Manifesto of Intellectuals Against Terrorism

Manifesto of Intellectuals Against Terrorism

For the last four years, our society has suffered deadly attacks of terrorism with islamic origin, organized and supported by local, regional and international  networks.  There are tens of   victims of terorism among them politicians, military and internal security forces as well as foreign and tunisian civilians. 
Terrorism aims at undermining civil peace, social cohesion, state security and the economuy of the country. It mainly recruits amonng the most vulnerable communities of youngsters and disseminates hatred of the Other and renders  violence trivial. 
Being aware of the necessity for mobilization of all the forces in the civil society, the state and all the political actors, we, women and men, academics, cultural actors and creators, assembled in this congress against terrorism and for the defense of the civil and democraticv state, adopt this current manifesto.
Terrorism is a global phenomenon, the outcome  of an ideology which introduces itself to the world as a mode of being, thinking and acting,  drawing on material means and propaganda. Terrorism should be approached with all its ramifications, in order to neutralize and disqualify it in the eyes of society.
The savage acts of terrorism we are undergoing, are the ideological manifestation of a violent minority that has a literal and extermist interpretation of religion and its fouding sources. This ideology, alienates women particularly, whose liberation is the main operator of modernity in our society. 
Islamist terrorism draws the main part of its vision from the principles and conceptions of the salafist, wahabite islamic tradition as well as the political ideologies which inspire them, and particularly that of the "Muslim Brotherhood".  Terrorism is not a  genuine Tunisian phenomenon. It  crosses frontiers and constitutes a node in the world chain of terrorism active in the region, in the East as well as in the West. It feeds on networks where complex and multiple geopolitical, ideological, economic and military  interests merge.
Enemy of modernity and of multiple and millinary heritage, waging war against the civil and democratic Republic, terrorism is naturally part of globalized capitalism while rejecting the universal, in the name of politically and ideologically constructed identities, with no link to the complexities of real and multiple belongings. 
The social, cultural and economic gaps inside the country as well as in the world push dissenting young people to the belief that terrorism could be the  salutary alternative and create in them the illusion that this "jihadism" is a legitimate and fair response to injustice in the world. 
Consequently, and in order to defeat terrorism, a project for the future must be constructed, capable of convincing the youth that action is possible, expressing onself and opening up in  society and not against it, in an organized and peaceful  way, and not through resorting to  violence and self-exclusion. 
To achieve these goals, it is up to the state , economic, social, cultural, civil society, the youth, as well as to us, intellectuals, of all philosophical, artistic and religeous orientations to think and act within  different frames to reconstruct a shared social pact, made of values and mutual commitments, capable of restoring the civil pact which has been dangerously  altered.  
This new social pact is based on:
A rule of law bsed on the constitution, which defends itself and society, imposes respect of law, autonomy of justice, putting an end to destruction and self destruction.
A renewed social project, based on universal principles of equality between men and women, freedom of individuals and thought. 
A remaking of the relation of the state to religion in order to establish a clear separation between the political  and the religeous, between the public and private spheres, to rethink the status of the institutions in charge of religeous affairs, so that neutrality is assured and protected against ideological manipulation
Instructors and an educational system in constant change and innovation: aschools which teach the live together, cultivate and liberate people's competences. 
A university for citizens open to the world and renewal of knowledge and the strenghtening of critical thought. It enjoys academic freedom and has the means to garantee  good quality teaching. 
Closer cultural policy which puts art and heritage to the service of society and its development. 
A social policy which fights inequalities and offers opportunities to all the regions, the youth, and all the social groups
Multiplication of media spaces aimed at sensitizing public opinion to the risks of identitarian closure and to reductive and dogmatic conceptions of religion and history.  The ultimate objective is to guard society against these dangers

Aware of our responsibilities and keen  to contribute democratically to actions in order to establish the bases of a profoud reform of our society, we signatories of the manifesto, declare hereby that we remain constantly mobilized as a collective for action and propositions against terrorism, for a democratic transition that ensuress liberty, justice, and peace for all our countrymen and women.

Congrès des intellectuels tunisiens    Contact the author of the petition

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