Global problems require us to remain extremely together
Over the last week, violent acts of terrorism have been a daily occurrence all over the world. As time goes on, the world gradually wakes up to the vital importance of standing together against violence and extremism and we continue to be Extremely Together, promoting peace where there is violence, unity where there is division, and solidarity where there is fear. We must unite and help each other to counter extremist beliefs, which seek to sow discord and cause pain in every corner of the world.
Last week, a suicide bomber targeted one of the holiest Muslim worship places, the Prophet Mohammed Mosque in Madinah in Saudi Arabia. The attack came during the last week of Ramadan, the holiest Muslim month. The victims: innocent worshipers from all over the world as they were praying. The attacker, known to the Saudi police, killed himself and five others, injuring a further four, and symbolically showed once again that jihadists will target even the holiest of sanctuaries and target Islam itself with their violence.
At Extremely Together, we know that we have a responsibility to provide young people with alternative opportunities to terrorism and promote alternative worldviews to extremism. With our leadership and our forthcoming counter-extremism toolkit for young people, we want to ensure our generation becomes the solution not the problem, and help our fellow young people build a peaceful world free from all extremism.
Another bloody attack took place in Baghdad, Iraq last weekend leaving more than 280 killed and countless more injured. A car bomb was used in the attack while people were shopping to prepare for Eid Al Fitr, the celebration after the month of Ramadan. The killers, inspired by ISIS, have lost all sense of humanity and the values that underpin the faith they claim to represent. It is incomprehensible that anyone would kill so willingly, let alone innocent women and children, and let alone so close to a religious celebration, Eid Al Fitr.
Lebanon also suffered from suicide bombers in Al Qa’a, the main target of which was to sow division between Muslims and Christians in Lebanon. Recent attacks on a group of Jordanian soldiers planning to help refugees on the Syrian borders further adds to the list of bloodshed during Ramadan. Extremism is global and we at Extremely Together know that we must be equally global and help to unite the world in defiance of this hate.
We at Extremely Together extend our deepest sympathies to all the families around the world who lost loved ones to extremism and call for your support to stand up to terrorism and to counter its appeal among young people. From Istanbul to Dhaka, passing through Beirut, Baghdad, Amman, Madinah and Qutaif, our thoughts are with you and we hope that all the survivors find the way back to normality, and reaffirm their commitment to tackling extremism of all kinds.
These attacks on predominantly Muslim-majority communities show that while extremism has no religion, and certainly no values, we must work together with Muslim communities and with our own firm human rights values to prevent radicalisation, counter extremism and stop terrorism.
Zaid El Rayes, Extremely Together