by Yang Qingchuan, Zhi Linfei
WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- It has been almost 10 years since the 9/11 terror attacks shocked the world and set the international community in a common course to go after al Qaida and like-minded groups.
A decade later, that global effort paid off. With the killing of terror mastermind Osama bin Laden and several of his top lieutenants, al Qaida has already been weakened.
But the fight is far from over. Terrorists have adapted to the new situation with changing tactics, enlarged operation ranges, and increased collaboration with separatists and religious extremists.
A bigger challenge to the world's anti-terror effort, though, is a lack of a common standard. In particular, the United States and its western allies have repeatedly used double standards on anti-terror issues, which has obstructed the progress of the global effort.
After 9/11, Washington launched the so-called "war against terror" in Afghanistan and Iraq, resulting in the killing of thousands of innocent civilians and displacement of millions more. The U.S. military's routine drone attacks in Pakistan's border regions also led to civilian deaths and prompted strong protests from Islamabad.
Often, the United States has turned a blind eye to the damage and threats caused by extremists in Russia's Chechen Republic, and opted for a double standard on the issue of the separatist forces in China's Xinjiang province, rejecting China's request to extradite members of the so-called "East Turkistan Islamic Movement," which has a close relationship with al Qaida.
Moreover, the word "counterterrorism" sometimes served as a political tool to advance Western national interests and ideological goals, and was even used as a cheap excuse to intervene in other countries' internal affairs.
Obviously, such a double standard can only harm the global anti-terror effort. It not only puts the righteousness of the anti-terror effort in doubt, but also plays into the hands of the extremists and terrorists.
It's common sense that all kinds of terrorism, extremism and separatism are the enemy of the civilized world, because they advocate violence and random killings in defiance of all laws and humanity in a bid to achieve evil goals.
Fighting and eradicating terrorism, extremism and separatism should be an international responsibility and, therefore, shared by every country, rather than the sole responsibility of the United States. Thus, there is an urgent need to create a common standard for fighting terrorism around the world today.
Under this unified standard, extremism and separatism should be equally treated as terrorism, no matter where they are based, while understanding should be promoted among countries for each other's anti-terror fight, and the principle of nonintervention in the internal affairs of any country should be firmly upheld.
That's the only way for the world to finally eliminate terrorism and have enduring peace and order.