Title: Global Terrorism
Publisher: Crown Productions, Akute, Lagos, 2008
Author: Brother Peter
Reviewer: Bayo Ogunmupe
THIS is a timely report on global terrorism. This theme has come to the centre stage in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on America. Brother Peter, the author defined the term, terrorism, no other person had done before. He thus unveiled the true identity of terrorists, giving the in-depth analysis of the real causes of terrorism. Peter also showed the inevitable consequences of terrorism, offering the panacea for rooting out terrorism from the globe.
However, the way out of terrorism isn’t “you have either Christ or Crisis on your hands.” The answer to this crisis lies in tolerance, in letting all flowers to bloom. When you understand this, you are on your way to solving the terrorism imbroglio through reading this text.
This book, the exploration of the church’s exit strategy for global terrorism, contains seven chapters, 222 pages and a preface predicated on Wole Soyinka’s aphorism: “The man dies in him who keeps silent in the face of tyranny.” Actually, Peter quoted Marin Luther King Jnr’s statement: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent a bout things that matter.” Moreover, it is the divine injunction for all. This can be seen thus: “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: Therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning for me. When I say to the wicked, thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning for me. When I say to the wicked, thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood shall I require in your hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul,” Ezekiel 3:17-19.
Thus, this necessitates our speaking out on any issue that affects us and world peace and security. Accompanying our duty to rise up and call attention to all iniquity, is God’s promise to us “not to be afraid, for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord,” Jeremiah 1: 6-8. Undoubtedly, Jehovah knows the enormity of the tasks, hence the assurance of our safety. Thus, let us go ahead to do our part by speaking out as divinely mandated.
On the first quarter of the theme, the author showed the face-to-face encounter with terrorism and thereafter defining it. Until the morning of September 11, 2001, when about 19 suspected terrorists unleashed mayhem on strategic locations in the United States leading to the destruction of lives and property, terrorism threats were dismissed with the wave of the hand.
This mayhem once ranked second to HIV/AIDS as a devastating killer. But now, the terrorism brand inspired by religious ideology has become a global phenomenon. It has defied all known solutions, which if not promptly checked and eliminated would become the blight of the 21st century.
Terrorism as a global menace has no fixed address; it has attacked innocents from Bali to Singapore, Riyadh, Moscow, Madrid, New York and Washington. Indeed, this challenge playing out in the Middle East is more than a military conflict; it is the most divisive ideological struggle of our time. Moreover, these extremists have declared their intention to destroy civilization, as we know it.
The causes of terrorism are yet unclear. But the outrage and atrocity is often the product of stifled political expression as were the case of the race riots in America and the now doused unrest in Northern Ireland of the United Kingdom.
However, there is no gainsaying that a man without the requisite knowledge about a matter lacks the capacity to make any meaningful recommendation on its eradication. That is why we need a concerted effort to solve the problem. Thus, Peter defines terrorism this way: Every human being is a spirit being whose heart is a throne that can be occupied by only one of two spiritual beings, which is either the spirit of Jehovah or the spirit of Satan, at any point in time. Which is why no man can serve two masters, for either he will hate one or love the other. Hence, faced with this reality, man must choose between the two. This is confirmed by 1 Corinthians 6:19,” know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God and ye are not your own?”
The second quarter of the book deals with identifying terrorists and the causes of terrorism. Sadly, terrorists have been identified as adherents of a brand of Islam now called Islamism and its zealots called Islamists. They are organized by the Al Qaeda – an extremist group once led by Osama bin Laden, a native of Saudi Arabia but who had adopted Pakistan as his country. Also, Islamists found inspiration in the Koran according to their interpretation of it.
The causes of terrorism has been laid on the doorstep of Israel who had caused the displacement of Palestinians. Thus, Islamists are looking up to wresting power from the United States in order to restore the dignity of Palestinians by giving them a nation state. This, ostensibly, is the cause of the rise of the Al Qaeda in the Middle East. But consider this view of the individual Muslim: A recent poll to measure American Muslim attitudes. It found that the majority found no conflict between living a devout Muslim life and being an American; but young Muslims were almost twice as their parents to attend mosque and identify themselves as Muslims first, and Americans second. They are also more outwardly religious, more likely to wear Muslim dress and more pious than older Muslims.
The most unsettling was that 26 per cent felt that terrorist suicide bombings can be justified. Most worrisome is the fact Islam has become so much a focus of social protest such that in some downtrodden countries, small numbers of Christians, through threats, have begun to convert.
There is also the hate factor in terrorism. Hatred for the terrorized is also a strong reason for terrorism. The final half of Global Terrorism spoke of the terror scorecard and suggested solutions to terrorism. Certainly, the terror scorecard has been enormous in its exploitative decrees. Terror has altered our way of life by making life unsafe everywhere. For solutions, a return to God is the only option, let God inspire you to solve the problem.
For the author, Brother Peter sought the face of the Lord on the sure exit from the frightening quagmire of terrorism. The result of that prayer is today the core material for this project of the solution to terrorism. This book therefore is his modest contribution to the search for a lasting solution to terrorism.