BEST IELTS General Reading Test 440

BEST IELTS General Reading Test 440

IELTS General Reading Test

Terrorism- Are we addressing the cause?

Heinous acts of terrorism have become commonplace in today’s world. While efforts are on to apprehend terrorists and fight the menace to society, the question arises, are we targeting the root cause? In western countries, it is common for people to associate certain religions with terrorism. But this argument is seen as a major distortion of the actual motives of the terrorists and their cells. Terrorist acts are horrifying and unpardonable. But we do need a change of perspective to understand the true motive behind them.

Whether we talk of the 9/11 act on the twin towers, the 26/11 attack on the city of Mumbai, or the gruesome attacks in Paris, these acts of terrorism have shaken our world. All of the above attacks were conducted with precision and occurred in some of the world’s purportedly safest places. Particularly after the terrorist attack in Paris, there was a torrent of compassion for the people of Paris.

IELTS General Reading Test

We have to question; how much hatred can be harboured by these terrorists? What evil resides in their hearts that makes it possible for them to plot acts that take the lives of innocent men, women and children? And most importantly, what is it about a religion that they do not comprehend? These questions are not easy to answer or compartmentalize.

Reducing such multifaceted issues to clichés where it is a simple matter to label people as good or bad, the media and the politicians are prone to oversimplify a very serious subject. If we are to tackle the menace at the root level, a historical perspective and a genuine wish to get to the heart of the matter are essential.

IELTS General Reading Test

To this end, there is a need to acknowledge that terrorist cells do not surface spontaneously. They are a result of desperation and despair stemming from humiliations and injustices that are either real or perceived. That they are more often than not supplied with arms by forces that claim to be fighting them is the paradox. In the past, military interventions have succeeded in fuelling conflict in Middle Eastern countries. This, in turn, has shaped the mindset of thousands of angry youth who can very easily be manipulated by hard-line clerics and misleading propaganda on the net.

Chris Floyd, a columnist for US-based online magazine ‘The Nation,’ wrote, ‘We, the West, overthrew Saddam by violence. We overthrew Gaddafi by violence. We are trying to overthrow Assad by violence. Harsh regimes all-but far less draconian than our Saudi allies, and other tyrannies around the world…without the American crime of aggressive war against Iraq-which, by the measurements used by western governments themselves, left more than a million innocent people dead-there would be no ISIS, no Al Qaeda in Iraq.’

IELTS General Reading Test

Tamara Pearson, also a writer in the ‘The Nation,’ has asked a very pertinent question. ‘Why did the Paris attack elicit so much worldwide sympathy from heads of state and ordinary folk when terrorist acts that have killed more people in places such as Beirut, Syria, Palestine, Nigeria, Somalia and Kenya did not?’

A well-known scholar Louise Richardson puts forward a very compelling argument. She feels that fervour is not the actual cause of terrorism. This is because without a multitude of individuals there to give direction to the fervour, very little can be achieved to incite terror against the west. The economic depression of people in the Middle East about the wealth enjoyed by the west is a major cause.

IELTS General Reading Test

People, who are aware of the relative income gap whether it is in the higher ranks of their society or comparison to the west, tend to look for a cause that is very conveniently provided by religious fanatics. Dissatisfied youth, thus become the force of terrorist groups. Not only do they feel like they are part of something big but also because they get much-needed finance with which to support their families.

Without addressing the causes, nothing much can be achieved in the war against terrorism. It is a sad reflection on the society we live in that refugees from Syria who are a product of military intervention by the allies are no longer welcome in the very countries that fuelled the crisis that they are now facing.

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IELTS General Reading Test


YES if the statement agrees with the claims of the writer of the passage, choose

NO if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer, or choose

NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this.

29. Some countries tend to generalise about anti-social activities and perpetrators. 

30. Western countries have established an agreeable relation between religion and radicalism. 

31. State leaders and reporters choose to ignore the intensity of terrorist activities by merely categorising intentions as harmful. 

32. It can be said that most terrorist activities are spontaneous reactions to injustice and hatred. 

33. Technology, like the internet, has led people to change their mindset about handling conflicts successfully.

34. Economic differences are compared by the general population only within a country. VEN

35. Syrian refugees face a crisis because of political interference from their enemies. 

IELTS General Reading Test

Choose the correct answer.

36. Why does the author mention the attacks in the 2nd paragraph? 

a. to describe the tense situation after such events

b. to point out that security measures are well planned and sufficient

c. to point out that security measures have successfully been caught unawares

d. to present a chronological order of such incidents

37. The author believes that 

a. compassion is the only response to terror attack victims.

b. Some places are safer than others.

c. there is no single motive behind a terrorist plan.

d. terrorist activities can be compartmentalised.

IELTS General Reading Test

38. The root cause of terrorism cannot be handled 

a. without considering it as a serious subject in the media.

b. without an honest intention and relooking into the past.

c. unless the media and politicians stop labelling perpetrators.

d. unless the presence of terrorist cells is acknowledged.

39. Columnists and scholars have expressed 

a. approval of the reactions from depressed groups.

b. endorsement of the moves made by the American leaders in other countries.

c. concern over public reactions to the Paris attack.

d. concern over guided misrepresentations in young minds by influential leaders.

IELTS General Reading Test

40. The purpose of the passage is to

a. blame the misguided youth for terrorist activities.

b. criticise the media for sensationalizing particular incidents.

c. analyse factors behind terrorist activities objectively.

d. urge leaders to arrive at a solution for global peace.

IELTS General Reading Test


BEST IELTS General Reading Test 440

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IELTS General Reading Test

29. YES

30. NO

31. YES

32. NO


34. NO

35. NO

36. D

37. C

38. B

39. C

40. C

IELTS General Reading Test

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