Collective action to change confrontational course critical

Many people around the world remain skeptical about the role of the UN to serve humanity and to achieve global prosperity

Samar Fatany

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Many people around the world remain skeptical about the role of the United Nations to serve humanity and to achieve global prosperity. World leaders gathered at the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 12, 2016 to address global terrorism and pledge billions in aid to tackle the refugee crises, instability and economic security.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon in his address strongly criticized the involved forces in Syria who have blood on their hands. “Present in this hall today are representatives of governments that have ignored, facilitated, funded, participated in or even planned and carried out atrocities inflicted by all sides of the Syria conflict against Syrian civilians,” he said.

The continued double standard of Western policies towards the region is what is fueling the sectarian conflicts and civil unrest in the region. World leaders are called upon to mobilize a stronger and more cohesive global front to confront the extremists and warmongers who are the real enemies of peace.

Sectarian conflicts are fueling the endless civil wars in the region. In Iraq, Libya, Yemen the bloodshed continues and the world watches while arms dealers make money at the cost of innocent lives. Destruction of homes and killing of hundreds is a result of this global apathy. Then collateral damage is legitimized and heartless religious extremists turn a blind eye to the atrocities on the ground.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef emphasized the need for more efforts to solve the regional conflicts through preemptive diplomatic means to stem the crises and stop them from turning into military conflicts that bring forth humanitarian disasters.

He reiterated that the Kingdom would continue carrying out its humanitarian, political and economic role, and realizing its responsibility to promote moderation and justice, which are the concepts that form the basic tenets for the Kingdom’s interaction with the global community.

The injustice against the Palestinian people, the global rise of Islamaphobia, the proxy wars in Syria and the rest of the region, extremism and sectarianism are all issues that feed terrorist organizations

Samar Fatany

Injustice and proxy wars

The injustice against the Palestinian people, the global rise of Islamaphobia, the proxy wars in Syria and the rest of the region, extremism and sectarianism are all issues that feed terrorist organizations.

President Obama in his address called for greater integration between nations. “We can choose to press forward with a better model of cooperation and integration or we can retreat into a world sharply divided and ultimately in conflict along age-old lines of nation and tribe and race and religion. I want to suggest to you today that we must go forward and not back.”

These are beautiful words. However, without a more serious commitment to find solutions and provide relief to the innocent civilians who are suffering and dying of hunger, disease and war machines the hostilities and the regional conflicts will continue.

Andrej Kiska, the president of the Slovak Republic addressed the danger of “extremism and intolerance”, he said, “There is a real danger in the rise of nationalism, extremism, intolerance in many parts of the world. I am certain responsible leaders need to address these dark moods in our society. Because they are the enemy of mankind.

“One of our most obvious duties is to provide for peace and development. However, we are witnessing the largest crises of displacement since World War II.” He said UN member states needed to remain strong in their values. “We need to stop growing anger, prejudice and hostility to different races and religions.”

So far the ongoing war against terrorism and extremism may have promoted moderate rhetoric, however, it has not succeeded to put a stop to the radicalization and the spread of un-Islamic militant ideology. Opinion leaders continue to urge religious scholars in the region to create a spirit of solidarity rather than fuel further hate with inflammatory accusations.

Bold and moderate scholars like Sheikh Mohammed Shaltout, the former Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, who encouraged harmonious interactions between Sunnis and Shiites are rejected for their moderate approach. Many sectarian scholars including Yousef Al-Karadawi, chairperson of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, have rejected his Fatwa validating the Shiite doctrine.

Today fear and anger dominate our discourse. Humanity continues to be threatened by the forces of violence, revenge, hate and greed leaving no room for peace, love, mercy and compassion. Global coexistence is the only way forward. A global collective action to change the existing confrontational course is critical.

World leaders continue to give false promises to address the global challenges. However, they should realize that it will be impossible to put an end to global terrorism and curb the radicalization of the region without finding a just solution to major regional conflicts. It is time they give up their selfish designs for world peace and the common good for all mankind.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on Sept. 24, 2016.
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.