The three-pronged attack in Jeddah, Qatif and the holy city of Madinah truly shocked all of us.
The last one, near the Prophet’s Mosque, touched the ethos of Muslims and people of other faiths who aspire for peace.
Extremism and militant ideology are the main challenges of our region and to defeat this the government has initiated several campaigns including the use of moderate scholars to promote tolerance and stop the advancement of extremist ideology.
However, this has not been totally successful as exhibited by the recent attacks. Elsewhere in Turkey, Bangladesh, and the horrific attack in Iraq this senseless carnage continues.
While senior scholars have called to promote “moderation” and “centrism” these calls have not reached the youth as the harbingers of violent ideology have adopted social media to disseminate these poisonous message.
The West has not helped either as it is one of the prime causes due to its political blunders and the Chilcot report (the Iraq inquiry that has killed off the innocence of the Tony Blair era) is a glaring example.
Twelve years ago there was no Daesh or a self-styled Caliph. The mismanagement of Iraq by Bush, Blair, Cheney, Wolfowitz, and the cunning Brenner was deliberately done.
And Amr Moussa the then Egyptian foreign minister said an attack on Iraq “would open the gates of hell” and it has done more than that. It has opened dozens of gates, caused anguish, dislocation and deaths.
The tragedy continues and now has also affected Europe, which is flooded with hundreds of thousands of refugees wanting to escape the inferno of the Middle East.
We have to put a stop to this. Arab leaders who have clout should meet and try to stabilize the situation and do both crises management and damage control.
This deviant ideology that has sprung up should be tackled effectively through practical means and not flowery words.
Make the people stakeholders, embrace the youth, put a stop to nepotism, apply good governance, end corruption, involve women and youth and be proper examples and lead from the front. And stop these “religious leaders” from interfering in the affairs of the state.
The people are tired of violence it is frightening and gives us a bad image we want to live in peace and prosperity like other peoples of the world.
We need to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
— Reprinted with permission of the Saudi Gazette and Khaled Almaeena. The writer is Editor-at-Large. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter: @KhaledAlmaeena