The recent massive terrorist attack at seven places in Paris has left the world shocked. ISIS has claimed the responsibility of this barbarous act. These terrorists call themselves Muslims, and so under the garb of Islam they go on performing such inhuman killings and destruction. Whenever they strike and kill people, the name of Islam comes to the fore which sends down a tremor in the Muslim community. Those who believe in what Islam really stands for are shaken to the core. A true Muslim’s right to live in pluralistic societies is jeopardized; and those who have always been harsh towards this religion start their rhetoric, attracting the indecisive people towards their beliefs. All the efforts by the right minded Muslim scholars and people in general, seeking to promote peace and harmony among the peoples of the world, lose their importance. Doubts against the Muslim community once again come to the surface, and a true Muslim is saddened, but also grateful that a wide majority of people still believe that such acts of terrorism are carried out by groups who are misguided and bent upon destruction of lives and properties to achieve goals which would never materialize.

Can terrorism be eradicated?   The answer is yes! It may look like a mammoth task, but effective strategies can definitely counter this highly destructive menace which takes life of many innocent people and cause extensive damage throughout the world.

First of all we must recognize that we have to beat terrorism, not the terrorists, nullify this fanatic ideology of the terrorists who have misinterpreted the teachings of Islam, and who foolishly believe that they can fight against what they call infidels.

Terrorists are the product of brain-washed minds. Zealous but misguided angry people believe in misinterpreted teachings of their faith. They are trained from their childhood to raise guns against everyone who do not subscribe to their beliefs, not only people belonging to other faiths but also Muslims who belong to any one of different sects – there are about 73 sects.. They are made to believe that if they kill them, their ascent to Paradise is certain. There are a number of so-called religious scholars and mullahs who are constantly imparting this ideology on the nascent minds of these militants. Since they are also trained not to be afraid of dying in the cause of the religion, they are always ready to be suicide-bombers or jihadis.

Such being the case, they need a good amount of finance to carry out their missions. Out of plunders, extortions and a constant supply from the rich terrorist organizations, they thrive. We have seen that in spite of all possible efforts – drone attacks, army actions, intelligence and spy networks and even negotiations with these militants – terrorism is simply flourishing.

What can we do about it? Thomas H. Kean and Lee H.Hamilton in their article, How to Halt Next Terror Generation, in USA TODAY of 26th January, 2015 pointed out, “Although U.S. can promote moderation, it cannot ensure its ascendancy. Only Muslims can do that. Fortunately, this is beginning to happen. The U.S. should support governments, organizations and peoples that are taking active measures to defeat violent Islamic ideology, such as catalyzing partnerships with leading media channels in the Muslim world to produce programming that fosters moderation.”

If we carefully look at the basis of terrorism and not terrorists, we can outline a few strategies. First and foremost is imparting the true message of Islam on the minds of these extremists and fanatics, and for this we need the right thinking religious scholars and mullahs to come to the fore. Their messages should be sent to the militants in forms of wide network broadcasts – TV, Radio, internet and leaflets dropped through air on the sensitive areas – to recondition the minds of the fanatics. It should be pointed out that Islam is a religion of peace, and that if you kill an innocent person it is as if you have killed the whole humanity. Militants should also be reminded about the messages in the following Quranic Surahs:

Surah 2, verse 62  of Quran states that: "Verily, those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians and Sabians, whoever believes in God and the Last Day, and does righteous deeds shall have their reward with the Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve".

Surah 4, verse 93 states that "If a man kills a believer intentionally his recompense is hell to abide therein and the wrath and curse of Allah are upon him and a dreadful chastisement is prepared for him."

Secondly, the responsibility of protection of the people against terrorism be given the first priority by the governments of every country who must tighten security measures. If necessary, armed forces should make their presence felt everywhere in the places where terrorists are believed to live and where terrorism breeds.

In Muslim countries, all madrassas inciting young nascent students to resort to violence in the name of Islam should be immediately closed, or the fanatic mullahs and teachers be replaced by right thinking teachers, who can impart true Islamic teachings on the minds of their students.

It is also the responsibility of the people to help eradicate this menace. If they see any suspicious activity or any character lurking about or living in their area they should report immediately to the authorities so that appropriate action can be taken.

We all desire to make the world terrorism-free and our desires could only be fulfilled if an all out effort is enforced. Make the world a peaceful abode as it was before the wave of terrorism invaded it, and let the generations to come be free of violence in the name of religion.