Is it best to fight fire with fire – or is there another way?

Few of us could blame France for wanting revenge after so many of their people were taken in the shootings
Lifestyle

Few of us could blame France for wanting revenge after so many of their people were taken in the shootings and bombings on Friday.

President Francois Hollande has described the coordinated terror attack as an “act of war” and vowed to hit back against Islamic State “without mercy”, and he showed he wasn’t joking with yesterday’s airstrikes that destroyed an IS command post, a jihadist recruitment centre, a munitions depot and a “terrorist” training camp in Raqa, Isis’ de facto capital in Syria.

We can understand the response – who wouldn’t want to fight back? But can you fight violence with violence? History tells us it’s a messy business at best.

Here in Australia, Malcolm Turnbull is still talking about finding a political solution, while refusing to rule out the possibility of peacekeeping troops on the ground.

Meanwhile, the Grand Mufti of Australia says we need to rethink our approach to responding to and preventing terrorism.

“These recent incidents highlight the fact that current strategies to deal with the threat of terrorism are not working,” said Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed.

“It is therefore imperative that all causative factors such as racism, Islamophobia, curtailing freedoms through securitisation, duplicitous foreign policies and military intervention must be comprehensively addressed.

“In addition, any discourse which attempts to apportion blame or sensationalises violence to stigmatise a certain segment of society only serves to undermine community harmony and safety.’
On Twitter yesterday, the hashtag #prayforsyria was trending in response to the weekend’s #prayforparis.

While some of the posts are quite naïve and idealistic, the common thread is this: at the point of all violence, innocent people are killed and hurt – when and how can it end?

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Do you think there’s another way? 

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