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What is terrorism?
by Seyed Javad
02 April 2002 23:12 UTC
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What is terror? What is terrorism? Who is a terrorist? These and many such questions have been in one way or the other part of human and legal sciences.  But it seems there is an urgent global need in re-addressing these questions in order to direct the civilian and non-governmental-organizations' resources in tackling worldwide problems such as 'freedom fighting', 'fight for just cause' and etc.  Recently, there has been a conference in Kuala Lumpur and below you will find Dr. Kharrazi's argument in relation to terrorism and freedom:

     Kharrazi: Freedom-seeking campaign is not terrorism              

Kuala Lumpur, April 2, IRNA -- Iran's Minister of Foreign Affairs    
Kamal Kharrazi who is attending the extraordinary OIC foreign        
ministers session on terrorism said, Iran as a Muslim and an OIC     
member doesn't regard the freedom-seeking campaign in the occupied   
lands as terrorism.                                                  
    Attending a press conference on the sidelines of the second day  
of the extraordinary OIC session here Tuesday, Kharrazi in reply to  
questions posed on him by dozens of reporters, added that all kinds  
of terrorism, such as state terrorism currently observed in the Middle
East, should be condemned.                                           
    He said, some countries regard freedom-seekers and resistance    
groups as terrorists, thus a precise definition of terrorism should be
presented to avoid this.                                             
    He expressed hope that in the final statement of the current OIC 
session, the coordinated and collective approach of the Islamic      
states towards the phenomenon of terrorism would be clarified and that
a committee would be appointed to follow up the process of           
anti-terrorist campaign and to present a distinct definition of it   
jointly with other international bodies.                             
    Referring to the high significance of the present extraordinarily
OIC session due to the current critical condition in the Middle East 
and the developments after the September 11 terrorist attacks, he    
said, the present session is a good occasion to determine the nature 
of terrorist measures as well as the root-cause of terrorism and     
ways of tackling it.                                                 
    He said that all Muslim states are required to support           
Palestinians, adding that despite the recent statement issued by the 
14th Arab Summit in Beirut and an expected positive response from the
Zionist regime, Israel rejected the peace proposal and is still      
persistent in committing its atrocities.                             
    In reply to a question on Palestinians embarking on              
martyrdom-seeking moves in the occupied lands, Kharrazi said, no one 
is satisfied with the suicidal attempts and their outcomes, but the  
question is why such attempts are taking place."                     
    He added that the root-cause of terrorism should be identified and
the current situation in Palestine and the struggle of Palestinians  
aimed at securing their legitimate rights should be noticed.         
    Kharrazi added that President Mohammad Khatami, in his message   
addressed to the OIC secretary-general on September 16, 2001, proposed
holding of a global meeting of heads of state to discuss ways of     
eradicating terrorism.                                               
    Also during the 56th session of the United Nations General       
Assembly in New York, President Khatami underlined the establishment 
of a peace coalition to find an effective and a practical way to come
up with a comprehensive solution for tackling the issue of terrorism 
as well as promoting peace and stability.                            
    Kharrazi added that military solutions and taking violent        
responsive measures against terrorists, although might be justifiable
at very few occasions would never end up in eliminating them.        
    He added that instead of directing all attempts towards getting  
involved in conflicts and creating tensions, they should rather be   
directed at achieving a global peace based on justice.               
    Kharrazi hoped that the OIC meeting as a body representing all   
Muslim countries would come up with a definite approach in supporting
the Palestinian people.                                              
    In reply to a question on Iran's use of oil as a weapon to bring 
about withdrawal of Israeli forces, he said, the world of Islam      
possesses sufficient means for using against Israel and it is up to  
Muslims to choose any of them.                                       
    On US accusing Tehran as being one of the states responsible for 
the Middle East conflicts, he said, it is not the first time that US 
accuses Iran because it supports the cause of Palestine. Kharrazi    
added that Palestinians are entitled to defend their homeland        
and Muslim states have a responsibility to back their just demand.   
    He added that while the US government is directing its attempts  
against civilizations and cultures, Iran is engaged in promoting     
dialogue among civilizations and cultures and contributing to the    
global peace.                                                        
    He said, rejection of the Arabs' generous proposals by Israel    
once more proves that the Zionist regime does not seek peace which   
means the only other available option is to embark on resistance.    
    On Iraq's proposal on using oil as a weapon against US, Kharrazi 
said the issue is related to all oil producing countries and not Iraq
alone, but it should be seen how much effective it might be.         
university of bristol

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