It is very unfortunate to note that human history is filled with violent incidents. The violence has been able to overshadow the docile aspect of human nature every now and then both through major wars and individual conflicts. There have been many occasions when hundred of people are killed in no time. People in the name of religion, isms and ideologies have massacred their fellow-beings without a slight hesitation. Though human beings have developed much, which they mostly claim by exemplifying the technological developments achieved so far, they are yet to go miles regarding civilization and humanity. In true sense, the world has been greatly jeopardized by the reign of terror every where. And one of the basic reasons of this terror is extremism.
Extremism is an over-emphasis that one's own ideology, religion, race or nation is always on the right side while all the others are wrong and must be detested. It even urges many to go for violence in the defense of his side or the defeat of the others. On many occasions it has convinced its holders to take the responsibility of rectifying others as they are wrong and must be brought to the right direction. Extremism must never be related to a single religion or ideology, as is mostly done in modern times – extremism is linked with Islam and mostly Muslims are considered extremist. Extremism itself is not any religion or ideology; rather it is the nature of the perspective through which any religion or ideology is comprehended that gives birth to extremism.
If there are extremist Muslims there are extremist Christians, Hindus and Sikhs as well. And it is not weird to find extremist atheist as well. Yes, they can turn aggressive and even violent in defense of their ideology – albeit a godless ideology. Moreover, it is not rare to find people who believe in modern political ideologies to be extremists. Therefore, it can be safely concluded that extremism is not the "matter" rather it is the comprehension of the "matter" and its influence over human psychology and behavior and ultimately his responses.
The annals of history are filled with the examples of violence and tyranny invigorated by extremism. The religious extremism of the Dark Age in Europe has many stories in this regard. Only because of slight deviation from the believed religious principles, people were put to severest kinds of punishment, including burning them alive in public. The development of political systems and ideologies after the Dark Age had to display different manifestations of terror through extremism. The content only changed from religious beliefs to the nationalistic ideologies. The rise of Fascism and Nazism were clearly blended with the extremist nationalistic ideologies. The two world wars were fought on the basis of strive to prove one nation greater than the other. The Cold-War era was also, every now and then, marked with extremist display of two modern political ideologies – Socialism and Capitalism.
The current world of ours is not excluded from the tyrannical clutches of the terror. In this regard the condition of our own country Afghanistan can be sited. Talibans' extremist religious thinking put some ugly scars on the face of peace and tranquility. The country under their reign displayed evident violation of human rights. The people were forced to follow their interpretation of Islam. The women were in the worst condition and the way to prosperity and well-being was blocked tightly. There was no margin for deviation and the so called infidels had to die an easy death as the minimum punishment. Even today as the Taliban are claimed to be defeated, there have been many incidents that have displayed the worst kind of terror.
Though, in the present day, it is not only the extremist thinking of Taliban that is urging them to go for such adventures but it is a crucial part of it. Even, the concept of suicide attack that has been threatening the whole world at the moment is closely linked with the concept of extremism. A person, so extremely believes in a particular ideology and in the absurdity of others that he even explodes himself to bring harm to others. This is the worst kind of extremism that can engulf an individual's mind. And it is also interesting to note that the history of suicide bombing is not confined to religious extremists, rather there have been certain people who have committed this act for political ideologies as well.
It is really unfortunate to mention that in today's world there are many such people who have extremist attitude regarding their ideologies and religions and at any instance they can turn violent to prove themselves right and the other wrong. The most recent incident in this regard can be cited as that of Oslo incident. The bombing and the ruthless shooting of the innocent people in the capital city of Norway points to what extremism can do to people. 7 people are reported to have been killed in the blast, while 85 people are reported to have lost their lives in the shooting that took place in an island, where youngsters had a party arranged for them from Labor Party. The suspected gunman, who is under the custody of police, is reported to have fired for almost 1.5 hours on armless people, who were to celebrate one of the most distinct parties of their lives.
The suspected gunman is an extremist Christian, who is believed to have anti-Muslim ideology; this fact does support the argument that it is not necessary for an extremist to be Muslim alone. What has been the motive of this mass killing is yet to be found, but it is for sure that a person, intoxicated with extremist ideology has committed this heinous crime to prove his side true and others wrong and not having the right to live. The person might have ideological differences with the Labor Party and that might have been one of the reasons.
The contemporary world of ours is turning out to be a terrifying place to live in, and extremism has an evident role in making our world so. It is the need of time that extremism in its every form should be condemned and measures should be carried out to make the people more moderate in their thinking and believes. Yes, every man has the right to be related to any religion, ideology, ethnicity or nation, as he is bound to be so in accordance to the social phenomenon of ethnocentrism, but this relation must not get so sacred that humanity must be neglected for its sack. Ultimately, it is the human life that stands as the most valuable asset in this world.