BEIRUT

Editorial

Leading by example

File - Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud speaks before a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (not pictured) at his private residence in the Red Sea city of Jeddah in this June 27, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan Smialowski/Pool

A lot of countries have recently been reiterating just how committed they are to combating terrorism, be it at home or abroad, but few have taken as many tangible steps as Saudi Arabia, who Wednesday announced a $100 million donation to the U.N. to help it fight the growing threat.

Various world leaders are talking about the need to crush various terrorist threats – talk which has recently focused on, but which has not been limited to, the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater (ISIS) – but what is needed now is not talk, but action.

Much like Saudi Arabia’s recent donations to the Lebanese Army – extremely generous measures that will help on the ground but that also show a faith in the strength of Lebanon – the U.N. gift shows that the kingdom is leading the fight against terrorism in the region, despite often coming under criticism for not doing enough. Saudi Arabia recently gave $1 billion to the Lebanese Army as it confronted militants in Arsal, coming only a couple of months after a $3 billion grant to the military. The $100 million grant to the U.N. follows a $500 million donation to provide humanitarian assistance to those Iraqis affected by ISIS advances.

This move should now encourage other countries to take similar steps, if they are able to. Terrorism knows no religion, and no creed, even though it might often claim to. Therefore any efforts to combat such threats need a cohesive approach, involving a myriad group of players, which will also help prevent any crackdown ever appearing to be some sectarian, politicized or partisan conflict.

The disease of terrorism will not be confronted through prayer or through statements. Saudi Arabia has set a clear example of what has to happen. Governments across the globe must work together, and pool resources, to create an honest, transparent and focused anti-terrorism effort.

Unless that happens, and soon, we will only see more bloodshed, and more suffering. And not just in this region, but across the world.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 15, 2014, on page 7.

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