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Promoting peace in Arab world should be a priority

World leaders should strive to offer peaceful and objective solutions to the bloody conflicts that are raging in the Arab and Muslim world

Samar Fatany

Published: Updated:

The Arab world celebrates the New Year amid a state of violence, conflicts and wars that have taken the lives of innocent women and children and left millions at the mercy of sectarianism, terrorism and politicians with selfish agendas and along with this the plight of Palestinians continues to remain unresolved.

Arab leaders have an obligation to promote unity and cohesion between the countries of the Arab world.

Sectarianism and sedition have ruined the peace and harmony of Arab societies. The vicious campaign of violence and barbaric beheadings by “Daesh,” the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and other terrorist organizations has dominated the Arab arena for the past year. The bloodshed continues and the threat remains very real.

Meanwhile, the extremists among us continue to adopt an aggressive attitude and give themselves the liberty to use violence and hostile language when people disagree with their views.

They label anyone who does not conform to their rigid lifestyle as un-Islamic and as an enemy of the state.

They use intellectual classifications to create division in society and deliberately distort Islamic teachings of tolerance and compassion to cause a rift between Muslim countries and the West.

Extremists have hijacked all religions and have created a troubled world that is threatened by warmongers.

Unfortunately, Arab leaders today remain weak and their unanimous condemnation of all forms of terrorism has failed to rally enough support.

Terrorists have succeeded in justifying their terrorist acts. They continue to recruit gullible individuals who are disgruntled over injustices and the negative status quo that they reject.

World leaders should strive to offer peaceful and objective solutions to the bloody conflicts that are raging in the Arab and Muslim world. Violence and military solutions should never be an option in any conflict.

There are many diplomatic and peaceful solutions that could be explored to bring back peace and harmony to the region.

Arabs and all Muslims today need to spread the mission of peace and stand united to confront the global menace of violence that does not represent the majority of peace-loving Arabs and Muslims across the globe.

Arabs and all Muslims today need to spread the mission of peace and stand united to confront the global menace of violence.

Samar Fatany

Leaders, scholars, researchers and people of conscience from all over the world should not give up their quest to expose and isolate the terrorists who are responsible for bloodshed and wars.

There are many organizations today that focus on ways and means of coordinating the efforts to educate people of different cultures and religions on the importance of dialogue.

They strive to eliminate the obstacles of mistrust and suspicion that threaten world peace and stability.

It is crucial to find an alternative to the smear campaign that portrays all Muslims as terrorists and a threat to humanity.

It is sad how the campaign that is based on the principle of collective guilt has created a wider conflict and widened the suspicions and mistrust of many Arabs and Muslims and has become an obstacle to peace and harmony in the world.

Hopefully, the new approach of reputable television networks and websites can educate the misinformed about the different cultures and different religions in the world.

A Muslim consensus could also make a huge difference. It could inspire hope for the ideal Islamic community.

A Muslim consensus could ... inspire hope for the ideal Islamic community

Samar Fatany

Muslim propagators of peace are urged to coordinate their efforts and influence tolerance, harmony and global coexistence especially among the youth.

The hardline position of some leaders in the Arab world and the inability to accept criticism is a dangerous phenomenon. They pay lip service to young people’s demands and they trivialize their interaction with the young minds.

Today social media in the Arab and Muslim world has been instrumental in bringing people together around social causes and political campaigns, boosting civic participation, creating a forum for debate and interaction between governments and their communities.

Unfortunately, it has also been exploited by the propagators of a deviant ideology that continues to threaten global peace, unity, social harmony and economic growth.

Therefore, it is critical at this stage to encourage a more constructive and peaceful debate within social media and to positively engage the younger generation.

Peace is compromised when governments and world leaders act against the will of the people. Today young bloggers and Facebook users represent a new generation that is well aware of world politics and international affairs.

They are more outspoken in criticizing the injustices and negative policies that stand against public interests or a peaceful way of life.

We must not underestimate the increasing power of social media and its capacity to mobilize hundreds of advocates of peace at any given time.

Prominent personalities and religious scholars from the Western and Islamic world have a responsibility to rally support for Palestine and for the youth and the misinformed who have lost their direction and sense of right and wrong.

May the New Year usher in world peace and bring glad tidings that can end conflicts and wars. Amen.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015.

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Samar Fatany is a Chief Broadcaster in the English section at Jeddah Broadcasting Station. Over the past 28 years, she has introduced many news, cultural, and religious programs and has conducted several interviews with official delegations and prominent political personalities visiting the kingdom. Fatany has made significant contributions in the fields of public relations and social awareness in Saudi Arabia and has been involved in activities aiming at fighting extremism and enhancing women’s role in serving society. She has published three books: “Saudi Perceptions & Western Misconceptions,” “Saudi Women towards a new era” and “Saudi Challenges & Reforms.”

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.