It is self-evident that acts of terror are totally wrong. They betray the fundamental tenets of humanity yet we are now living in a world where such acts are becoming more common and more frequent, as deranged or dangerous individuals make choices that seek to destroy the fabric of society.
These people deny the underlying necessity that any citizen or visitor to any country needs to respect its institutions and social structure. It is inevitable that not everyone will like all aspects of a particular country, but they need to follow the basic ethics of humanity and express their views through legitimate channels.
In the US there is a particular danger of over-reaction because so many of these violent acts have been committed by isolated minds falling for these extremist ideologies posing under a religious banner of a grossly perverted version of Islam.
This week after a shootout, the New York police arrested Ahmad Khan Rahami, a naturalised United States citizen from Afghanistan and resident in New Jersey, in connection with the Chelsea bombing. In St Cloud, Minnesota, a man stabbed 10 people before he was shot. During his killing spree he asked at least one victim whether they were Muslim before assaulting them, and referred to Allah during the attacks.
In the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, two naturalised American Chechen-born brothers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev set off pressure-cooker bombs killing three and injuring more than 260 others.
Earlier this year in June, Omar Mateen killed 49 people in an attack on a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which was the deadliest mass shooting in United States’ history. Mateen was born an American even if his parents immigrated from Afghanistan.
This partial list indicates the scale of the problem and the answers lie in various places.
First, the individuals who have moved to America (or any other country) need to recognise their duty to take on the full culture of their new country and live in peace while respecting their fellow citizens. Second, everyone needs to agree that such acts are utterly wrong, and that it is essential to stop anyone thinking or planning violence. It is surprising how after these attacks many relatives, friends, or colleagues have turned out to be aware of some aspect of the attackers’ growing isolation and their turning to violence. It is the responsibility of everyone to act and to help in keeping the world safe.