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Defeating calls for terrorism, extremism online

May 16,2019 - Last updated at May 16,2019

His Majesty King Abdullah attended a timely meeting on Wednesday on the Christchurch Call to Action to Eliminate Terrorism and Violent Extremist Content Online, hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the Élysée Palace in Paris, and explained the efforts of Jordan already in place to combat terrorism and extremism on the foundation of the Aqaba Process, launched specifically for this purpose.

The participants at the meeting contemplated ways and means to give effect to the call for more action, and adopt additional measures to combat acts of terrorism and hate crimes.

In retrospect, time has long passed on the mere adoption of principles giving effect to the calls for an end to the exploitation of the Internet or social media or any other technological means to propagate extremism and terrorist attacks across the globe. Much more is now needed to give effect to these legitimate calls.

The international community at large, and like-minded countries in particular, are called upon to go beyond the mere censorship of these calls and are invited to start the national process in every country to criminalise the use of the Internet, social media or any other technological device to spread terrorism and extremist ideas.

We are beyond the stage of mere condemnation of the exploitation of modern technology to spread acts of terrorism or extremism, or even what causes or contributes to terrorism or hate crimes per se. Countries must now move forward and adopt legislations that make it a crime punishable by imprisonment to use modern technology to advance terrorism and extremism and promote the implementation of their devilish schemes and calls.

Only by criminalising these acts in the strongest possible legislations would the international community be able to combat, if not eradicate, them altogether. Parliaments across the globe are invited to start contemplating the enactment of immediate additional legislation to make it a crime punishable by imprisonment to violate the Christchurch call for combating terrorism and extremism online or otherwise.

The additional legislation needs to be carefully and meticulously drafted in order to avoid any conflict with organic laws or international norms on freedom of expression.

National courts need to be effective and expeditious in the implementation of these additional laws in order to drive home the message that there is no more immunity to people who advocate terrorism or extremist ideas online or otherwise.

This way, there can be hope to begin the process of defeating calls for acts of terrorism or hardline ideas online. Otherwise, the international community would remain stuck on what constitutes terrorism and extremism and what pious means could be made available to combat them ideologically.

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