Who’s the real Terrorist?
The country, the WORLD is at a war against terrorism. Or so the people think… Who are the real terrorists?! Are we misusing the word?! Frankly, I think we are. Now, let me just say this first, I AM NOT JUSTIFYING ACTS OF TERROR. In fact, I am here to criticise the war and comment on who is the true starter of these wars. I am justifying the FREEDOM OF OPINION.
I got the idea to comment on this after attending an event called the Patriot Games held by my school (Ngee Ann Polytechnic), which was a game that involved participants to take up political roles of made-up countries and make decisions for their country. Unfor-No, FORTUNATELY, a few classmates and myself had to take our Common Test, and thus came late and were given the role of judges (and terrorists) for the games. One of the segments was a debate on whether it was a good idea to negotiate with terrorists and we were given the role to judge and my ‘comments’ were praised by the teacher-in-charge, so why not share it with THE audience, THE people?
To most, terrorists are simply crazy people who fire away at the ‘good guys’ for the sake of causing mayhem. Honestly think about how insane that sounds. Everything must happen for a reason.
Now, take this into perspective.’Terrorists’ are groups of individuals who share a common ideology. However, that ideology is not supported by the government and are thus mindlessly ignored and considered villainy. It’s like calling your friend the devil simply because he/she listens to different music. Just because someone disagrees, doesn’t make them villains. In fact, from here onward I shall use ‘Cause Advocates‘ in place of ‘Terrorists’ when I can.
“But they use violence!”, I hear you scream. Those of you who’ve studied Social Studies in Sec 3, or at least read the news would have probably heard of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), commonly known as the Tamil Tigers, or the Irish Republican Army (IRA) (pictured above). If you know the story, you would know that they were fighting for an ideology not supported by their respective governments. To be specific, Tamil rights in Sri Lanka and Catholic rights in Northern Ireland respectively. These 2 organizations are in fact considered terrorist groups. Let’s be honest here, their anti-discrimination ideology can be agreed upon, right? Then why are they considered ‘terrorists’? It’s simple. The government disagreed with their philosophy and simply ignored them, IGNORED THEIR RIGHTS. It was clear that the only way they could make an impact and make themselves heard was through violence.
No one wants violence, but then again, violence was the ONLY option here.
Here’s where it gets tense. Should authorities negotiate with Cause Advocates? Well, why not? NEGOTIATIONS ARE FOR NEGOTIATING. Do cause advocates not have rights?! Both parties are simply fighting for their ideology. Meeting each other in the middle is absolutely possible, it’s just how you go about doing so! And besides, common sense would tell you that it’s better to delay the violence then to jump straight into it. Who’s not to say that agreements and further harmony can be created as a result of negotiations?
If the authorities would rather NOT negotiate and jump straight to the conflict, simply to protect their ideology, think about it – WHO ARE THE REAL TERRORISTS?
This applies to everyday life as well – Listen to people around you with different perspectives and think about them for a moment. Don’t just pass them off as if they’re some ‘weirdo’. Everyone deserves the right to be taken seriously when sharing opinions. Prevent conflicts before they even have a chance to happen, because truly, “PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE.”