To be human is universal: underneath us all, there is no president, rich man, beggar, saint, or sinner. Although rules and laws were made by humans to promote peace and order, with increased populations, ideologies and segments, priorities have shifted and leaders have gone beyond the basic idea of peace and order.
Through time “peace” and “order” have been redefined and these no longer just mean being able to sleep soundly at night, or waking up free of war and terror. “Peace” and “order” now also mean being economically capable to be able to have a say on world affairs, and to gain the respect of other leaders on a global scale. “Peace” and “order” now also translate to money, prestige, fame and power.
Now to answer the threats of global terrorism, some governments have justified the imprisonment of suspected terrorists without fair trial. But first, how do we define the words “suspected terrorists,” “threat” and “fair trial”? With billions of people in the world, these terms become slaves to the relativity of interpretation, in that different cultures interpret these terms differently too. Some cultures may tolerate things that others can’t; and some may allow rules that others may find simply implausible.
I believe that fear has made people less human in that they are led to believe that rationality is the only right way of doing things. While governments can justify that national security should be considered over and above anything else, fairness, equality and justice are all universal and these should not be compromised over unfounded fears and insecurities. These suspected people are also human— some with families to go home to, some striking in their luck in more developed countries. And for this freedom to be unfairly taken away from them can devastate other peoples’ lives than one can imagine.
National security can always be grounded in good faith. All we have to do is to have faith in, foremost, humanity.