[Sayma-Discuss] Fwd: Instead of Seeking Revenge, We Must Fight ISIS by Advancing Ideologies o...]

Geeta Jyothi McGahey mcgahey at yancey.main.nc.us
Fri Feb 13 20:57:53 EST 2015

dear Friends in SAYMA

Thought this article from Jordanian royalty would interest you.
I am in San Cristobal, learning much Spanish before the FWCC meeting in Mexico
In the Light,

 HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal Headshot

        A member of the Hashemite Royal Family working to address issues such
as regional integration, inter-faith dialogues, water, energy and the human
environment and human dignity.

        ยท Email <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/users/login/>

        *Instead of Seeking Revenge, We Must Fight ISIS by Advancing
Ideologies of Human Solidarity*

        Posted: 02/11/2015 11:40 am EST Updated: 2 hours ago

           The excruciating death of our pilot, Muath al-Kaseasbeh, at the hands
of Daesh/ISIS militants has rallied Jordanians and the world at large. Much
like "Je suis Charlie," "We are all Muath" as well. The truth of these
proclamations is evident but the mission to which they call us is more
intricate and
        transformative than the international media portrays. For we
Jordanians know more than most that progress in fighting fanaticism does not
come from exacting revenge on individuals. To be sure, we will struggle
against such evil, and we will win.

        But the issue of our people, our neighbors and our friends being
targets of extremism is not a new phenomenon. From the heinous
terrorist bomb attacks on our hotels in Amman that claimed over 60 lives in
2005 to the recurring cycles of violence throughout the
region that have displaced millions of Palestinians,
        Egyptians, Iraqis and Syrians inside our borders, Jordan has faced the
consequences of asymmetric warfare every decade. We understand that
eradicating extremism, including this latest evil that we see in
Daesh, requires that we address socio-historical conditions that continue to
marginalize and demean Arab youth and their communities in West Asia, North
Africa, Europe and beyond.

        The Jordanian government has recently made strong statements about the
scope of Jordan's retaliation with "just the beginning" of its "multiple
targets." Reminded of Rev. Martin Luther King, I speak now "with all the
humility that is appropriate to our limited vision" in order to stress the
importance of internationalism and making connections across borders to see
global struggles as our own. Our approach to fighting such
oppression must be founded on an ethic of human solidarity that is broader
than Jordan. This attack on multiple targets must be made in conjunction with
the support of network intelligence gathering from Boko Haram to Raqqa and to
multitude of universal targets. It is how we will learn to differentiate when
we talk to sleepers inside our region, through moral and not just military

        At the core of these efforts is the patent truth that real security is
human security, one that takes a long-range view of human welfare and
addresses long-term issues of poverty and injustice and not only the
short-term causes of particular violent conflicts. For millions of people,
structural violence has become a fact of life; their suffering -- the banality
of their pain -- is the inevitable product of the postcolonial debris with
which nation states in our region continue to grapple with to this day. That
some, like Afghanistan and Iraq, have all but failed, and others, like Syria,
have succumbed to state
violence has eroded people's trust in states' capacity for social
management. When we read that some 3,000 so-called "European jihadists,"
        <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-29372494> or "war
tourists" as Paul Collier has aptly put it, have joined Daesh, we must
remember that it is this socio-political, and not a religious, vacuum that
groups like Daesh are filling with their platform of populist hatred.

        These state and social failures apply to Europe too. As Juan Cole,
Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of
Michigan, recently commented
<http://www.juancole.com/2015/01/sharpening-contradictions-satirists.html> in
response to the /Charlie Hebdo/ attacks, "Al-Qaeda wants to mentally colonize
French Muslims, but faces a wall of
disinterest. But if it can get non-Muslim French to be beastly to
ethnic Muslims on the grounds that they are Muslims, it can start
creating a common political identity around grievance against
discrimination." The sensationalist tendencies of our contemporary global
media have offered an ideal echo chamber for the warped and corrupt ideologies
of these militant groups.

        We must better utilize this echo chamber to put forth convincing
ideologies that strengthen the possibility for human solidarity. The European
Neighborhood Policy, which attempts to tie the periphery to the center, is a
good attempt at governance, but it stops short.
European policymakers must comprehend that good neighborliness does not only
take place between countries, but also between communities. Inter-existence
with Muslims in European cities, but also with other groups such as
Ukrainians, is as important a practice of good governance and good
neighborliness as fostering good Eurasian relations. So the citizens of Europe
as well as of West Asia and North Africa, Arabs and non-Arabs, followers of
all faiths, must stand up and be counted.

        An ethic of human solidarity, of humanitarianism, must take us both
beyond and in the midst of national allegiances in order to present a
convincing alternative to the nihilistic, but unfortunately uniting,
ideologies of radical and militant groups like Boko Haram, Daesh and Ansar
Bayt Al Maqdis. They are appealing to the millions of people who have sunk
into the depths of
absolute deprivation precisely because they traverse the national
borders that they, victimized by structural violence, hold responsible for
their captivity into poverty and injustice.

        In Jordan, it means not forgetting about the alienated Syrian and
Jordanian children who have been rendered vulnerable. Human
development, specifically through long-term education plans and
inclusive community centers that seek to change attitudes, is the
ultimate goal of our national development. It is the ultimate goal of
imaginative long-term international policies that must help and include the
desperate, rejected and angry young men and women from the Parisian banlieues
to Raqqa, Syria.

        This broader context for good neighborhood policies throws into relief
the very qualities of inter-existence, mutual obligation and a
reasonable level of tolerance whereby these borders are markers of our
respective cultural specificities but not hindrances to practices of
solidarity and reciprocity. Our problems are not new. The faces of the
unvirtuous who exploit these problems for remapping power and wealth do
change, but the root causes remain predictable. Hasn't the time arrived for us
to revive an
inter-disciplinary and eco-social framework for a world humanitarian order?

        Inequalities that are incompatible with human dignity anywhere are
politically, socially and economically destabilizing everywhere. We need to
find out how people, the disenfranchised, think, and we must think with them
towards long-term solutions, in good times and in bad. Good governance engages
the needy -- those who see themselves as discarded by society -- so that they
can live with dignity and begin to see themselves as integral to social order
and stability. Regional stabilization will only be achieved in the context of
recognizing security as humanitarian. That is the real war that we must
struggle to win in Jordan and the world at large.


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Geeta Jyothi McGahey,MD
300 Dharma Way
Burnsville, NC 28714


Geeta Jyothi McGahey,MD
300 Dharma Way
Burnsville, NC 28714

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