Why this proliferation of radicalisation among different communities in the Islamic world
NAYEEMA AHMAD MAHJOOR
A perception is growing strong from the East to the West that young and educated Muslims are becoming more inclined towards radical ideology and grab every chance to get closer to militant forces wherever they come across them in the world. The reason given, circulated among most of the think tanks, is that the economic compulsions and deprivation forces them to fall easy prey to radicalism or they prefer to leave families in search of better life and future abroad.
There is no denying the fact that the economic liberalization has raised hope among the youth of the third world countries to cherish the goal of becoming global citizens, yet achieving such an aspiration has never been easy without sacrifice, toil and travel.
During the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in late seventies, the new phenomenon of radical class emerged from the Afghan Jihad and the Jihad sentiment was forcibly introduced in the Afghan community to the extent that the war took the shape of Islam versus Communism. In fact the war was between two super powers but American policies turned it into Islamic war with deeper repercussions for the Muslim world. The Afghan policy was framed and implemented by American administration with the intention of preventing proliferation of communist ideology that was reaching the borders of South America. Muslim soldiers were forced into war to protect West, America, Christianity and their supporters.
It was never an issue for the West to find Muslim soldiers praying in battlefields or reading Quran while fighting its war but it really became a predicament after the fall of Communism. If Muslims are found praying five times a day or spending too much time in reading religious literature they are outrightly branded as fanatics. During Communist movement or Afghan Jihad the free religious books were sent to every nook and cranny of the world in order to flare up the religious sentiment among common people and every time it were mostly Muslims who embraced the new movement. The radical thought promoted and proliferated during Afghan war left its deep impact on Muslim youth who took pride in coming closer to Jihad, bent upon a journey to change the face of the world.
Many reasons could be suggested for the proliferation of radicalisation among different communities in the Islamic world. After Afghanistan, the bloody invasion in Iraq and other Muslim countries is being considered an onslaught on Islam. Muslims have been made deliberate target for abuse, humiliation and torture in their own countries by intrusion of so -called secular democratic forces in the communities. The hatred grew not against Western powers only; the local governments have become target for their pro-western policies, the glimpses of which can be seen in the Arab spring.
However, if the economic deprivation or poverty is the factor responsible for the radicalism, Arab spring could not have risen. Those actively involved in the Arab uprisings come from healthy backgrounds and higher educated class. And, there should arise no such complaint in the West, particularly in UK where majority of immigrants enjoy much better living, facilities and rights like the natives of the country. In some places, the economic deprivation might have led to protests against the governments but this could hardly be the main reason for growth of radical minds.
One of the studies looking into the radical trends among Muslim youth in the West mostly blame the policies implemented by the governments after 9/11 attacks followed by other bomb blasts for example, on the London underground and the Madrid railway. The policies regarding Iraq and Afghanistan have lit the fire of anger among those Muslims also who were known for their secular and moderate credentials. Almost all immigrants from Muslim countries living in the West have been placed under intelligence scanners by the governments because they know their own policies have forced Muslims to become hostile and take drastic measures to fight against humiliation.
Poverty, lack of education or denial of human rights in third world countries could be the significant factor for growth in radicalisation but it can be more than that for those who are educated, earn good living and enjoy respect in their community. The glaring example can be of those highly educated and wealthy lawyers in Pakistan who garlanded the killer of Salman Taseer when he confessed his crime with pride in the court. It was not an act of pride for downtrodden, poor or illiterate Pakistani. The truth is that the rich and educated class in Muslim countries seem to be returning to religious fold when few decades ago the religion was the affair of poor and helpless people only and almost something to be ashamed of.
The recent trend in Kashmir further proves the point that the educated and rich people are getting attracted towards militancy; this problem needs to be taken with serious note before it eats into the intellectual community. As said, the poverty can be overcome but humiliation cannot, and that has become the fate of Muslims across the globe. It is this humiliation and exploitation that is forcing youth from Kashmir to Iraq to fight for their snatched honour and identity.
The Western governments have been exaggerating the issue of Islam to such an extent that praying five times a day or visiting mosque has been labelled as fundamentalist trend when on the other hand Christians paying visits to Church, attending mass or inviting people to conversion is considered a good deed for humanity.
Many Muslims, especially clerics are also at fault who speak loud but take no concrete action to project Islam in its right perspective whereas Christians or other religious sects create situations to the liking of people that they feel inclined or valued in their fold. The missionaries' establishment of hospitals and educational institutions have played a tremendous role in conversions from Africa to Asia. They provide all types of help from counselling to career development in a very polite way which is hardly provided by other religions or local governments.
The recent revelation about educated youth taking pride in becoming militants is an alarming call for those who are bent upon to keep Kashmir bleeding for their petty political gains. They have a tendency to ruin one more generation of brilliant and hard working youth. Our boys are capable to excel in any sector or discipline but if you keep humiliating them on one pretext or other you give them no choice but to fight back. Stop humiliating them and stop "trigger happy forces" who feel patriotic in taking a young life.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 2 Jul 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 2 Jul 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 3 Jul 2013 00:00:00 IST
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