Giving asylum to refugees is not a cause of terrorism, but the political and social backgrounds of terrorism are the breeding ground that triggers the displacement of millions, HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said yesterday, official Qatar News Agency reported.
Addressing the opening session of the two-day 17th Doha Forum, being held under the topic ‘Development, Stability and Refugees Issues,’ the Emir noted that a refugee is the victim of the same environment that produces terrorism, and may himself be a victim of it. In the end refugees are helpless and desperate.
“Terrorism and extremism are a global phenomenon that is not linked to any particular society, people or religion. It is posing a serious threat to security and stability in the Middle East and the world,” HH the Emir emphasised.
He believed that the “eradication of this abhorrent phenomenon requires international co-operation and an obligatory strategy to confront the circumstances and causes of terrorism and the ideologies that justify and legitimise it in any way. The provisions of international law and tackling the roots and real causes of this blight must be taken into account in fighting terrorism.”
“The ideal environment for the activity of those who adopt radical ideologies to recruit young people is the widespread of anger because of the inability to act against the injustice and humiliation, and the ingrained feeling of inequity that is coupled with despair and deadlocked vistas. I do not also exclude people who are violent by nature,” HH the Emir said.
“Factors such as psychological and physical violence exercised by tyranny or foreign occupation, social, economic and political distortions, as well as blocked prospects for change are pushing some people to join movements that put forward violence as a way out,” he maintained.
In this context, the Emir stressed the need to confront extremist ideologies and their advocates who exploit such an environment to push a small number of young people into this path.
“We should neither forget the environment itself, nor the ‘state terrorism’ exercised under the pretext of combating terrorism, which in turn leads to its spread and redoubling its size. There must also be a clear distinction between terrorism and the legitimate right of peoples to struggle for freedom and independence,” he said.
“We firmly believe that dialogue is the optimum way to settle disputes and resolve regional and international crises and conflicts. Today, our world is in dire need of concerted efforts and serious work to deepen the concepts of dialogue and promote a culture of peace, tolerance, equality and rejection of violence and extremism. In this respect, we seek through this forum to consolidate the principle of dialogue and support the values of joint action and collective building of the future,” he explained.
Earlier in his address, HH the Emir pointed out that the topic of this year’s Doha Forum is crucial for millions of people and an urgent one for the international community in general.
“Historically, millions of people have fled their countries to escape oppression, persecution, natural disasters or in search for a better life, and they have found for themselves new homelands, and great nations and civilisations have emerged from these migrations.”
“We distinguish refugees’ issue from these problems because it is the result of political action, whether wars or processes of forced uprooting and displacement,” the Emir stressed.
The forum’s opening session also included remarks by Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Lebanon’s President Saad al-Hariri, Somalia’s Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre, and the UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohamed.
During the Doha Forum, it was announced that Qatar has entered an agreement with the Brookings Institution to establish an institute for US relations with the Islamic world.
The Qatar Fund for Development has signed an agreement with the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to provide a multi-year generous financial contribution of $40mn to support the office. Qatar ranks second in the list of countries that support humanitarian affairs.
HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani addressing the opening session of the 17th Doha Forum yesterday.