It’s vi­tal to find the root cause of ter­ror­ism

China Daily (Canada) - - VIEWS -

The at­tack in Lower Man­hat­tan on Tues­day that killed eight peo­ple and in­jured 11 was a ruth­less at­tack against in­no­cent civil­ians and de­serves the strong­est con­dem­na­tion.

The sus­pect, 29-year-old Say­fullo Saipov, drove a rented pickup truck and mowed peo­ple down on a bike path along the Hud­son River.

Saipov, who came legally to the US from Uzbek­istan in 2010, was found to be­lieve in ISIS ide­ol­ogy. When ques­tioned by in­ves­ti­ga­tors, he has shown no re­morse for the at­tack and was al­most boast­ful about it.

Amer­i­cans have shown their courage of not giv­ing in or be­ing de­terred in the face of the at­tack. The Hal­loween pa­rade in Man­hat­tan on Tues­day night went on as sched­uled, with a large crowd. The New York City Marathon on Sun­day will still be held.

How­ever, some talk­ing heads on US ca­ble news sta­tions have kept say­ing how the US should in­crease the vet­ting process of im­mi­grants and even shut the door on cer­tain coun­tries. Some have re­vived Mus­lim-pho­bia since Saipov shouted “Al­lahu ak­bar,” Ara­bic for “God is great” after flee­ing his truck and be­fore be­ing shot by po­lice.

It might be too early to talk about the root cause of such ter­ror at­tacks since many Amer­i­cans are still in trauma. But with­out find­ing the real cause, it is im­pos­si­ble to come up with cor­rect and ef­fec­tive poli­cies.

Far too of­ten, US politi­cians have an easy an­swer by say­ing “they hate our way of life, our free­dom, democ­racy and suc­cess.” This has not helped solve the prob­lem as ter­ror­ism has be­come an ever more threat to the US and many other coun­tries.

What is sur­pris­ing is that no one seems to think that US do­mes­tic and for­eign poli­cies may con­trib­ute to the rise of such ter­ror­ist ac­tion.

For ex­am­ple, the US in­va­sion of Iraq and Afghanistan has re­sulted in the loss of count­less civil­ian lives and turned the two coun­tries into chaos. The ram­pant US drone strikes from Pak­istan and Libya to Ye­men and So­ma­lia have caused many civil­ian ca­su­al­ties and have long been cited as a re­cruit­ment tool for ex­trem­ist groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda.

The tor­ture of pris­on­ers at Abu Ghraib and the il­le­gal de­ten­tion at Guan­tanamo are ex­am­ples of how the US dis­re­gards in­ter­na­tional laws de­spite its con­stant preach­ing to other coun­tries.

For years, the Pew Cen­ter sur­veys have found a low pub­lic fa­vor­a­bil­ity for the US in the Mid­dle East and North Africa, a re­flec­tion of an­tiAmer­i­can­ism in re­gions where the US had flexed its mus­cle.

The US fa­vor­a­bil­ity is only 15 per­cent in Jor­dan, 18 per­cent in Turkey and 27 per­cent in Tu­nisia, ac­cord­ing to a Pew sur­vey re­leased in Au­gust.

Some US do­mes­tic poli­cies may also have alien­ated the Mus­lim com­mu­nity. Cer­tain ac­tions and rhetoric, whether from the gov­ern­ment or just talk­ing heads on TV, have re­in­forced the idea that the US is at war with the Mus­lim world.

Sarah Lyons-Padilla of Stan­ford Univer­sity and Michele Gelfand of Univer­sity of Mary­land con­ducted some re­search two years ago and found in­te­gra­tion of Mus­lim im­mi­grants, rather than iso­lat­ing them, is crit­i­cal to fight­ing home-grown rad­i­cal­iza­tion. They said anti-im­mi­grant dis­course is likely to fuel support for ex­trem­ism rather than squelch it.

China and the US have deep­ened their coun­tert­er­ror­ism co­op­er­a­tion in the past years, but the US still holds double stan­dards in defin­ing ter­ror­ism in other coun­tries even their tar­gets are in­no­cent civil­ians.

The Tues­day at­tack in Man­hat­tan is a tragedy. But fight­ing ter­ror­ism re­quires do­mes­tic and for­eign poli­cies for­mu­lated on sound anal­y­sis, not rhetoric that only sounds po­lit­i­cally cor­rect.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.