By Harun Yahya
The subject matter of this article was actually about the role of oil and natural resources in increasing Yemen’s welfare. However, when 22 Yemeni soldiers were martyred first at the military inspection post in the state of Hadramoud on March 24 and then during an attack on a military vehicle in the city of Abyan on March 28, terrorism has become a priority.
First of all, I wish mercy from Allah for those who were martyred in these hateful attacks and give my condolences to the people of Yemen.
In Yemen there are groups that seek to reach their political aims by devising a climate of fear, anxiety and uncertainty. Some of these groups are comprised of people who live in Yemen and receive orders from advisors that are also Yemeni. Other groups that participate in terrorism are supported by foreign powers both logistically and intellectually. However difficult it may be, countries can still successfully struggle with “class one” terrorist groups like ETA and IRA. However, it is highly difficult to detect and monitor terrorist groups like Al-Qaida that operate on an international level; and even harder to make them ineffective.
International terrorist use “new terrorism,” violence in much different ways as opposed to “class one” terrorist groups.
In this new terrorism, violence is not used as a tool for political aims but as a cause for so-called sacred duty. Traditional terrorist groups are satisfied when they are provided with even some limited political concessions. For new terrorists this is not satisfactory. A reason for this is that they set exceptionally comprehensive and global aims. While traditional terrorists generally target state institutions and security forces, new terrorism targets innocent people as well.
Today Yemen is in a position to combat both traditional and new terrorism. The Yemeni government aims to establish a federal system in the country, in order to make groups, which feed on the idea of an independent Southern Yemen and are capable of resorting to traditional terrorism, ineffective. A federalist system will not provide the necessary solution to eradicate violence, since the territories are next to each other and the terrorist can simply move from one area to another. These methods have been tried in Africa, vis a vis Sudan and movements of violence still occur. So how will Yemen combat terrorism? There are different methods to combat terrorism, and we can examine them under four main headings. Today most countries focus on the first three methods and they neglect the fourth. The fourth method yields the most cost effective, least loss of lives, and most precise results. We can list these methods as such:
- Strengthening state’s power
- Military oppression
- Political agreements
- Increase in Intellectual awareness/Education
The first method is to structure and administer safety and emergency procedures at the state level such as state of emergency and state of siege. Even though this method increases safety, it can possibly limit rights and freedoms, and causes the state mechanism to consolidate in an illegal and unrestrained manner and results in an infringement of human rights. Guantanamo Base, USA is the first example that comes to mind about this.
The second method is military action and this can be executed two ways. The first way is to prevent the support and help terrorists receive from overseas. The US operations in Afghanistan against Taliban is this type. The second is to direct attacks against military training camps and terrorist leaders. The Turkish army adopts this method against the PKK. No terrorist group has ever been disposed of using only military precautions.
The third method is political agreements and it is possible to use them with groups with political aims. Such agreements aim that leaders of the terrorist movement change their methods to adopt constitutional order and move towards political process. But this method generally causes a reaction from the public and such agreements may signal that the state is helpless against terrorism.
The fourth method is different from the other three methods, as it does not demand a large budget or resources and major changes in legal regulations. Also with this method the state does not need to use weapons. Therefore it is the most ideal method. This method can also be used parallel with other methods for a balanced response.
The Yemeni state can partially protect places open to the general public, streets and central areas with the help of security forces, ensure social order and take the necessary precautions to decrease the level of crime with a robust police and security personnel system. However it is not possible to check each individual 24 hours a day. In this regard, a system of education that appeals to people’s conscious can be used. A person who does not listen to his/her conscience can easily commit a crime alone or with people who think alike. Such people would not hesitate to use violence whenever they want. In a society that lacks fear of God and moral values, it is then obvious that physical precautions and practices would not be effective. On the contrary, religious moral values appeal to people’s conscious minds and would guide people to avoid evil – even when alone or without the threat of punishment. A person who knows that he will account for his every action, every decision and every word in the sight of God and will be repaid according to his deeds in the eternal hereafter, would certainly and faithfully avoid evil. Good moral values are the key to many social problems. The source of such moral values is the Qur’an, which God sent as a guide for people.
Therefore, the Yemeni government must broadcast and explain throughout their country that Islam is a religion that forbids killing innocent people and commands treating people with justice. Furthermore, the Quran commands establishing solidarity and cooperation between communities, and advises replying to evil with goodness. If these nice qualities of the religion of Islam are told and taught in schools, broadcast on the radio, shown television programs, and at special meetings and conferences, Yemen would have used the most effective method against terrorism.
The writer has authored more than 300 books translated in 73 languages on politics, religion and science. He may be followed at @Harun_Yahya and www.harunyahya.com.