Horrible accounts of grisly murders, shocking stories of mass killings in different parts of the world, are heartbreaking for all. Millions of innocent people have to struggle on a daily basis to stay alive, while millions others face harsh persecution and oppression. Terrorism continues to claim the lives of thousands of civilians throughout the world every year.
One would expect the world to unite to stop this madness and bring peace instead, but quite surprisingly, the world seems to have pinned its hopes on more armament. The most important reason behind this interesting phenomenon is the personal, social and inter-communal moral degeneracy and a persistently hateful and selfish attitude that has begun to engulf the world. Even Africa, many countries of which are struggling with hunger on a daily basis, is spending all it has on weapons as a bitter reminder of this disturbing reality.
Today, security is a problem that haunts the entire world, for which countries spend billions of dollars. The situation is so grim that millions of refugees who are fleeing for their lives from wars, conflicts, fear, persecution, poverty and insecurity are considered a “security problem” in many parts of the world.
Walls built along the borders are amongst the measures taken by many to address the security issues. For instance, many European countries, the top destination for illegal immigrants due to its relative proximity, have already put up walls along their borders. It is estimated that by the end of 2015, more than one million refugees will have entered Europe. Many immigrants try to reach Europe via Turkey and Greece. Struggling with the needs of the increasing immigrants, Greece decided to put up wire fences along its border around Maritza; Bulgaria also put up a 160 km wire fence along its borders.
The reaction on the part of Hungary and Croatia to the migrants and refugees seeking to cross to Germany by train has attracted criticism from across the world. Hungary, which has already erected a wall to prevent migrants entering the country from Serbia, has now said it will erect a similar wall between it and Croatia. Thousands of migrants, predominantly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, are arriving in Hungary, by crossing first to Greece and moving from there to Serbia.
UN officials say that the flow of migrants to Europe will continue so long as conditions in Syria and Iraq are not improved, and that the essential solution lies in humanitarian aid. The UN special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, issued the following statement on the subject: “Building fences, using tear gas and other forms of violence against migrants and asylum seekers, detention, withholding access to basics such as shelter, food or water and using threatening language or hateful speech will not stop migrants from coming or trying to come to Europe.”
Then, there are countries that are using walls to protect themselves from terrorism in neighboring countries. For example, Saudi Arabia will build a thousand kilometer-long wall between towns of Turaif and Hafar el Batin. It will also put up walls along its borders with Yemen as a protective measure. Kenya began to erect walls along its border with Somalia to prevent the spillover of Al-Shabaab fighters.
Turkmenistan also announced that it would build a wall along its border with Afghanistan to keep the Taliban at bay and has begun the process of building a 745 kilometer-long wall.
In the ongoing crisis with Russia, Ukraine has decided to ensure its security through walls along its borders. Accordingly, it is going to erect a two thousand kilometer-long wall along its Russian border with 100 million Euro in financial aid from the European Union. This wall will be reinforced with barbed wires, mines and electric fences.
Israel has also built walls and checkpoints between the West Bank and Palestine on the grounds of security concerns. Remote controlled weapons are also in place to make sure that no one gets close to the walls.
The list can go on. The basic idea behind these walls go back to the giant walls erected by the Roman Empire in the First Century AD and the Great Wall of China – the longest defensive wall in the world – as well as the infamous Berlin Wall. However, attempts to achieve the much sought-after peace these walls were built for failed as well.
We should remember that the basic requirement for peace and security and order is love, compassion, friendship and brotherhood and that without friendship, without solidarity and love, there can be no peace, nor acceptance of different ideas or thoughts. In such a world, people will forget about love, compassion and understanding and will want to keep away from each other through walls instead of trying to understand and reconcile with each other. However, in a world of love, things will be different.
In that world, people will lovingly embrace different races, colors, faiths and cultures, offer safe shelter to refugees who fled for their lives while kindly helping them get rid of their shortcomings, if any.
The leaders of the world can play a great role in ensuring this. They can pioneer a unifying, peaceful, loving spirit while emphasizing love, compassion, unity, solidarity, friendship and brotherhood.
With this language of love, refugee crises, wars and conflicts, the global threats due to terrorism and violence will finally come to an end. It is high time that people understand that problems cannot be solved by erecting walls, by arming oneself to the teeth, or by deploying more troops; in other words, merely through military solutions.
These issues can be solved through educational policies based on love, compassion and humanity. We hope that this century will at long last see the end of hatred, tension and conflict as the light of love, peace, friendship and security shines through the darkness of today.
The 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference is scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, Hainan Province. The forum will be themed "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily