Terrorists threaten humanity
FOTINI PIPILI - Member of Greek Parliament, JournalistWe are in the middle of the so-called New Economy. Here, in our region, we are all shocked at the threats posed by the terrorist group known as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which has been wreaking death and destruction throughout Iraq and Syria. Its rapid and cruel advances in the Middle East have transformed the serious issue of steadily increasing persecution of religious and ethnic communities into a full-scale lethal onslaught.
Thousands of people have been killed and millions have been displaced. Hundreds of historical monuments have been destroyed. The “Islamic State’s” barbarity has led to acts of inhumanity on an unimaginable scale! Besides, the terrorists seem to control oilfields in Syria and export about 10,000 barrels of oil per day. Additionally, they sell off antiquities from historical sites across the region. In other words, the ISIL seems able to sustain itself. According to the estimation of Professor Neumann from London’s King’s College, this group could have money and assets ranging anywhere from 900 million to 2 billion dollars. Perhaps of more concern is their claim to have at their disposal thousands of aggressive young fighters (boys and girls) from other places of the world and especially the Western Europe. The extremist ideological stance of this group seems to have had a marked appeal here, in Turkey, too.
The International Community has tried to respond adequately to this humanitarian catastrophe, but unfortunately we were all relatively slow to react to the Islamic State’s voracious advances and we were reluctant to intervene. As a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe until recently I am proud that our organization was the first to talk about these atrocities and to ask the International Community to protect the minorities in the Middle East. My Greek colleague Dora Bakoyiannis, former Foreign Minister of Greece and currently Chairperson of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy at the Council of Europe, was the first to conduct a thorough report on the tragic humanitarian consequences in the region.
We are obliged to work hard in order to construct a solid road to peace and to promote humanity. The atrocities in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean are incompatible with democracy and human values. Furthermore, they are incompatible with the old tradition of tolerance, interaction, respect and co-existence of Christians, Muslims and Jews. Mutual respect is not just a request, it is a permanent demand of the modern society. It should not be forgotten however that political pressure and social inequality when combined with the poverty of people provides the perfect excuse for the birth of such phenomena.
Three issues to focus on
In my opinion we have to focus on three things:
First of all the question of violence: Unfortunately in the past Western Societies did not attach the relevant importance to the emergence, existence and influence of violence portrayed on television programs, in films at the cinema and in games for children, when they should have done. It is not by the chance that bullying at all levels has come to fore as a present day issue in need of a solution. We should pay more attention to the activities. friends and acquaintances of our young people and children through better teacher / parent observation in order to reduce the possibilities of enthusiastic youth “mobilization” moving to join IS without realizing exactly what this actually means.
Secondly we should endeavor to ensure people’s awareness concerning the fact that in the past all religions have committed horrendous crimes against their fellow human beings and as history has subsequently proved, the issue of religion was simply the façade behind which lay the real motives of greed, power and conquest!
Thirdly if stringent economic inspections and controls of IS funds were enforced at source and monitored transactionally internationally it would be possible to considerably restrict fundamentalist activity.
We must all learn to be humble and to respect others.
We must all build a society in which each individual has his own place and lives according to his beliefs. If we want to protect humanity’s achievements, if we want to protect our children, we have to build a society where we will not only live together but we will live together in peace and harmony.
It is time to act!