Zurich, September 2001

"Campaign against terrorism"

Appalling attacks of mass destruction - they inevitably affect thousands of innocent people and destroy entire economic systems (which often have to be rebuilt by the destroyers themselves, at great sacrifice). Lots of people insist on this: "take drastic measures!", they urge.

Others advise caution, but have no alternative suggestions.

(On the other hand, of course, there is a need for more justice in this world. But it may never seem like a reward for terror.)

What I miss in the hundreds of articles, speeches and television broadcasts is an indication of what path to take when one does not approve of "drastic measures". Hardly anyone talks about how to cope with this "spiritual arson", which to me seems to be the greatest, constant danger for the future.

I think the path is necessary and perhaps possible too: in every country suspected of favouring terrorism in one form or another, the entire educational system (schools, teaching aids, training camps, kindergartens - yes, those too) needs to be examined closely - compulsorily, if necessary. The same goes for other institutions that exert a powerful influence on the masses - the clergy, for instance. Wherever there are signs of incitement or terrorist ideas or even brainwashing for the sake of "kamikaze" terrorism, the authorities must be called upon to take immediate measures to eradicate them completely and permanently. (Such measures require a great deal of complicated planning of course.)

Obviously, those who decline to take or participate in appropriate action unmask themselves as terrorists and as propagators of future terror actions. If possible, recourse should be taken to legal means of calling such people to account or at any rate of removing them from their area of influence and replacing them by suitable persons.

Where these demands are not satisfied, the institutions in question (schools, governments, authorities etc.) must be classified as terrorist institutions and treated accordingly by the international community of nations participating in the "campaign against terrorism".

Yehoshua Lakner

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