The Threat of Terrorism

Terrorism, regardless of any judgment or perspective from which we try to find its roots and conceptions, has become a serious threat to the world security and peace. Terrorism acts to achieve any goals, demands or specifically – political ends, have a long historical background. What have changed are the new methods and mechanisms being used for executing such violent acts. Terrorism, in our contemporary time, may have been successful in achieving some political achievements but comparing with the costs it has imposed, the achievements are not so significant. Today, the international consensus is stressing that the terrorizing and violent methods are not inherently capable of achieving such goals as democracy and justice in societies. Terrorist groups, as is widely accepted by all, are themselves a product of unjust relations and interactions. During some periods of history violent acts may have been the inevitable solution for resolving the ruling political parties’ stalemates, and in a broader scale in the international affairs. The increase in the number of armed groups during the 19th century was mostly the result of Marxism movements or as a response to this cause (the political stalemates). However, the relative change in the international structures and in-compensable costs, from one hand, and the use of violent acts by opportunist groups and anarchists, on the other hand, ultimately are some proofs for their ineffectiveness.  Why, in fact, have the terrorism and violent methods been so greatly challenged, criticized and hated in our time? It seems that the main problem of these methods, regardless of their dangers for the general public and innocent lives, lies within that part of society that under the effect of such acts reach a self-alienating state. Terrorism converts its victims into people who are unable to see their surrounding world in no other way than wrath and violence. In fact, terrorism acts are not just used as a means for attaining their rightful rights or their political party’s demands, but becomes an ideology. The real threat of terrorism rests in the application of this ideology over all social interactions and its introduction to the spiritual life of the society. To better understand the depth of the problem, we first need to arrive at a more realistic understanding of the terrorism, and the knowledge of the mechanisms, interactions, and pedagogies used among the terrorist groups. What are the moral bases and principles among the terrorist groups? And finally, to what extent those who join such groups have a clear idea and understanding of the goals and strategies of terrorism? There is no doubt that those who are drawn into the terrorist groups based on even some legitimate grounds, do this originally because of being endowed with some adventure-seeking spirit. This mechanism, through some internal group interactions, turns a person into such being that is not even slightly comparable to the one who first joined the group. By calling the person a revolutionist, after a period of training for terrorist operations, they turn the person into a compulsive and in some cases into an ideologist person. He practically becomes a new person by joining a terrorist group; a new person who can now do things he could not do before. He not only morally and mentally but also psychologically becomes a different person. Terrorism ideologists and theorists, as part of their social revolution doctrine, assess their success in terms of the level of the violence and expansion of it over all social realms. According to these ideologists, the more widespread the violence is the more successful are the revolutionary groups. To them, the human creativity and talents must be put into work to create political stalemate. They use this method to tie the society’s destiny to those of theirs and turn the whole society into militarized and security factions. In such conditions, the passive substances in society will also be forced to join one of these fighting fronts, political parties or terrorist groups. A. Kavehpur-February 14, 2008

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