Terrorists strike in Spain As we go to print, we hear that the evil of terrorism struck at innocent early morning train commuters in Spain. We should learn from the public solidarity that followed that the people of Spain were filled with utter disgust at the corrupt philosophy of terror and loss of life and property. This act needs to be condemned in the strongest terms, not just in Spain, but by all persons in the world. If it was indeed some Muslims involved in this reign of terror (there is a paper on the Al Qaeda in this edition of T h e Review of Religions), we call on them to go and reflect on the teachings of the Holy Qur’an or the traditions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad(sa) and tell us how they could reconcile their action with these teachings. How would they stand before their Maker when they are called to account for the disorder they created on the earth? If you were Muslims, you have caused great damage to other Muslims and set the clock back on an understanding of Islam. It has become very clear that governments have not been successful in winning the war on terror. Likewise, if the ordinary people are indiscriminately t a rgeted by missiles fired by a ‘democratic’ neighbour, it is not going to restore confidence in the philosophy that democracy should replace authoritarian regimes and thus pave the way for peace. Once terrorist trends are allowed to grow and flourish in societies and countries, the best any government can do is to now and then wipe out the symptoms. We need to have a fresh strategy to discourage and suppress terrorism. The first thing that we need to do is to restore a system based on justice where all the rights of everyone are protected. The nearer we can come to this ideal, the earlier we would be able to remove discrimination, discord and differences that divide societies. Then governments themselves should not resort to terrorism. We need to develop a strong partnership between the governments and leaders of opinion in every society, including religious leaders, to co-operate with each other in promoting peace and projects that lead to a peaceful society. This requires inter-state dialogue, co-operation on free trade and movement of people and the eradication of poverty and hunger. We should supplement it with an infrastructure of education to broaden the mind. For far too long we have ignored the role of religion in drawing mankind closer to its Creator and reminding us to discharge the trust reposed in each one of us to look after our fellow human beings. As for irreligion, it only breeds suspicion and fosters an irresponsibility towards other human beings. Once there is an atmosphere of knowing who stands next to us, fear should disappear and the terrorist and the criminal readily identified as misfits. Each one of us has to help in this task. Mansoor Ahmed Shah – UK 2 The Review of Religions – April 2004 Editorial