January 8, 2015

Today’s Zaman: Nothing can justify terrorism

Everyone has witnessed once again that violence is not specific to any religion, language, nationality or region.

A police officer was killed in a suicide attack at the Police Department's Tourism Branch Directorate in İstanbul's historic Sultanahmet quarter on Tuesday. On Wednesday, 30 people were killed when a car bomb exploded outside a police academy in Sana'a, the Yemeni capital. While shock over these attacks was still reverberating, reports of a deadly attack on the Paris-based weekly satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo came. Twelve people, including 10 journalists and two police officers, were slaughtered in the attack. We see this heinous incident as one of the bloodiest attacks on freedom of information around the world. Unfortunately, journalists are targeted not only by governments but also by terrorist organizations.

The attack on Charlie Hebdo that left 10 journalists dead is a crime against humanity and no rationalization can be offered for it. It is an assault on the right to life as well as on freedom of the press and freedom of expression. Ideas cannot be suppressed with violence. When violence steps in, freedom of the press and other fundamental rights and freedoms melt away. No individual can be free when there is no freedom of the press. In such a situation, humanity's common values and peace are lost. It is high time that governments and the international community strengthen their position against violence and address their failure to promote peace. Violence is on the rise, but the messages that contribute to peace remain feeble.

Today, societies, groups, governments and international organizations that believe in peace, democracy and freedom must raise a more powerful voice. Humanity is being crushed under hate crimes, xenophobia and violence, and world peace can only be enforced by winning a victory against them. Violence cannot be curtailed if it is not condemned with no strings attached.

All Muslims around the world, but particularly those living in Europe, must be the first to condemn this barbaric attack that was allegedly undertaken to vindicate the unacceptable cartoons about the Prophet of Islam. Anyone who professes the Islamic faith should emphatically condemn violence against, and the brutal killing of, those who adopt diverse lifestyles.

Peace is essential and everyone needs peace.

Published on Today's Zaman, 08 January 2015, Thursday