Criticizing extremism more important than condemning terrorism

Following the Nice terror attack the social media networks witnessed an expected rise in the general rhetoric that accompany terrorist operations. Individuals and organizations all over the world condemned the carnage, which was only understandable.

It is obvious that one can either condemn terror or stand by it, which suggests that those who are not against terrorism seem to side with it. Irrespective of the varying degrees of condemnation, we find that criticizing extremist ideas is more important than criticizing terrorism itself.

Terrorism is a matter related to security because it is the product and manifestation of extremism. Ideas germinate before they are executed and it is better to criticize these ideas before criticizing terrorist operations. I reckon, extremism hasn’t been suppressed or confronted as it should.

Incessant condemnation of extremist ideas, and finding ways to tackle it via different platforms, should be the most significant step societies must take if they want to challenge the scourge of terrorism. A society that adopts a soft approach on extremism cannot survive the fire of terrorism, violence and massacres.

A society that adopts a soft approach on extremism cannot survive the fire of terrorism, violence and massacres

Turki Aldakhil

The root cause

Criticizing terrorism doesn’t suffice as an act of courage if we continue to sympathize with extremism. It will be akin to providing lip service and not taking adequate measures to address the root causes of terrorism.

We wish that the messages of condemnation that have poured over Nice attack are expressed with the same vigour as those condemning extremist ideologies, which leads to terrorism.

Readers might wonder why it is easy to criticize terrorism and why it is not the same with extremist ideologies. But the moot point is can they fight terrorism while they encourage extremism?

This article was first published in Okaz on July 21, 2016.
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Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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