According to the Finance Minister Anas Al-Saleh Kuwait would be joining ranks with the Arab League in a coalition against “all terrorism”, as the state pursues “legal action” against Kuwaitis accused of supporting terrorist groups in Syria. “We are complying with antiterrorist commitments,” he told reporters at a conference in Kuwait on Tuesday.
It is a good step that Kuwait vows to pursue legal action against its nationals designated as “terrorist financiers” (see Arab Times, Sept 11, 2014). In addition to combating terror financing, it is also necessary for the newly arranged antiterrorist coalition of Western and Arab states to fight those who spread terrorist ideologies.
Terror financiers provide the material and financial needs for some terrorist groups, but those who provide “religious” and ideological packing are also dangerous. Justifying terrorism in the name of Islam exploits the teachings of this peaceful religion and may turn some young would-be disillusioned people against their own national societies. In order to fight terrorism, its ideological think-tanks, its “spiritual” leaders must be hunted and prosecuted.
Such terrorist ideological organizations and spiritual leaders provide most of the emotional and “moral” support for the new terrorist recruits. Moreover, in order to combat the ideological financiers of terrorism, a new religious and cultural campaign about tolerance should be put in place.
Ministries of Islamic Affairs in the Arab and Islamic worlds need to realize that the fight against terrorism is basically a fight against intolerance, and against whoever attempts to exploit Islam. True Islam does not condone, nor does it indorse the destruction of innocent human lives.
The Holy Quran is very clear about its objection against murder and carnage: it dictates that: “Whosoever kills a human being, except (as punishment) for murder or for spreading corruption in the land, it shall be like killing all humanity; and whosoever saves a life, saves the entire human race” (Al-Ma’idah 32). Those who are responsible for spreading terrorist propaganda do not just misinterpret the teachings of Islam to achieve their personal goals, but do worse by exploiting some young people to do their bids.
Some extremist clerics take advantage of the idealism, naivety of some young people and manipulate them to achieve personal gains. Therefore, it is becoming extremely important to fight terrorism by putting in place a Muslim and Arab taskforce of moderate religious leaders and secular intellectuals to combat the spread of terror.
Terrorist demagogues get support among some of the naives by making false claims about the true teachings of Islam, usually using highly improvised arguments based on emotions rather than on sound Islamic thinking. Combining legal, security and ideological solutions to the problem of extremism and terrorism is certainly more effective.