When Samuel Huntington issued his oversimplifying theory of ‘clash of civilisations’, it was widely dismissed as unrealistic. He argued that conflicts, in the post-Cold War global order, will be mainly driven by civilisational differences.
He hinted strongly at China and the Muslim world as the ‘new enemy’ of the Western ‘supremacy’ that, according to him, prevailed after the fall of the Soviet bloc. His theory may have resonated with some parts in the Western intelligentsia, however the past three decades saw that most countries, with diverged cultural and civilisational characteristics engaged in constructive multilateralism in which the world has thrived despite the temptations of the few to upset.
The Vienna terror attacks on Monday night, which Austrian security officials pointed at ‘Islamist terrorists’ should not be viewed as an episode of the Huntington clash as some Western leaders rushed to conclude.
Today is a time to empathise with the people of Austria and condole the families of the victims. It is not a time to rush to divide the world along civilisational lines. The ongoing global efforts to eradicate terrorism and uproot its ability to recruit and dry up its financial and logistical resources must continue unabated regardless of the religion of terrorists
The terror attacks in Vienna has left five people dead, including the main gunman, and 15 injured. “We experienced an attack [Monday night] by at least one Islamist terrorist,” Interior Minister Karl Nehammer told reporters. He noted that the suspect who was killed had sympathised with the Islamic State [Daesh] group. A report in at least one Austrian media outlet on the other hand said the terrorist is Vienna born and raised young man of Albanian roots who was known to the security forces.
Daesh -- a global problem
The Daesh group, whose victims are mostly Muslims and Arabs, does not target Western societies only. For the past six years, most of their terrorist attacks were concentrated in Arab cities in Syria, Iraq and other Middle Eastern locations. They are the enemies of humanity. Their abhorrent ideological creed does not differentiate between Muslims and non-Muslims. They were fought by Muslims and Arab governments, and nearly eradicated, because they are plain criminals who thrive on a culture of hate and cruelty.
Today is a time to empathise with the people of Austria and condole the families of the victims. It is not a time to rush to divide the world along civilisational lines. The ongoing global efforts to eradicate terrorism and uproot its ability to recruit and dry up its financial and logistical resources must continue unabated regardless of the religion of terrorists. It is time for the world to unite against such criminals and not alienate Muslim nations. Cool heads must prevail.
In a statement issued early Tuesday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the UAE in most strongest terms condemned the terrorist attack, which are “destabilising security and stability in contravention of religious and humanitarian values and principles.”
Muslims need to step up their efforts to fight and finish off this menace, for the sake of all of humanity.