The issue of terrorism has been lately a major concern of every nation chiefly due to its negativity to all the aspects of global development and partly because it brings suffering and creates antagonism between the nations of the globe. Following the wake of the 9/11 and many more other terrorism related atrocities committed to human kind across the globe no one is exempted from terrorists threats.
As of now the US has taken the initiative to counter terrorism and its perpetuators by declaring a spirited war on terror through its internal and foreign policy, other nations have taken the cue are equally on a positive trend in terms of resolution making and dedications of both moral and material resources to the fight against the vice.
In middle east for instance, where most of the terrorism networks are believed to have deep roots, efforts are being made to fight terrorism in view of making the region a safer place and also creating a good international image in order to boost economic ties with far regions of the globe and hence promote globalization. In a recent historic summit, involving all the countries that makes up the Middle East region to address terrorism, various countries articulated their positions in as far as the war on terrorism was concerned, efforts made and proposals for further corporate efforts were put forth.
Oman’s Efforts to Combat Terrorism Being a purely Muslim country, Oman like many of Persian Gulf countries it has maintained a crackdown and arrests of “Islamists” and subsequent trial in unique courts conducted in public. This has been a major tool in deterring potential terrorists who normally disguise themselves in the banner of religion.
The history of Oman strict policies against Islamists took shape backing 1994 when the sultanate arrested and tried Saboteurs who made futile attempts to confront the status quo this mailed a very loaded message that Oman was no longer an abode for Islamist militants and therefore sending shivers down the spinal chords of many underground Islamists organizations. Further, the lack of terrorism activities in Oman is attributed to the atypical religion of the Omanis.
Majority of them are followers of Abdallah ibn Ibadah al – Maqdish a cut loose of the Kharijii section of the Muslims considered to be “quietist”. Oman is the only Ibadhi country in the world with close connections to the Maliki Sunni school, which advocates for directly elected leadership of religious leaders (imams) who happen to double up to political leaders. The Ibadhi leadership that is considered unconventional in many Muslim quarters has managed to steer Oman away from sectarian affiliations. [N.
Janardhan] In 1994 Oman became the first Gulf Cooperation Council Country to toe the anti-terror line when it hosted an Israeli Prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin. Again, Oman maintains a clean sheet in internal terrorism standings, with no record of its citizens having fought alongside Muslim hardliners in Afghanistan or even incarcerated in the Guantanamo bay, the biggest terrorist detention camp controlled by the US. Only two unconfirmed linking’s of Oman citizens with the international terrorist cell of al-Qaeda.
Oman used a very unique style in trying the suspected members of the outlawed underground organizations who were arrested in 2004; this took the format of conducting a court session to selected public, relatives, journalists, and members of the elected council (Mailis al-Shura) and the appointed state council (Mailis al- Dawallah). The accused wore the national attire and they were not hand cuffed during the trial, even declined the services of lawyers claiming to have immense confidence in the judicial system.
Despite them being under trial the Oman ruler, sultan Oaboos bin Said ordered them to continue receiving their salaries until the case were terminated. The convicted people were given long jail terms ranging from one year and twenty years. This gave a confirmation that Oman is no home for dissidents, Islamists, or even terrorists and others alike. [N. Janardhan] Further, the close working between Oman and the US though not formally a member of Coalition in the Global War on Terror has played a major role in helping to stabilize operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Since then Oman has been involved in several anti-terrorism operations with tangible results recorded in 20044 when it established strong controls to combat money laundering. It also supported Middle east-North Africa Financial Task Force, set in 2004 to finance anti-terror campaigns. According to the US report dubbed “Patterns for Global Terrorism” in the year 2002 indicated that Oman was indeed a supporter for the war on terrorism in her active participation in coalition requests for military and/or civilian support.
Oman is also assented nine of the twelve anti-terrorism treaties and is in the verge of signing the other three conventions. Oman commitment to fighting terrorism from all the corners emerged when she signed an agreement with the US Department of Commerce and Energy to support a program that seeks to wedge war on the transportation of illicit radiological cargoes on vessels and containers under the US sponsored Container Security Initiative. On a negative side Oman relationship with both the US and Israel were met with demonstrations by civilians forcing a trade office with Israel to be temporarily closed.
Slow and quiet methods have been put into use and the relationship is now alive and growing when compared to other Gulf countries chiefly because of the modest and open-minded nature of the Ibadi brand of Islam that the Omanis practice, according to reports from “Patterns of Global Terrorism” and partly because of the growing Oman economy that has given the government the financial muscle to provide for the wellbeing of its populace. [Edward S. Walker Jr. , 2008]