Home / China / View

Double standards hinder fight against terrorism

By Wang Hui | China Daily | Updated: 2015-01-21 07:55

On Jan 14, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, primarily operating in Yemen, claimed responsibility in a video for the terrorist attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris that killed 12 people on Jan 7. Although countries such as the United States were cautious about holding the terrorist group responsible for the rampage, the world should be on its guard against the prospect of al-Qaida regrouping, as it would pose new challenges to the international fight against terrorism.

As US officials are not convinced that the Paris attacks were directed from abroad, this suggests al-Qaida Yemeni affiliate's claim may be only a "showing off". Yemeni officials said one of the Kouachi brothers, who conducted the Charlie Hebdo attack, had travelled to Yemen for military training in 2011.

Since the Afghanistan war broke out, al-Qaida forces in the Central Asia country have been defeated and driven apart. Their remnants have taken advantage of political unrest in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Libya to regroup and spread their influence.

And with al-Qaida losing its dominance in the jihad movement, new jihadist militant groups have begun to run rampant. Africa now has more terror hot spots, such as Yemen, Nigeria, Mali, Somalia, Kenya and Niger, than any other continent.

The rise of the Islamic State group is the most astounding in this ill trend as it appears to be more ferocious and aggressive than al-Qaida. The IS also has an ambition to establish a state. It has seized large swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, declaring a "caliphate" and imposing its harsh interpretation of Islamic Sharia.

These terrorist groups incite religious extremism, solicit funds, recruit followers and plot terror attacks via social media as well as combine their activities with drug trafficking, armed smuggling and organized crime.

Worse, their extremist ideas have been spread to Western societies and poisoned the minds of young people there. From the hostage siege in Sydney to the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, more and more Western countries are facing an increasing threat from homegrown terrorists, who, more often than not, operate alone. To some countries in the Western world, terrorists are not al-Qaida or IS militants rampaging tens of thousands of miles away but hidden in their own community.

The new features in terrorism and extremism stem from complicated political, economic, social, racial and religious backgrounds. With the escalation of the terrorist threat worldwide, no country can claim it is immune from the scourge, neither can it deal with the threat alone.

Hence, wherever a terrorist threat is posed, all countries should cope with it together and support the efforts to crack down on it without selectivity. In the war against terror, the international community needs to shore up the consensus that there should be no room for the practice of double standards.

Double standards have remained a major obstacle to the democratization of international relations. Even when it comes to the issue of terrorism, the inappropriate practice also prevails from time to time. Terrorist attacks in a Western metropolis always draw worldwide attention while those in Africa appear to have only limited repercussions.

The world needs to stress that every life is precious regardless of their socioeconomic status, race or belief and terrorism is the common enemy of the whole mankind. It should form a truly united front and countries should support each other in the war against terrorism.

More should be done to strengthen information and intelligence sharing, break the links of cross-border terrorism, cut the funding chains of terrorist groups and combat the illegal arms trade.

The author is a senior writer with China Daily.

Editor's picks
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349