Following the recent attack in the heart of Barcelona, most world leaders reignited the subject about Islamist terror. They have been talking about this subject for ages now, without coming up with a clear solution to this huge problem. Despite the fact that 16 years after the 9/11 massacre in the United States have passed and incidents of terrorism have increased across the globe, especially in Europe, political leaders seem unable to come to terms with this phenomenon.
Why these attacks? How much is religion involved in jihadist terrorism, or psychology, or politics? Why all this confusion?
The core of this confusion is precisely that politicians are unclear about the true meaning of Islam; how it affects the Islamic breed and how it is related to violence carried out in its name.
The murderers who commit these acts are inflamed by a version of an Islamist ideology. They govern themselves according to certain interpretations of the Quran. Assertions that Islamist terrorism has nothing to do with Islam are as nonsensical as claims that the Crusades had nothing to do with Christian beliefs about the sanctity of Jerusalem.
One fact is clear though: terrorism emerges from a psychic state. This turns into a grievance, the belief that some external enemy is the only cause of their injuries, rather than some internal weakness. Terrorists are sad losers, obliterating themselves for the sake of revenge.
It is about time that political leaders of various democratic nations act on terrorism with a sense of urgency, with courage, and with determination. Jos Edmond Zarb Birkirkara