DAVOS: US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday described the December 17 massacre at the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar as the most horrific manifestation of extremism, as he made an impassioned plea for more resources to fight the menace around the world.
“This kind of atrocity can never be rationalised… [It] can never be excused,” Kerry said while referring to the deadly Taliban rampage that killed over 150 people, including 134 schoolchildren.
“They have to be opposed. With every fiber of our being, they have to be stopped,” Kerry continued in his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “We have to take risks. We have to invest more resources.”
But as he called on the international community to devote more resources to fight global extremism, the top US diplomat warned that the battle would falter if it becomes consumed by sectarian division or Islamophobia.
“The biggest error that we could make would be to blame Muslims collectively for crimes not committed by Muslims alone,” he said while advising world leaders to ‘keep their heads’.
“Unless we direct our energies in the right direction, we may very well fuel the very fires we want to put out,” he added. “Extremism has claimed violence at every corner of the globe and Muslim lives most of all. There’s no room for sectarian division. There’s no room for anti-Semitism or Islamophobia.”
Kerry described Islamic State (IS) militants, who have seized wide swathes of Iraq and Syria, as ‘a collection of monsters’. He said ultraradical groups like IS and Boko Haram “are attempting to govern land. It’s a first-time event”.
He compared efforts to curb the spread of extremist violence to the fight against fascism in World War-II.