THE Social Security Research Centre at Universiti Malaya’s Faculty of Economics and Administration recently hosted an international forum titled “The Impact of Social Security and Economic Development Policies in Preventing Terrorism” to discuss the impact of social security and economic developmental policies in preventing terrorism.
Jointly organised with EuroMENA Research Centre, the research arm of the Saudi Research and Marketing Group, the forum was the result of an ongoing debate on terrorism which saw a difference in opinion among scholars and generated opposing arguments on theoretical issues.
They included the definition of terrorism, the different responses to terrorism and the different pathways that lead people to engage in such acts of violence.
During the forum, scholars and experts from different disciplinary backgrounds came together and concluded that poverty, inequality, stunted economic growth as well as political manipulation and external forces are the root causes of terrorism.
Discussions at the forum concluded that these factors create gaps in society which could subsequently cause one to feel deprived and denied of their basic rights.
Speakers inferred that this could cause a person to retaliate through violence.
Preventing an act of terrorism calls for socio-economic developmental policies that sufficiently redistributes state resources and the strengthening of social benefit systems which improves standards of living across all groups.
An inclusive education system and one which promotes the freedom of expression is also important to allow the dissemination of ideas and the airing of grievances
The forum also highlighted the importance of social media literacy to help citizens make informed decisions.
This is especially important for youths – who are thought to be vulnerable and easily influenced through social media platforms.
Present at the forum were UM Social Security Research Centre junior research fellow Dr Evangelos Koutronas, Saudi Research and Marketing Group chief strategy officer Dr Abdulkader Alfantookh, EuroMENA Research executive director Ahmed Hayajneh, and EuroMENA Research assistant Khaled Abunab.
Source: The Star