"Terrorism thrives only in places of chaos." ~ Rami Khouri, Director of Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy, American University of Beirut.
I went to a lecture at the University of Denver yesterday sponsored by the Joszef Korbel School of International Studies. The talk was given by Rami Khouri and was titled, "Has the Arab Spring Failed? The Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East."
Khouri made an interesting comment about terrorism. He said it can only exist and thrive in the midst of chaos. He cited growing terrorist movements in Libya, Syria, and Afghanistan as current examples. All three countries border on lawlessness. I thought of other countries in the region where terrorism is at a minimum - Algeria and Qatar come to mind. Both of those countries are stable and relatively safe. Algeria is ruled by a strong military, Qatar is one of the most economically prosperous in the world.
So how do you fight terrorism? You dispel chaos! What's the antidote to chaos? Shalom - wholeness, completeness. People who seek shalom squeeze out any place for a terrorist. It's just like light and darkness. Light always dispels darkness; darkness cannot overtake the light.
This is one of my motivations for introducing Muslims to Jesus. The Muslim world is the seedbed for much terrorism in the world (although there are other non-Muslim contexts as well). If Jesus is "the Prince of Peace" and the "Light of the World," it makes sense that terrorism cannot co-exist with Jesus.