ES Views: It’s time to rethink how we should combat terrorism

How should we respond to the threat of terrorism?: Carl Court/Getty Images

We have now had 15 years of the so-called “war on terror” and despite being told it would make the world a safer place, the West’s actions have only increased the likelihood of terrorism, to the extent that we are now targeted in our own cities — with innocent people paying with their lives.

Following the recent death of former IRA leader Martin McGuinness, many praised him for turning his back on violence and pursuing dialogue and negotiation. We now need to follow his example and acknowledge that terror begets terror, and violence begets violence.

With no end in sight to the threat from Islamist terrorists, we must change direction and negotiate to bring about an end to this cycle of violence.
Mirza Ali

As scholars, imams, academics and researchers of Muslim faith, we offer our condolences for the atrocities that were committed last Wednesday in London against innocent civilians, and we also wish to voice our concerns about all the other barbaric acts that have been committed in the name of Islam.

The sanctity of human life is a belief that is clearly enshrined in Islam and in all heavenly revealed religions. It is also part of the human instinct and predisposition.

This is the right time for us all to work together to achieve global harmony and peace. Islamic history is a testament to that co-existence, which all the communities living under its canopy enjoyed until the present day.

All of us want to maintain that legacy and avoid entering into civilisational and generational conflicts which will only shed the blood of innocent men, women and children.
Zuber Karim, Abul Kalam Azad, Arnold Yasin Mol, Fadel Soliman, Yahya Adel Ibrahim, Mohammad Sohail Ashfaque, Zubair Farooq Akhtar, Abu Bakr Isakjee, Asif Abdur-Rehman and Aqif Naqash

Much was made in your pages last week about Londoners “carrying on as normal” and “not being afraid” after the Westminster attack. Can you now allow us to do just that by not focusing endlessly on it at the expense of all the other news in the capital?

All too often the media commends us for our stoicism, then threatens it by endlessly repeating riffs on the same terrorist theme, which obviously increases fear.

French newspapers refused to publicise those individuals who killed a priest last year in Paris, while Norway’s coverage of Anders Breivik was measured and did not dominate other news. That way you cut off the oxygen of publicity from such people — which ultimately defeats their aim to divide.
Kirsten Downer

Tube staff helped in our hour of need

Last Wednesday as the horrific attack unfolded on Westminster Bridge, my wife went into labour. I knew the traffic was bad but needed to get her to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. While stuck in traffic I phoned the hospital, but there was nothing they could do apart from providing verbal support.

The dispatcher told us we had to stop, call an ambulance and get out of the car. We then went to the nearest Tube station, Clapham North, to ask for help. The station staff saw our distress and let my wife lie in their rest room while we waited for the ambulance.

After our baby boy was born I went back the next day to thank the three employees who assisted us but unfortunately they were not there.

It is very easy to complain about the Underground and its staff but every person I met at Clapham North was genuine and their actions were truly heroic in a difficult situation.
Oliver Simon

There are bigger issues than the SNP

The Scottish Parliament debated holding another independence referendum yesterday. This is something we don’t want and which will rightly be deflected by Westminster.

Surely there are more important issues to discuss such as jobs, education and policing — areas in which Scotland has under-performed. It is no surprise this has happened thanks to the SNP’s obsession with independence.
David Bone

Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam may well be a capable manager but being paid almost £10 million for destroying the jobs of 7,000 of the bank’s employees [March 24] tells you everything you need to know about who capitalism works for.

If the company needed to cut costs, why not executive pay too? What happened to the concept of leadership being about sharing the same burdens as those who are led?
Christopher Clayton

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CS11 won't be as helpful as planned

Cyclists writing in favour of the CS11 cycle superhighway section from Swiss Cottage through Regent’s Park seem to be unaware of two key points about how large a role cycling will ever play in London [Letters, March 20].

Less than 10 per cent of the population will ever use bikes for a majority of their journeys — and in hilly areas of north London you can halve that figure.

Transport for London is not expediting the Regent’s Park section of CS11 at present, yet is preparing to destroy the gyratory at Swiss Cottage.

This rearrangement of the vital north-south route into London will cause more traffic and pollution as well as displace thousands of vehicles onto myriad sidestreets which, at present, are the quietest roads used by cyclists.

I cycled from Swiss Cottage to Holborn for several years and it can be done with the help of a map. We all want safer cycling and cuts in pollution, but CS11 will do nothing to help either of these things.
David Reed

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Dele Alli is not captain material

Until his article on Dele Alli, I always thought Tony Evans wrote a very readable column full of enlightening comments. But his suggestion that Alli should captain the England team was risible [“Give Alli the armband now, it’s a risk worth taking”, March 24].

He writes that “it may seem perverse” that Alli could be captain, despite your paper reporting his three-game ban for almost breaking an opponent’s leg in a Europa League match just four pages earlier. Surely “preposterous” is a more suitable term to use?

Admittedly, Alli is a supremely gifted player but the concept of sportsmanship is way down his list of virtues, having won dubious penalties for Tottenham as well as showing his petulant side this season. I for one would not wish to see my grandsons emulating the despicable side of Alli’s game.
Nicholas Harling

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