LETTER TO THE EDITOR:
I HAVE been watching the world try to make sense of the Paris attacks.
The media is full of theories and opinions, mostly on who is to blame.
Is it as simple as ISIS?
Is it Islam in general?
Or is the West to blame for creating radicals?
Waleed Aly broadcasted his opinion on The Project last week.
His argument was that if we react with hatred towards Muslims we will be playing into ISIS’ hands by pushing them towards radicalism.
I agree with Waleed to a point, but it would have been more convincing had he not castigated Pauline Hanson in his presentation.
Sure, beating up on Hanson is an easy way to score cheap political points, but it doesn’t earn you respect or credibility when you are imploring the public to shun hate.
When Waleed and others like him call for unity, acceptance and tolerance, but point the finger at someone else in the same breath, they are part of the problem.
A solution will not be found by blaming the West, Muslim people or a ‘controversial’ figure.
My local church has been fortunate to hear the stories of some brave and compassionate people who are pushing back against terrorism.
People like the Reverend Nims Obunge from London who established The Peace Alliance, where Christian and Muslim communities work together against the radicalisation of young people.
He now provides counsel to Prime Minister David Cameron and has been awarded an MBE for his contribution towards building a peaceful society.
Then there is Nigerian pastor and activist Esther Abimiku Ibanga, who has been awarded the 32nd Niwano Peace Prize for her Women Without Walls Initiative.
This is a strong coalition of women’s groups that has, for the first time, united female leaders from all tribes and religions, including Christian and Muslim.
Together they work to end the killing of women and children in Nigeria in the face of Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram.
I was also heartened to read a timely letter to the editor from a local Muslim man promoting peace and discouraging violence.
There are stories of true peace and unity.
These initiatives haven’t come from governments or media personalities, but from ordinary people who have taken responsibility for their own communities and shown leadership in a time of growing tension.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.