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Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism: Two sides of the same coin

Posted on 12 May 2017 by cbcs_mike

Terrorism is defined by the dictionary as “ the unofficial and unauthorized used of violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aim”. Wikipedia further defines , thus Terrorism is, in its broadest sense, the use of intentionally indiscriminate violence as a means to create terror or fear, in order to achieve a political, religious, or ideological aim.[1] It is used in this regard primarily to refer to violence against civilians or non-combatants.[2]

Terrorism according to this definition is creating terror and violence against civilians or non-combatants to achieve a certain political or religious goal. Does this definition exempt military or the security sector which conducts counter-terrorism that create terror among civilians and non-combatants? The first terrorism is the terrorism by the enemy of the state while the second terrorism (counter-terrorism) is state-sponsored.

This terrorism and counter-terrorism that both create terror among civilians and non-combatants shall be pursued vigorously in the Ulama Anti-terrorism summit. It must also be defined, as in the case of the Bangsamoro, if terrorism is a cause or an effect.

Running against a handful of terrorists will never justify the terror created against the civilians and non-combatants. They are in the thousands. They are displaced, lost their livelihood, hungry, getting sick in evacuation center living in the mercy of relief goods. This is more than terror. So, you don’t solve terrorism that creates havoc on civilians by another terrorism that equally creates terror.

Terrorism should not have a place in society aspiring to live peacefully like ours. It should be rooted out. The reason for terrorism must be analyzed deeply. The BIFF and the Maute groups came in the picture only recently. They descended from MILF parents. Earlier on both the BIFF and the Maute groups were in a “wait and see” posture. Things change when the BBL was not passed in the 16th congress. They seem to have lost their Bangsamoro nationalism by the failure and hopelessness of a homegrown solution to the Bangsamoro autonomy. Then they must have been attracted to the global ideology of the ISIS. They came more prominently thereafter. Many of the present leadership of the ASG are descendants of MNLF parents. These are important factors to be considered seriously in looking for a more permanent solution to terrorism in the Bangsamoro. We need to look for the better perspectives that will naturally eradicate terrorism. Terrorism does not happen with out reasons. That reasons can also be very local. It can be in our own backyard. Solving the Bangsamoro question may help solve terrorism in the long term.

The mainstream MNLF and the MILF can be a strong support to solving the issue of terrorism if they are given enough space and authority through a meaningful autonomy. While we are looking for an immediate call to action solution to terrorism, strategically an autonomy is one peace of effective solution to the problem. Remember, all conflicts are local. Long Live the Ulama…. (Bapa G)


Guiamel M. Alim
CBCS, Chairperson

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