Say No to Extremism

No logic, no amount of reasoning, and no cause however lofty, can condone extremism. Grievances nurture extremism and this in turn promotes terrorism.  The continued victimisation of Palestinians, the military occupation of Iraq and endless massacres of Iraqis and the wholesale destruction of Afghanistan are some of the causes attributed to rise of extremism in…

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No logic, no amount of reasoning, and no cause however lofty, can condone extremism. Grievances nurture extremism and this in turn promotes terrorism.  The continued victimisation of Palestinians, the military occupation of Iraq and endless massacres of Iraqis and the wholesale destruction of Afghanistan are some of the causes attributed to rise of extremism in some Muslim countries. No doubt, it is the responsibility of universal civil society to address these human problems and put an end to injustice in whatever form it may exist. But should these grievances be used as a justification for extremism? A level-headed person will say no, not at all.
But the question is: can the Palestinians accept their fate meekly, a fate of abject surrender to Israeli atrocities abetted by none other than the so-called champion of liberty, the United States of America?
Now come to Iraq. The hapless people of that once prosperous country, who are gifted with the best human abilities, have been made the target of American expansionism. What is thrust upon them, in the name of democracy and human rights, is war and destruction. Brother has been set against brother. A puppet government has been imposed which is faithfully doing every bidding of American masters. Worst of all ethnic discord has been instigated. Hatred has been promoted to the extent that human blood is flowing like water and no end seems to be in sight for internecine conflicts.
Can you preach tolerance and cooperation in such an atmosphere? Iraqis have lost everything. One million have lost their lives. More than one million have been forced to leave the country and take refuge in neighbouring lands. About two million have been displaced internally. And there is no light at the end of the dark tunnel. Things cannot improve until the Americans are ousted and power is restored to its rightful owners, the Iraqis and their true representatives.
Nearer home, in our neighbourhood another bizarre scenario is unfolding. Pakistanis have been denied their rights by succeeding military rulers. Out of 60 years of its life Pakistan was ruled by military for 45 years. Unfortunate country, indeed! Pakistan was carved out of Indian subcontinent in the name of Islam. It was created for presenting a model of Islamic behaviour, for promoting a truly Islamic society and for presenting an example of Islamic governance. Do we see these things there? This fact also should be kept in mind that the common man in Pakistan wants Islam and real Islamic life in action. The same power, the US in a large measure, has been responsible for obstructing the march of democracy and supporting dictator after dictator there to achieve its objectives. Pakistanis have become extremely frustrated. Frustration is taking the shape of extremism of the type we see in the Lal Masjid standoff in Islamabad.
Now let us see our own country, India. The vibrant Muslim community, the second largest majority has been made the most neglected community as is evident from the facts released by Justice Sachar Committee. Educationally, socially and economically the Muslims have been pushed to the lowest position. Babri Masjid case is still moving at snail’s speed. The case against the destroyers of Babri Masjid, the murderers of Ayodhya and instigators of communal riots all over the country is yet to take off. Justice Rajinder Sachar has rightly commented in a human rights meet: “It is a fact that every now and then a Muslim would be branded as a terrorist and eliminated in a fake encounter.”
Yet we say the solution does not lie in resorting to illegal or extremist methods, as it is being alleged in the case of Ahmed brothers of Bangalore, who are suspected of being involved in the failed bomb attacks in Glasgow and London. Any act of violence and terrorism deserves our unconditional condemnation.
The Muslim community must guard against all extremist trends. Otherwise, in spite of the fact that there is no dearth of right-thinking people, the whole community may become suspect, however unjustified it may be. It won’t be a good day for the community and for the country as a whole. Suspicion is the most powerful weapon of devil. Devils are already on prowl in search of new victims. Don’t become their prey and save the country from becoming its victim. Let us be guided by the Divine exhortation that good and evil cannot be equated; evil has to be countered with good which is of highest order. Only this can save the situation and give us strength to fight the forces of evil and secure justice for us, and for one and all.