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Terrorism: When a Healer

Becomes a Killer

By Dr. Claude Shema-Rutagengwa (MD)

Regional Coordinator

Great Lakes Peace Network (GLPN)



Since ages ago, within the era of sciences, medical personnel have been seen or perceived (still) as very intellectual, healers, saviours, honest, second hands of God, etc, because of the huge task and importance of medics in our daily life, especially when we get ill. The priceless healing and lifesaving of medics have made them very respected and honest people.


But day by day, it seems that with new challenge of international politics, new challenges of our era like personal interest, activism, war and conflict-related matters will change so  that as “God’s pity second hand”, instead of being “healers” or “life saviours” some medics act as “killers”, and are involved actively in different series of organised mass killings as part of a group of perpetrators. This shows how humanity is getting degrading gradually, and leads to complete destruction of the well being of humanity, and ruins the future for generations ahead.  


UK Terror Case  

The intensification of mass recruiting for terrorist groups has emerged dramatically recently, and a number of intellectuasl seem very interested in joining those groups for  different reasons.Amoung these are engeneers,medical doctors,etc… Let’s look at some concrete cases like the recent UK terror case.An Indian doctor was detained in Australia for questioning in connection with a suspected Al Qaeda plot to detonate car bombs in London and Scotland as he tried to leave the country.  

The hospital registrar, named in Australian media reports as Dr Mohammed Haneef, aged 27, was seized at Brisbane airport where he was trying to leave on a one-way ticket. His detention, after a tip-off from UK police, widens the international dimension of the investigation and takes to eight the number held, at least six of whom are doctors. All eight are linked to a plan to detonate two car bombs left in central London, and an attack on Glasgow city airport in Scotland,using a fuel-laden Jeep Cherokee.  


-One, Jordanian Mohammed Asha, was a neurology specialist who had worked in Britain for two years. A second, Iraqi doctor Bilal Abdulla, who was arrested on suspicion of driving the jeep into Glasgow airport, worked in a Glasgow hospital. A third, an Indian doctor identified as Mohammed Haneef, used to work at a British hospital but moved to Australia in 2006.  

(source: Stephen Fidler, Ben Hall, Virginia Marsh, James Wilson and agencies,Published: July 2 2007 22:11)  


Another media source said: ”Britain is confronting a new dimension to its critical terror threat, security experts say, after it emerged that several people arrested in connection with the failed car-bomb attacks, were foreigners recruited into Britain's National Health Service (NHS). Over the last three years, the NHS recruited more than 22,000 foreign doctors, including 900 from Iraq. Hitherto, those recruited have only been vetted for professional competence but not political affiliation…”(source: Mark Rice-Oxley, 

Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor Thu Jul 5, 4:00 AM ET)  


Reactions upon this terror matter were huge as any other terror attack, and it was still in aftermath of nightmares of  US 9/11 of WTC, including justifiable fear, anger, hopelessness and flashbacks.  


The profiling of terrorists will have to be looked at again. It's strange to have a specific terror medic cell. Are we going to see a cell composed of lawyers, accountants, teachers /professors?- One wonders! But this is obviously possible.   


"We'll expand the background checks that are being done where there are highly skilled migrant workers coming into this country," said Prime Minister Gordon Brown, a week after he took office. The reaction of  Mr .Gordon is normal, but it cannot help so much as a long-term solution to tackle terrorism, because even a native British or US  natively  is susceptible to become a terrorist. The reaction of officials seem to be the same, just to deal with the aftermath of the evil instead of thinking about a sustainable solution.  


“"It means that the challenges for the security services are multidimensional," says MJ Gohel, a London-based terrorism expert. "They face threats from hard-core Al Qaeda people ... from home-grown terrorists, and now, it seems, from professional people working in the [United Kingdom] in good jobs who have either been recruited or who came here with intentions to act."  


Quoting Pr. Johan Galtung, “Therefore, it would be an aberration to blame ‘only’ them -medics- without analysing deeply reason why they do so, because normally any violence is born from unsolved conflict, and nobody was born as terrorist.   

Lack of meticulous analysis on the basis of fundamental reasons for terrorism, ignorance of early terror warnings, imbalance, favouritism   and injustice, together with the imperialism of powerful countries, are the major  reasons for endless conflicts on this planet."


Time to think and act peacefully by peaceful means has come for a better world, only one single way to pave the road towards a bright future for generations to come.  


                                                             End!       .     


Dr.Claude Shema-Rutagengwa (MD)