Bombs don’t kill ideology says envoy

On the occasion to mark the winning of the Nobel Prize for Peace by the ‘National Dialogue Quartet’ of four civil society groups in Tunisia, Ambassador Nabil Ammar made a powerful plea to governments to work more effectively to reduce the threat of extremist ideologies.

Tunisia’s culture of civil society “had come to the rescue of a fragile and blocked political process,” he said, without which there would have been a vacuum that would have been filled by “suffering, violence and terror”.

He warned that no country was immune to terrorism, which was growing in sophistication and complexity as the world had become more interconnected.

“Some countries may appear less vulnerable but this is a short-term view,” he warned. “Terror adapts… [We need] the real determination to dismantle the increasingly sophisticated organisation behind the recruitment of young boys and girls used as human weapons.”

Military action would not be enough, he added: “This will never be sufficient – arms have never killed ideologies.”

Instead, he said societies should counter the narrative using the same channels, such as schools, civil society and social networks, adding that the best treatment to the cancer of hate remained “prevention through politics”.

To diplomats he warned that governments “lost credibility” if they minimised or denied the links between the rise of terrorism and “major foreign policy decisions”.