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Monday, January 10, 2011

Can Religion-based Terrorism be eliminated?

My response to the article posted by Hasni Essa.

The author has made some compelling arguments; he almost had a touch down but missed it and he has gotten wrong at places.

“The guiding principle remains the improvement of the lot of perceived oppressed people.” Then he adds, “What about outfits like the Talibans and others. They are also criminals but carries common tags as terrorists – driven purely by religious fundamentalism.”

I am going to miss the field goal, the solution is somewhere there, and can’t pin point precisely.  Religion is really a cover for the wrongs men do, and it is wronger for us to give them a sanction of religious cover. No religion teaches one to murder, rob, steal, lie, rape or to be unjust, yet we thoughtlessly blame Religions of the same.  

Human insecurities produce arrogance to falsely give a sense of security. Religion was anti-dote to such disorders, indeed religions came into being to allay such fears and imbue humility into the society – to bring about a social order and balance where every one can feel safe and live without the fear of other.

There is a beautiful statement in Bhagvad Gita and Quraan some thing to this effect;   Krishna say, whenever a society loses its social order (Adharma) I will emerge in that chaos and bring the righteousness (dharma) back. Quraan adds, to every community and every nation God has sent a peace maker, messenger or a prophet to restore the order in that society.

Religion is a balancing mechanism in society, it is lack of religion, lack of values that create chaos and swings the pendulum to the other end and it takes several swings to bring balance.  It is lack of check on greed that causes the Somnath destruction; it is the hopelessness in society that gives a sense of power to the Qadris to kill Taseers. As a society the pendulum in Pakistan is wildly swinging and it will take time to bring a balance. It is lack of religion, and oddly in the guise of religion that has created that drama in Pakistan.  The author has missed that point in the end zone.

The unstated purpose of religion is bringing a balance to an individual and what surround him; life and matter.

He completely missed the point about religion, and most people including Muslims make that mistake “The Talibans are akin to Wahhabists of Saudi Arabia – followers of purest form of Islam -- not allowing any deviation from the principles of Koran, they claim.

 It is such a fallacious statement; “Purest form of Islam” is used negatively in his statement, it is indeed good, it is about free will and justice and equity to every human being.  It will bring mercy to mankind and peace to every human.  The author and many a Muslims also give sanction to such a fallacy. The Wahhabis and Talibans are not the followers of purest form of Islam.

Terrorists do not have a religion, if they did, they would not be violating the guidance religion offers. It is for them religion came into being and they are far from it.

It is a good article, loaded with random thoughts incoherently sewn together.

Mike Ghouse for cohesive societies

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Read this. Isn't it true everything what the author writes and says.

Would you scratch your head in search of an "elusive clue to the emerging peril", as the author says. Where would you place yourself, and try to bring communal peace and harmony among people of every religion which seem to breed " religious Fundamentalists." Even though they are minority, they sure raise hell and scare peace loving people of all religions.

Someone has said: The best religion is the most tolerant.And religion without humanity is a poor human stuff.

We find none of these anywhere in any religion among any of these religious fundamentalists.
So help them their God.

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Can Religion-based Terrorism be eliminated?

Nalinaksha Mutsuddi  
I’m in a good fix now. It’s 9 degrees Celsius inside my room at 10 am. I can’t do anything except worrying about the weather and the world. Worrying has become a good pastime for me. And that is what I’m doing now.
The media – print or electronic – is a good supplier of fresh ingredients for worry -- of course, if you intend to adopt it as your pastime --kidnapping, murder, violence, arson, destruction, scam -- everyday, everywhere – in our country and in their country -- all over the world. There are fatal accidents due to so many factors: avoidable as well as unavoidable and daily doses of petty thefts and burglaries in the neighbourhood. Killings too are committed out of rivalry, property disputes, greed or sheer jealousy -- all major or minor cases of social miscreants -- not committed by regular offenders. And there are professional criminals like Abu Salem & Co. -- should we bracket them as terrorists? Probably no, they are gangsters,   different from Naxals, Maoists and the Talibans. Naxals and Maoists also are terrorists: though they should better be designated as insurgents as they are motivated by political ideology to overthrow a constituted government by subversion and armed conflict.  They believe the government is not looking after the interest of the downtrodden majority. They may believe in any specific religion at personal level, but their terrorist activity is not driven by religion. LTTE also falls in this category, propelled by the idea of political marginalization due to ethnic minority, in Srilanka. Their sole goal remains the betterment of the exploited class and that is their religion. That is their professed intention. Of course, for some, there may be other ulterior motifs – joining any terrorist group may just be a camouflage. Overall, for the rest – hardcore dedicated ideologues -- the guiding principle remains the improvement of the lot of perceived oppressed people.     

What about outfits like the Talibans and others. They are also criminals but carries common tags as terrorists – driven purely by religious fundamentalism. The Talibans are akin to Wahhabists of Saudi Arabia – followers of purest form of Islam -- not allowing any deviation from the principles of Koran, they claim. Al-Qaeda, JeM, LeT et al can be bracketed in this class. Activities of Al-Qaeda – a brainchild of Osama Bi Laden – operate internationally. Though, they target all Non-Muslim states of the world, their avowed enemy is the U.S.A. – identified as the main enemy of Islam --  attacking Muslim countries like  Iraq and Afghanistan and hampering world wide promotion of Islam.
There is a growing hostility among Hindus – though limited to miniscule number -- in India, against seeming ascendance of Islam in the country. A simmering grievance nourished since the time of vandalizing of Somnath and other temples to avenge the past act of aggression and destruction is raising its ugly head now. There are many stories of yester-year demolition of Hindu temples around the country. At the time of actual happening it was not possible to resist or prevent the attack due to inherent weakness among Hindus. Now is the ripe time to avenge the old misdeeds of Muslim invasion.  Mecca Masjid bombing, Malegaon blasts, Gujarat massacre and Ajmer blast et al are examples of this.  
A similar hatred is brewing among certain sections of Hindus prejudicial to Christians. There is a craze for English education even after the British left the country. Convent schools were never the preserve of the poor. They can’t afford it, despite their hidden wish to have it. They see wrong in the inroad making by Christianity among the Tribal people. During British period they could do sweet nothing. Now they are active in wrecking Churches and ruining Christian-run schools, thereby curtailing the growing influence of Christianity. They are up in reconverting the tribals back to Hindu fold.

With the spread of education and improved communication facility it portends to intensify gradually into the future. To limit or eliminate it altogether will be well nigh impossible. To confine it to a reasonable range cultivation of religious tolerance is paramount. Without going to its religious root it will remain intractable. All avenues of curtailing the radical elements in each religious group must be explored on a continual basis.
The kind of terrorism, we face everyday, is completely based on religion. To say terrorists have no religion serves no purpose. They are distinctly Hindu or Islamic or self-styled representatives of any other religious group. They all draw inspiration and sustenance from religion. In Srilanka, the pacifist monks advocated resorting to terrorism to counter the LTTEs. In Vietnam, many Buddhist monks took refuge to self-immolation in protest against American invasion. There is no ISO 9000 for any religion. It is not possible either to decide who is following true religion and who is not. Nobody has any monopoly over any brand of faith. Interpretation varies from man to man and as a result differences arise leading to violent strife. So far, we are confined to inter-religious conflicts. 

A new trend of militancy within same religion is growing fast.  This is specially true in case of Islam. The recent assassination of Punjab governor Salman Taseer is a pointer. This occurred in an Islamic country – a devout Muslim killing a liberal one.  What is more portentous is the mass support extended to the killer. Many clerics refuse to undertake funeral service for the victim. Besides common clashes between Sunnis and Shias there are other cases of frequent destruction of Sufi shrines in Pakistan. Can fanaticism and modernity be reconciled within the tenets of Islam will remain a formidable problem for the future. We can denounce Prof. Huntington’s theory of “clashes of civilization” but can we wish away the looming danger of growing clashes ‘within civilization’?
And now – if you like – begin scratching your head in search of an elusive clue to the emerging peril.  


1 comment:

  1. Why harp on religion only? Why the hyphenated religion-based terrorism? Why not politics-based terrorism? Why not focus on politics-based state terrorism? Why religion-based terrorism is bad while politics-based state terrorism of the kind that US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan is good, kosher, Halal, legitimate and without any mainstream attempt to put both types under one category of violence against humankind? Nalinaksha Mutsuddi should reflect and come back after doing some homework.

    Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai