence and reality. Therefore educational scholars from those communities that have been frequented with terror incidents would be expected to do the same. To explain in theoretical framework why terror would never be an edifice of religious doctrine. Forgive me if I purport that one can question his or her religious values. But the fact that terrorism has religious root but the connection with it to spiritualism has never been questioned is even baffling. With no educational progression in the fight against terror, the whole affair becomes even more complicated. Alshaabab for instance have been alleged to be recruiting young fresh university graduates from Kenya, most of them from Somali community. One would wonder what really drives an ambitious young man into joining terror groups whose main aim is killing the opponent and getting killed. When religious indoctrination runs deeper than educational logic and reasoning, then obviously, the fight against terror shall live with a blip.
Perpetrators are unpredictable
The most unique aspect of terrorism is that it can only be thought of but never anticipated. Albeit they issue warnings prior to the attacks such as the recent Paris attack, or the Westgate massacre, but one can never get the math right on when they are to strike. This is a crime that perpetrators peg on unpredictability. It thrives both on violence and uncertainty. Not only is the timing of the attacks that is unpredictable but also the perpetrators. Perhaps, this is the problem Kenya faces in the fight against terrorism. Not only Muslims or people of Somali origin are used.