Our relentless pursuit of peace

Rula Samain (Photo: Jordan News)
Rula Samain (Photo: Jordan News)
I was listening to the radio program while driving the other day, which was discussing the history of terrorism in the Middle East. Unexpectedly, Jordan was mentioned as one of the countries with a high rate of joining terrorist groups. The presenter stopped at this point — a matter that made me very upset.اضافة اعلان

Though what the presenter said might be true, but he should have also mentioned the Kingdom’s yearslong, ongoing commitment to counter terrorism and extremism, and the countless ways it does do. He should have also mentioned that Jordan is known as a land of refuge and peace.

It is a fact no one can deny that Jordanians live in a peaceful society, trying as much as possible to maintain a harmonious life — one they’re famous for — by avoiding violence, and appreciating that peace, both internal and external, is not only the highest goal, but something everyone hopes to achieve.

Pushing for both individual and societal peace is not an easy task; it’s not “doing nothing” as someone described it, or “only doing little”. While terrorism is considered a security threat, society should realize that the path to post-conflict recovery and reconciliation require continuous ongoing peacemaking operations and spreading messages that combat extremism in all its forms.

A question lingered in the back of my mind: What drives young people to join such groups, to inflict suffering on others? What entices them to volunteer in their hundreds to leave their families, their comfortable surroundings and their lives only to join the dark side of humanity?

Of all the many answers, there is no straight one, and there will not be one, because while we perceive them to be killers, they can justify their destructive actions to themselves. Thus, we must accept the fact that their reasons to join the dark side is because they “believe”, just like peacemakers also believe and push for peace.

We should also bear in mind that their efforts will not cease, and their numbers will not decrease. It’s on this basis that peacemaking people should act and react. T.S. Eliot once wrote that “between the idea and the reality falls the shadow”.

There are some positive changes in the Middle East, lately, which will hopefully reflect positively on the economy and many other areas of life. It is therefore important not to relent; to move with force and skill to encourage peace-loving people and intellectuals alike to act for peace. Terrorists do not relent and neither should peacemakers.

Rula Samain is a journalist and writer specialized in interfaith dialogue and reconciliation, and the author of “Fortress of Peace” and “Towards the Fourth Watch of the Night.”

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