We can best stop terror by civil, not military, means

In his intellectual discourse, Amartya Sen postulates that co-operation, understanding, mediation and socio-political farsightedness instead of military means would work best at addressing terrorism:

Initiatives that nurture all our human relationships defeat the appeal of those who cultivate hatred and violence between groups

Amartya Sen
Friday November 9, 2007
The Guardian

Increased prevalence of terrorism and political violence in the contemporary world has led to many initiatives in recent years aimed at removing the scourge. Military efforts to secure peace have been rapidly deployed, with better informed justification in some cases than in others. Yet group violence through systematic instigation is not exclusively, nor primarily, a military challenge. It is fostered in our divisive world through capturing people’s minds and loyalties, and through exploiting the allegiance of those who are wholly or partly persuaded. Some recruits are “inspired” into joining movements for promoting violence against targeted groups, but a much larger number of influenced people do not take part. They can nevertheless hugely contribute to generating a political climate in which the most peaceful of people come to tolerate the most egregious acts of intolerance and brutality on some hazily perceived grounds of self-defence, or retaliation, against the identified “enemy”.

Read rest of this Guardian UK article here.

· Amartya Sen, a Nobel laureate in Economics, is the Thomas W Lamont University Professor at Harvard; he chaired the Commonwealth Commission on Respect and Understanding, which publishes its report Civil Paths to Peace today.

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