I heard the word "terrorism" for the first time on the 11th of September 2001 (now referred to as 9/11). I was still in middle school doing Year 8 in China. I remember that day, as after our discipline teacher announced on the school broadcast the news that terrorists hi-jacked planes and crashed into the Twin Towers in New York, most of the students and teachers cheering.
This was due to the terrible political relationship between US and China at that time as a Chinese war plane was shot down by the USAF in the South China Sea. The Chinese pilot was killed.
And now, 14 years on, terrorism has grown bigger and bigger. The tragedy of 9.11 is not only for the US, but for everyone of us, regardless of what country we're in.
On 15 December last year, an incident happened in Sydney which was called terrorism. A gunman took hostages in Lindt Café at Martin Place. After more than 14 hours a confrontation occurred between the Police and the gunman. Three lives were lost one of which was the gunman himself.
It was like any other Monday, and nobody in Australia would have believed that a terrorism act would take place there, even though there was chaos in many parts of the Middle East. When this Sydney tragedy happened, naturally no police were on site protecting such a peaceful setting.
When I heard this shocking news, I couldn't believe my ears. To me, Australia is such a beautiful country with its wonderful people. The migrants who started to come here from the end of 18th century, are like delicious fruit. This is how I describe it - each individual fruit is very nice, and as we mix the fruit into fruit salad it tastes even better. With the mixture of different cultures, it makes a unique Australian culture. The people worked hard to pursue their goals, and with integrity this vast team pushed this young country forward without fear. We live in an island continent, it is not an easy place to conqueror from any external place.
Just after the Lindt Café incident happened, someone on Twitter made the following statement. "Not all Muslins are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslin". In my opinion, this kind of statement is very dangerous. It will create a lot of conflicts and problems to the world in which we are living. The terrorist is the enemy of the entire human race, regardless of what tag they might claim. The most powerful weapon in the world is not nuclear weapons, but love.
Without love, nothing is possible.
Without love, people will not be united.
Without love, terrorism will never be eliminated.
A terrorism story
In 2013, there was an aircraft hi-jack incident that happened in North West of China. The terrorists pretended to be disabled and hid their knifes in their walking sticks.
When the aircraft got to cruising altitude, the terrorists took out their knives and started to threaten the passengers and crew and attempted to take control of the aircraft. This was happened suddenly; none of the passengers or crew was aware of what was going on. After they took control of the passenger cabin section, the terrorists made a move to get into the pilot's compartment. If they had got in, the consequence would have been devastating.
At that moment, a male passenger yelled loudly to all other passengers: "If you think you are a brave man, let's fight! Otherwise, we all die!" This man stood tall and initiated a fight with one of the terrorists. This shocked the terrorists and were far from certain what to do, as more and more passengers including some ladies and crew members joined in this "fight for justice".
The terrorists were conquered. Their faces revealed how astonished they were. This is what happens when there is a united voice in a "fight for justice".
In my view, although terrorism is horrifying, standing united together in a fight for the world in one way forward which we saw in Paris and their response last week.
However, the best long term manner is that of Christian love to see converted those traumatised within such situations who become the terrorists, converted back to normality (on the one hand) and to Christian love (on the other). We are all children of God and this surely is the key note message of the Gospel.
How we achieve this has a myriad of different responses proven over the centuries as how each individual comes to a living faith in Jesus Christ.
Oscar Duan is from China, he has an accountancy degree from University of Hertfordshire (UH) International campus in Malaysia, and has undertaken further accountancy studies in Australia for accreditation here. He is married to Heyley.
Oscar Duan's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/oscar-duan.html