Terrorism—Soon to End!
A BUS in Jerusalem, a federal building in Oklahoma City, or an apartment building in Moscow can all be targets of terrorism. Although terrorists apparently want to convey a powerful message to politicians, military leaders, or economic leaders, there often seems to be no link between their cause and their target. In many cases the actual targets are ordinary people—people who have nothing to do with the terrorists’ avowed cause. Why, then, do extremists resort to acts of terrorism?
Terrorism is systematic, premeditated, and calculated. The resulting toll in deaths and injuries is not the primary objective. Such carnage is a means to an end, part of the atmosphere of shock and fear that the terrorist wishes to create in order to undermine authority and gain a hearing for his specific cause. Consider some of the factors behind the violent acts of terrorists.
Hatred. “Terrorism . . . is fueled by hatred,” stated Louis J. Freeh, director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. “Those who harbor such hatred live in a world that is colored by bigotry, shaded by conspiracy, and framed by ignorance.”
Oppression. “To be sure, there are leaders of groups and countries whose irrational goals are the annihilation of other cultures,” writes Stephen Bowman in his book When the Eagle Screams. “But it is also clear that a great deal of terrorism is born of despair.”
Frustration. “In many cases . . . the primary motivation for a terrorist is a genuine frustration with seemingly intractable political, social, and economic forces,” observes the editor of the book Urban Terrorism.
Injustice. “Terrorism is a symptom of a problem, not the actual cause,” remarks Michael Shimoff in his paper “The Policy of Terrorism.” He continues: “Our long-term goal should be to eliminate the underlying social and political causes of terrorism. . . . Paralleling our actions against terrorism, we must have equally vigorous efforts to enhance freedom, dignity, justice, and humanitarian values. Only when those vigorous efforts are effective, will we be able to dismantle our counter-terrorism and anti-terrorism operations.”
The causes and history of terrorism have proved the truth of the Biblical statement: “Man has dominated man to his injury.” (Ecclesiastes 8:9) The Bible even foretold the traits that have nurtured terrorism. It says: “In the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. For men will be lovers of themselves, . . . having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, betrayers, headstrong, puffed up with pride.”—2 Timothy 3:1-4.
The reality is that human efforts to combat terrorism, no matter how sincerely motivated, cannot successfully deal with its causes. The Bible realistically observes: “To earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.” (Jeremiah 10:23) However, while the solution to the problem of terrorism is beyond human power, it certainly is not beyond God’s power.
Those who have been wronged or oppressed and who feel frustrated can find comfort in the Bible’s sure promise: “The upright are the ones that will reside in the earth, and the blameless are the ones that will be left over in it. As regards the wicked, they will be cut off from the very earth; and as for the treacherous, they will be torn away from it.”—Proverbs 2:21, 22.
This promise of God will soon be fulfilled. His Ruler, the reigning King Jesus Christ, will see to that. A Bible prophecy says regarding Christ: “He will not judge by any mere appearance to his eyes, nor reprove simply according to the thing heard by his ears. And with righteousness he must judge the lowly ones, and with uprightness he must give reproof in behalf of the meek ones of the earth.”—Isaiah 11:3, 4.
Yes, God’s Son, Jesus Christ, will soon eliminate all injustice as well as those responsible for it. In God’s righteous new system, terrorism and violence of every kind will be things of the past. Then everyone on earth will live in security, free from fear of any harm.—Revelation 21:3, 4.
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The Bible promises that God will soon eliminate all oppression and injustice