Govt taking ‘urgent steps’ to counter radicalisation: M J Akbar

NEW DELHI
9 Feb 2017

The Union government today said it is taking "urgent measures" to counter radicalistion and will soon hold an international conference on the issue that distorts reality and the message of Islam.
Delivering his key note address during an international seminar organised by country's premier counter-terror force NSG here, minister of state for external affairs M J Akbar said India was surprised as to why the United Nations and its member countries have been held back by "some limited tactical" reason to define the precise meaning of terrorism.

"... We protect human rights when we eliminate terrorism. This is a debate which goes on and on and on that we, those who seek to eliminate terrorism, are somehow infringing human rights, when the greatest threat to human rights is the terrorist. Is there anybody, who is sane, and who can challenge this? Is there anybody, who is sane, who can argue with this? In fact, even in the Holy Koran it is written that the eliminator of a 'fasadi' (one who spreads mischief), fasad is a word commonly used in India now, elimination of one 'fasadi' is equivalent to saving the whole community. And it is very true, I mean, this metaphor is so perfectly appropriate to our country," Akbar said while addressing the top brass of counter-terror officials from India and about a dozen foreign countries.

The junior external affairs minister said while the country was not witnessing a flood of Indian Muslims going towards radicalisation, the government does recognise the need to "take urgent measures to counter and protect the spread of terrorism and radicalisation." "We are taking the lead in discussing radicalisation, in searching and finding out ways in order to challenge it because this has to be fought not only at the level of what you (security agencies) do it, but also at the level of ideas.

"And, we hope that we will be able to hold an international conference on radicalisation very soon. We have, therefore, called upon all countries to work together to expedite the adoption of a draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism in UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) without any further delay," Akbar said. The minister also expressed India's disappointment over the UN not coining a definition on what exactly terrorism means to the globe.
"I don't think anyone in the world denies the menace of terrorism. Why is it that for the last 20 years the UN has not been able to find a definition. Nations must ask themselves how can you fight an enemy if you do not have clarity about the enemy and how can you have clarity if you do not have definitions? This coy approach to such a menace is not serving the world very well ... The UN itself is a term from the second Word War (and) it was created for the allies, there was clarity. Why is there no clarity in this world," Akbar said, adding radicalisation by terror groups "distorts reality and the message of Islam."