When the concept of war on terrorism was first introduced, advocates of this notion were of the opinion that this problem would be solved in no time through advanced weapons, while believing that they would bring democracy to the Middle East overnight. Islamic countries were their chosen targets, but no one asked Muslims for their opinions. They rained bombs on Muslim countries in the name of fighting terrorism. They tried to bring democracy by way of coups and riots. But not once did they stop and wonder what Muslims really wanted. Thus, for the same reasons that they erroneously miscalculated leading them to believe that terror would be short-lived, Middle Eastern countries also did not attain democracy.
Some Western circles have yet to realise this strategic mistake or are not willing to admit it. Failing to see that radical organisations are reactionary groups — the roots of which mostly lie in the spirit of vengeance — some of these countries are after developing counter-reactions against them. Due to their hatred of radicalism, right-wing elements and their supporters have declared a war on all Muslims. They assume the solution is to authorise and use more armaments in the Middle East. The real solution that can end radicalism is being ignored, and, consequently, all Muslims are considered enemies.
The Council of Foreign and Defence Ministers of the European Union recently convened in Brussels to discuss the issue of “European Defence Structuring”. In a statement issued after the meeting, it was stated that EU foreign and defence ministers had cemented their defensive co-operation, and that more was to come, indicating that the aim was to protect the citizens of the EU. The statement also signified that the EU would assume greater responsibility for its own security and defence.
Despite that, the project of establishing a joint defence system by the EU, which has been hiding behind the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s (Nato) strength since its foundation, had been considered unrealistic by analysts from the perspective of defence. It will be beneficial to examine the actual purpose of this initiative. The EU is a Nato-protected entity, far from the threats of external attack. The idea of building up defence is surely within the rights of every country. However, the attempt here has been made mainly against “internal threats”.
Although the said internal threats have been brought forward as radicalism, its scope has been extended to include Muslims, especially refugees who had to escape their homeland.
Of course, this attempt pursues some cross-border goals as well. One of the key resolutions adopted at the meeting is to form a special body to take on the duty of running the EU-led military training mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Somalia. The EU’s political, commercial and military dominance, especially in Africa, is well known. What the EU wants with these decisions is to strengthen its military dominance in Africa. It should be remembered that various radical and political movements in Africa were mostly suppressed by violence, with Europe’s involvement. Already leading lives of hardship, African people are faced with even more calamity of radicalism, in this atmosphere beset by the spirit of violence. Violence begets more violence.
Generally speaking, it would not be wrong to associate the main objective of this defensive alliance — which is sought to be formed within EU’s body, independently of Nato — with Islam. Gradually shifting towards the radical right, the EU administrations have adopted a tone that is more and more ireful with each passing day, to a point where they cannot even reconcile with each other. Furious warnings from certain sections toward refugees and Muslims lay bare the fact that some of EU administrators have misunderstood the struggle against terrorism and made a huge mistake by taking a stand against Islam. They fail to realise that the solution against radical Islam lies in true Islam.
A project for joint defensive structuring means more soldiers, weapons, bombs and anger. Europe believes that these will shield them from radicalism. Under this delusion, Europe apparently has yet to learn that radicalism is fed by weapons and anger. It fails to take into account the fact that this will not intimidate the radicals, and, on the contrary, it will further fuel their vengeful spirits, and that it will lead to an atmosphere of resentment and distrust among some peace-loving Muslims. Europe is a continent home to a great number of Muslims. Muslims suffering feelings of exclusion on this continent will substantially damage the spirit of unity and solidarity. And a European Union that has lost its integrity could significantly fall from power. This is not a pleasant picture; neither for Europe nor the world.
If some Westerners really want to fight radicalism and really want to do it for the sake of humanitarian values and peace, then they should seek to find the solution by allying with real Muslims. To achieve a solution, they should confer with real Muslims and strive to learn about the erroneous ways of radicalism from true Islam. They should try to develop methods of struggle according to the Quran, not according to their own truths. A mastermind model, which tries to impose its own truths and bring hatred to prominence while doing so, will never be successful. It will achieve nothing and, at the same time, incite more hatred.
Some groups try to help these individuals by trying to hide the environment of violence under the guise of a struggle against radicalism. Yet, these are the same people that pit Muslims against each other. Thus, it is a failed plan from the start. However, although it will not materialise, it is quite obvious that such a plan is wreaking havoc in the Muslim world. Therefore, the task falls once again on true Muslims, who have to serve as a model by adopting the path of love and unity among themselves and prove that they are unshakeable. This is and will be a good lesson for those who intend to have malicious schemes, especially in the Islamic world. The doors will be closed towards radicalism, and will set an example for those who think hatred can solve everything. This will also be the first step of a peaceful environment that will include the West as well.
Adnan Oktar's piece in New Straits Times & Riyadh Vision: