Sunday, September 7, 2014

And Then Journalists Become Victims of Terrorism

Rabin Man Shakya

Global Islamic terrorism is like the dangerous, violent and ugly monster which has taken roots not only in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan, Nigeria and other Muslim countries but has posed a big threat even in countries like Russia (Chechnya-Daghestan), India (Kashmir) and China (Uighur). When the war on terrorism is at stake, the international correspondents and aid workers are in the firing line. And then the journalists become  the victims and easy targets of the notorious terrorists.

Daniel Pearl of the Wall Street Journal was beheaded by the Islamofascists in 2002 in Pakistan. Now journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff have been mercilessly beheaded by militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The release recently of the video showing the beheading of journalists Foley and Sotloff who had been working as international correspondents in the Middle East brought to the fore the serious threats posed by terrorism. The merciless beheading of Steven Sotloff was carried out despite televised pleas from his mother Shirley Sotloff to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to give amnesty to her son who was captured  by the Islamofascists in northern Syria a year ago.

Now the ISIS has been continuously grabbing the international headlines for one or the other terrorist activities. For that matter, even few years ago, ISIS was only a tiny visible tip of the iceberg of Islamofascists. But today, even al-Qaeda has been eclipsed by the ISIS which, in fact, was an al-Qaeda breakaway group. Today, the bunch of the Islamofascists, the ISIS, has become a formidable and powerful terrorist organization.

There is no doubt that the threats of the Islamofascists should not be taken merely as hoax. They are capable of doing any kind of merciless, mean, monstrous and ugly acts. The purpose of terrorism is to create terror and panic among the people. The terrorists can not do this without the help of the media and social media. Terrorists and terrorist organizations are widely known to have extensively used social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube etc to disseminate their ideas, messages and consolidate their power base. YouTube and Twitter can not and should not be the effective tools of terrorist propaganda.

The act of terrorism is against civilization, peace and humanity, and as such, violence and terrorism must be nipped in the bud. For this, the historical experience has already demonstrated that Washington, London and Paris alone are not able to effectively fight against the terrorist forces. Washington must join hands with Moscow and Beijing to do away with the Islamic terrorists.

Also, the acts of terrorism and their continuing coverage in the world media have raised the specter that the international media is directly or indirectly helping the notorious terrorists just by covering stories  about their sinister and heinous activities.

For right now, ISIS activities are confined to Iraq and Syria and this has made Syria and Iraq the most notorious and dangerous countries for journalists. Last year, 70 journalists were assassinated for doing their jobs, according to Committee to Protect Journalists. Over the last few years, some 70 journalists have lost their lives while covering Syrian war, and about 20 are still missing raising the question how many journalists still will have to face the ISIS's monstrous and merciless  act?

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