The world has indeed become a dangerous place.
With news of indiscriminate bombings by terrorists where innocent people have been killed or injured on a large scale all over the world, one may find one’s life and that of their loved ones highly insecure.
When these attacks take place in the first world countries, they create bigger and bolder headlines than more frequent attacks occurring in other parts of the world. May be life is considered more precious in some parts of the world than other.
The reality is that largely these terrorists are Muslims and they claim to be fighting in the name of Islam, but their victims are again overwhelmingly Muslims.
These groups are pursuing a political agenda promoting their vested interests and using violence against innocent people in order to promote their cause.
They have no religious, ethical or moral consideration in the pursuit of their aims and sad thing is that they don’t seem to be getting anywhere but just being the harbinger of misery and mayhem for their victims.
The terrorists seem to hijacked Islam in order to pursue their own political agendas and recruit young and naive Muslims to do their bidding thereby using them as cannon fodder.
Professor Jamil Farooqui, a sociologist from the International Islamic University in Malaysia discusses in detail the pathology and the mindset of the terrorists (Page 18) and says, “they justify their violent and brutal acts by taking refuge under religion and posing their violent acts as a religious duty”.
He further adds “They project that they are fighting a war against evil and vices and sacrificing themselves for a noble cause. Thus they attract recruits amongst young people with limited knowledge and practice of their religion and with poor social skills.”
“The misfits, the unemployed and even the criminals are hoodwinked into joining these violent groups and are made to commit atrocities against the establishment as well as innocent people who in their minds are considered as enemies,” Prof Farooqui said.
Mr Zahid Jamil (Page 16) says, “The tyranny which West has inflicted on Muslim nations by repeated aggression and killing of millions of Muslims, resulted in rise of resistant groups around the world who took it as a religious cause to fight aggression and oppression.”
He concludes, “These groups with limited resources were not able to wage conventional wars and gradually metamorphosed into violent groups looking for soft targets and in the process committing atrocities against civilians in an indiscriminate manner.”
As has been pointed out by Mr Jamil this hijacking of their religion is not confined to Muslims only but extremists amongst all religions have also exploited their faith in order to subjugate and use violence against followers of other religions.
The 15 year war on terror with the aim of killing terrorists has been largely ineffective against the scourge of terrorism and has in fact provided an environment for terrorism to grow and flourish.
Violence can not be stopped by further violence and multi-pronged strategy needs to be devised against the spread of terrorism in order to make this world a safer place.
This strategy should include education, understanding, dialogue, negotiations and addressing of the real root causes of terrorism including oppression, aggression and exploitation of ordinary people by the rich and powerful.