x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Community must join in the fight against terrorism

Readers say the Kenyan rescuers should be praised for their work during the terrorist attack on the Westgate Mall. Other topics: safety belts and child protection.

Readers deplore the terrorist attack on the Nairobi mall but praise rescue workers. Kabir Dhanji / EPA
Readers deplore the terrorist attack on the Nairobi mall but praise rescue workers. Kabir Dhanji / EPA

I am writing in reference to Punishment for mall raid will be ‘swift and painful’ (September 23).

The attack at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi underscores the dangers of terrorism across the world, in this instance committed by Al Shabab, a militant group based in Somalia.

The innocent victims were simply enjoying a weekend afternoon in a mall. From news reports it appears that the Kenyan rescue services have acted with speed to look after the wounded. Their role has been exemplary, as it was in 1998 when the American Embassy was bombed by Al Qaeda.

Companies managing malls across the world need to fortify their security, because terrorists derive publicity by attacking targets that have a global clientele.

I would also like to see Somalis in Kenya help fight terrorism.

Somali traders play an important role in Kenya’s economy. Many of them are large wholesalers and commission agents for consumer products.

These Somalis should form a pressure group to persuade rebels against attacking Kenyans, because this type of terrorist attack on innocents will certainly harden Kenyan attitudes towards resident Somalis.

Rajendra K Aneja, Dubai

This is absolute madness. These monsters are fulfilling their materialistic and worldly motives, not acting in the name of religion.

Moiz SA, Sharjah

This brutal act against innocent civilians must be condemned.

I pray for the innocent victims of all nationalities and for the speedy recovery of the injured.

K Ragavan, India

Children deserve a world without fear

I was deeply shocked to read US nearly detonated atom bomb by accident (September 22).

I was the author of a 1986 Unicef paper on children in situations of armed conflict which outlined a strategy for children as “zones of peace”.

I had drawn on many studies of children affected by conflict. The greatest worry of European children in the early 1980s was the fear of a nuclear catastrophe.

Children in other conflict zones in the developing world were traumatised by fear of death, torture and enslavement, particularly in Africa.

It was the hope of humanity that with end of Cold War the threat of a nuclear Armageddon had receded.

However, while the small number of those possessing these weapons of mass destruction showed restraint, the proliferation of nuclear arms, particularly in the hands of aggressive states has created a very dangerous situation.

Very poor countries (India, Pakistan and North Korea) have gained these weapons, and Israel is known to have accumulated a formidable arsenal of nuclear bombs, creating concern in the Middle East.

Now that the international community is dealing with Syria’s possession of chemical weapons, there is an opportunity to make the Middle East a region free from weapons of mass destruction.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has raised this issue and has called on Israel to give up its WMDs.

If a small fraction of resources, both financial and technological, expended on arms is diverted to human well-being, the sources of many human tragedy, such as terrorism, poverty, discrimination and the ugly spectre of deprivation, can be addressed effectively and efficiently.

Those involved in drafting the global development agenda beyond 2015 need to address this issue very, very seriously.

For the sake of our children and generations to come, let’s join hands to promote this noble cause.

Baquer Namazi, Dubai

Breaking safety laws is not a right

I refer to Social pressure can encourage use of seat belts (September 21).

The UAE must implement strict punishment for non-compliance with regard to seat belts. That is the only way to drive home this point.

People must understand that compliance with the law is for the benefit of society, and that breaking the law is not an assertion of individual rights.

Satwa Gunam, Dubai

Abuse detection an important task

I am writing about Wadeema’s law (Nursery staff to be taught to spot child abuse, September 23).

Child abuse knows no borders. It is a difficult, but very important, job to discover whether a child has been abused.

I Dukanovic, Dubai