Terrorism is worldwide. We have heard of school girls being abducted by terrorists in Somalia, the destruction of Twin towers in US, beheading of foreigners by religious zealots in Afghanistan, and women raped in ethnic warfare in Congo.
The recent placing of bombs in places of worship and the bomb threats at popular Woolworths means we in South Africa can also be victims of terrorist attacks.
Terrorism is the use of violence designed to promote a particular ideological goal at the expense of the general public. The intent is to create fear so that the victims become compliant or non-resistant.
The roots may be religious, political, socioeconomic or other. Leaders may be individuals or groups. Leaders may range in personalities and can be fervently patriotic to being narcissistic, cold and merciless.
Often individuals and groups involved in conflict, whether victims or perpetrators, claim that God is on their side.
The causes of terrorism or underlying factors vary according to the ideological goals or the unique nature of the country’s problems.
(Ref: Suraj Nath Jha- July 17, 2014):
Unequal distribution of resources
Extremism and sectarianism
Imbalance of opportunity structure
Weak social bonds
Deprivation of fundamental rights
Absence of social justice
Weak political dispensation
Social imbalance and regional disparities
In South Africa, we have violence related to protests, murders related to taxi routes, attacks on innocent motorists and passersby because of a lack of service delivery, and burning of educational institutions.
Political killings occur to prevent exposure of corruption.
This is a form of domestic terrorism.
Solutions to the conflict can be found through peaceful means. The late Mahatma Gandhi demonstrated this effectively in South Africa and India.
Sadly, he was assassinated before peace could be restored. His philosophy of ‘Satyagraha’ or non-violence advocated changing your enemy through acts of kindness and understanding.
He wisely said, ‘An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.’
If our government stamps out corruption, avoids nepotism, appoints people based on ability and integrity, and establishes the firm rule of law, we may find peace and stability.