How civil society, media and religious communities can play an active role in the ongoing war against terrorism? Discuss.

Published: May 3, 2018

The war against terrorism cannot be a sole arena of the state and its associated agencies. It needs an effective cooperation from society, media and religious institutions to counter the threats of terrorism.
Role of civil society in war against terrorism
The importance of involving civil society in a comprehensive and multidimensional response to the threat of terrorism has been stressed by various international documents. At the international level, the United Nations General Assembly, for instance, in its resolution adopting the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy affirmed the determination of Member States to “further encourage non-governmental organizations and civil society to engage, as appropriate, on how to enhance efforts to implement the Strategy.

  • Community policing through the civil society can aid the law enforcement agencies to develop mechanisms to fight terrorism and also to strengthen intelligence.
  • Radicalisation is a tool often used by the terrorist organisation to attract the youth. Civil society partnership can aid in countering the radicalism.
  • Inclusiveness: Anti-terror strategies need inclusiveness. Civil society can be the platform to bring the inclusiveness in fighting the terror.

A vigilant civil society can aid in countering the threats of terrorism. Government must bring them in forefront in fight against terrorism by using the advantage of civil societies who have a deep penetration in the society.
Role of media in war against terrorism
The goals of terrorists are not solely limited to attracting the attention of the masses, but rather to publicize their political causes, inform about the motives for terrorist deeds, and explain their rationale for resorting to violence.
Terrorists’ means of communication greatly vary. Indeed, technological advancements and changing audience behavior in the past decade enabled terrorist groups to utilize media tools with greater convenience.

  • The media must be sensitive and responsible in reporting. The irresponsible reporting during the 26/11 Mumbai attacks had made the operations by security forces difficult. The terrorist groups operating from the foreign soil used the media broadcast to strategise their moves. This caused huge setback for security forces.
  • Sensationalistion of news by the broadcasters to gain in the TRP war. This has been used by the fundamentalist groups to promote terrorism. Media should report the incidents not create news or sensationalise it.
  • Media have a strong influence among the citizens. Print, social and electronic media can be biggest assets in fight against the radicalism .

Media is regarded as forth pillar of democracy. Media has such immense potential to maintain order in the society. They can contribute positively to the fight against terrorism.
Role of religious communities in fight terrorism
Religion provides for a way of life. Religion communities can aid in fight against terrorism.

  • ISIS which is creating havoc across the globe through terrorism has stated its objective is to create an Islamic state. It is manipulating Islamic concept of Jihad for its vested interest. Islamic communities need to more actively propagate the true spirit of Islam “benevolence and universal brotherhood” to fight the menace of terrorism.
  • Religious communities can be in the forefront to counter the menace of radicalism which is often employed by the terror outfits.
  • There is a dangerous tendency being observed all over the world of making a religion synonym with terrorism and branding all those associated with the religion as terrorists by communal agents to spread hatred against the religion. Religious communities need to counter these communal agents and promote universal brotherhood of all religions.

Terrorism has crossed the boundaries and is a biggest threat to the humanity. The triad of civil society, religious communities and media can strengthen the resolve of the government’s worldwide to counter terrorism.

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