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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Essay on Solutions to Terrorism

Some analysts say that education and poverty are not the solution to terrorism.  They cite as example, the fact that the individuals who fund terrorists are wealthy and the educated.  They explain that terrorism has continued to flourish even in the 21st Century not because of forces external to the United States.  It is not the poverty and illiteracy in Third World countries but the foreign policy of the United States that is the problem.  These policies have alienated the Muslims and the Arab countries.  They view these foreign policies as threats to the Muslims and to the Muslim countries.  For them, this is the reason why Muslims hate the United States.  

The conflict between Christians and Muslims started several centuries ago (Peter Partner, 1998).  Though hostility and violence ceased for few decades, feelings of animosity and suspicions between these two religions never stopped.  This conflict between Christianity and Islam once again reached its peak after the 9/11 attack.  Muslims were identified to be the persons responsible in the World Trade Center attack and the Pentagon attack.  It cannot be denied that religion played a significant factor in the attack (David Gartenstein-Ross, 2005). 

There are two possible reasons for this conflict.  The first is competition.  The adherents and believers of each religion think that the other religion is competing against them.  Muslims are suspicious of Christians thinking that the latter are doing ways to expand the influence of their religion.  Christians are also suspicious of Muslims thinking that the Muslims doing ways to expand the influence of Islam. 

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The second is the negative perception both religions have against another.  According to Khan, a Muslim Scholar, the actions of Christians in the West, particularly Americans, are perceived to be repressive of Muslims search for democracy.  He cites as examples the cases of Algeria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and Kuwait were the United States supported these countries to repress Islamic movements (David Smock, 2002).  These events are the reasons why Muslims have developed anti-American sentiment (Smock p.2).  On the other hand, the Christians perceive every Muslim to be a threat to the peace and security of their country in view of the small number of Muslim Extremists who advocate violence in the name of Islam. 

According to the Fred Rhodes (2004), American involvement in the Middle East, its unquestioning support for Israel despite its illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and occupation of Iraq has led the Muslims to resent the United States.

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross (2005) calls this the sphere of influence in which one religion which is dominant within a particular geographical area attempts to expand itself outside of its own geographical area while attempting to prevent the other from encroaching upon its own geographical area.  It bears stressing that Christianity is now the world’s largest faith while Islam is regarded as the world’s fastest growing religions.  It is recognized that these two religions are now the major competitors in our world today (Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, 2005).   

In order to settle these violent and terrorist attacks, Muslim scholars and leaders expressed their fear that if there will not be peace between Christianity and Islam then the survival of the world will be at stake in letter addressed to Pope Benedict the XVI (Riazat Butt and John Hooper, 2007).   In the search for peace, it is essential that the commonalities between these two religions must be established because it is only after finding a common ground then talks about peace may follow.  Thus, taking this into account, the United States should therefore take a second look at its foreign policy.  While the intention of the United States may be good in its foreign policies as it wants to protect its interest and the interest of other nations, perhaps a lesser aggressive foreign policy may ease the tension between the Christians and the Muslims.

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