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Monday, 5 June 2017

How will terrorism be defeated?

Terrorism has once again cast its evil shadow over the world. For anyone educated in a liberal democracy it is hard to comprehend the mentality of an individual intentionally seeking out innocents to murder. Or indeed of those who encourage others to do so.  It is a sad reality and a challenge to our orderly world. As we saw in London, it does not take large numbers to sow chaos. So even if the number of Islamists is small, they can, and have created disproportionate impact on our lives.

While I believe that through enlightenment and technology all the people of our small planet can achieve unprecedented standards of liberty and prosperity, it is not straight road.  Islamic terrorism threatens not only the lives of those in its direct path but it sows seeds of discontent throughout our societies.

Will society react? Of course it will! A liberal democracy is a strange organism, but an organism it is. Like our own immune system ,when faced with attack our society generates a multitude of ideas and opinions. These work to coordinate reactions by its 'cells' to attack intruders and eliminate or integrate them. It takes time and there is some damage to the organism, but it survives stronger than before.

So it is no surprise that we have a wide range of reactions to these terror attacks. In their own way each will be tried and in the end those that work will be adopted. It is hard to predict what will work, but I dare suggest that historians will attribute the solution to terrorism to have been ; -

  • increasing education and living standards particularly in the middle east
  • the free flow of information made possible by technology
  • the widespread surveillance of citizens.
I guess time will tell.

In the meantime, to all the victims and families of these evil individuals, my heartfelt condolences.

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