Bahai News - Terrorism must be tackled with justice and fair play
Terrorism must be tackled with justice and fair play
KUALA LUMPUR, Sun. - The roots of terrorism have to be tackled with a
new global structure based on justice and fair play.
In advocating this, Iranian Dr Moojan Momen, who has lived in
Britain since 1959 and is of the Bahai faith, says softly and without
even a hint of rancour: "We cannot carry on as now, where richer,
more powerful nations get their way the whole time and impose their
will on weaker nations."
It was necessary to move to a system with strong international
institutions. The United Nations was never given the power, resources
and mandate for its institutions such as the International Court of
Justice and the Court of Arbitration to operate effectively.
Only if these institutions are strong will people feel confident
they can get justice and the frustration and anger will disappear.
He felt only half-hearted attempts had been made so far to address
the injustice and unfairness.
There were whole populations seeing themselves as victims of
injustice, were oppressed and kept in poverty while others were
getting rich. Frustrations invariably boil over into violence, be it
in terms of civil commotion or terrorism.
To tackle terrorism we have to take away the support for it.
Otherwise, the breeding grounds for it will remain. We really need a
new world structure if we are going to deal with problems
Dr Momen said that in the aftermath of the Sept 11 terrorists
attack in America it was clear that richer nations could not isolate
themselves from the problems of the world.
"I am hopeful that the present tragedy and all its suffering will
in itself be a catalyst for the changes we seek."
It was not as if the ideas Dr Momen was promoting were new. Over a
100 years ago the founder of the Bahai faith, Bahaullah, had called
on rulers to come together in a conference that would:
* fix boundaries of nations so that there would be no disputes,
achieved if necessary through arbitration; and,
* draw up a treaty whereby boundaries would be guaranteed. If
there was transgression by any one country, other countries would
rise against it and in this way give expression to the concept of
When security was established in this way, arms expenditure,
especially in poorer countries, could be reduced dramatically. The
savings could then be fed into education, health and infrastructure -
a major step forward.
There were welcome signs of ordinary people growing into a sense
of global unity, that everyone was living on a small planet,
In globalisation, only politics and religion seemed not up to
Politicians, for the most part, were operating on the level of
independent, sovereign nations when in fact they had little freedom
to move in such matters as finance.
Many political and religious leaders were responsible for stoking
conflict and hatred in their quest for wealth, prestige and power.
What we want at the end of the globalisation process is not a
uniform world, which is one of the problems associated with multi-
national corporations, but a preservation of different cultures and
have them appreciated as part of the process.
Dr Momen, who has studied other faiths and written books
highlighting common themes in them, was here 12 years ago and is
amazed at the changes that have taken place.
As for the current world crisis, he said Malaysia had addressed it
calmly and sensibly.
He met with Institute for Islamic Understanding (Ikim) officials
and also members of the Interfaith Spiritual Fellowship (Insaf).
©Copyright 2001, New Straits Times (Malaysia)
Page last updated/revised 101601
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