Facing Terror With Peace

Another question that is probably arising in our minds right now is: how do we fight this evolving threat of terrorism? There is no doubt that terrorism must be fought. It doesn’t matter whether we support war or loathe its very concept; war still exists. For as much as we’d like to make it disappear, there are others in this world who worship it and live for it – these terrorist attacks are proof of that. So, we can make two statements: 1) War exists in our world, and it will probably keep existing for a long time. 2) How do we react to this reality?

This is a very important question. Considering that war exists, do we support violence to end violence, or do we turn our back entirely away from violence in response to violence? Do we choose relatiation – an eye for an eye – or do we choose peace? Like Mahatma Gandhi has said, “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind“.  Anybody with a logical mind can understand this: violence will only generate more violence. And taking that into consideration, the logical answer would be to end all kinds of violence and to react to violence with peace. To drive out darkness with light.

But what if there is an enemy that does not let us live in peace? What do we do then? This is, I think, one of our biggest challenges in the current world and in face of this current threat of terrorism: how can we react to violence with peace when there are people out there who are so committed to their disturbed cause that they will only ever cause more violence? Can there be a peaceful end to a brutal sickness such as this fundamentalism? Can we stop ISIS or any other terrorist groups with peaceful measures?

Thinking about this question makes me deeply sad. It makes me sad because I am one of those people (many people, I believe, because there are still many good people in this world, many people who choose light over darkness) who believes that peace is the true way, that peace is the better way. There are many people in this world who know that violence will only bring more violence. But what power do we have to end it? As individuals, or even as a minority group, what actual power do we have to stop this maddening violence, these endless wars? There is a feeling of impotence, of powerlessness, that haunts us and saddens us; we live in a violent world, we do not wish to live in a violent world, but what powers do we have to change that?

There are those who would say that change starts within. And I couldn’t agree more with that. Be the change you want to see. If we want to see people in this world living accordingly to the right values, to the right ideals, then the only thing we can do is to begin with ourselves. There is only a certain number of other people we can reach, or only a certain dimension in which we can reach them. So we must start with ourselves. But this scenario of random violence, of unforeseen and inexplicable brutality, poses a challenge that I do not know the answer to: can we still maintain peace when there are those around us who just won’t let us?

I don’t have the answer for this question, but I believe it is probably one of the biggest, most important questions we must face in the future. Is it, perhaps, too late to react to violence only through peace?






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