Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Radicalism’s Outcome and Mechanism

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Radicalism’s Outcome and Mechanism

Radicalism contemporary to the emergence of terrorism in twenty-first century, and the escalated violence have changed into a serious dilemma at international level and world’s political relations. Terrorism and radical activities are highly menacing rather than being declined with the passage of time. The emergence of the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the Middle East turned to global threat transcending the international borders. Although ISIL is losing its territory in the Middle East, it is feared that this group will extend its reach in the region through attracting the allegiance and financial aid of its intra-national allies. Afghanistan is also prone to religious radicalism and people fear ISIL’s firm foothold in this country after losing ground in the Middle East.
Afghanistan is beset by terrorism for several decades and considered one of the major victims in the world. The emergence of the ISIL group besides the Taliban in Afghanistan is a matter of great concern and triggered a sense of anxiety within political and cultural circles. Considering its practices in the Middle East, ISIL has nothing in common with Afghanistan’s culture or national values. In spite of this fact, its recruitment in some parts of the country and a spate of attacks carried out by this group on Enlightenment Movement, Achin district of Nangarhar, people’s houses in Logar province, Baqir-ul-Ulum Mosque, Sakhi Shrine, Al-Zahra Mosque, and Jawadiah Mosque in Herat reflect ISIL’s presence in the country.
However, the government’s role in curbing the escalated radicalism in the country is a cause for greater concern. The question is that how the government will be able to pave the ground for coexistence and prevent from religious radicalism? Bringing changes in religious perception will be one of the remedies. Mobilizing religious scholars and preachers for preaching the true spirit of Islam, prosecuting the perpetrators, supporters and stimulators of terrorist activities via security institutions, bringing change in the content of religious chapters taught in universities, monitoring the sermons of mullahs in Friday’s prayers and mosques for tackling the threats posed by radicalism will be preventive measures against the extension of radical mindset and terror.
It is believed that only military mechanism for combating religious radicalism and putting military pressure on terrorist networks such as the Taliban and ISIL group will not be effective enough. The root causes of radicalism and fundamentalism should be pondered upon and main grounds and hotbeds must be targeted. Educational institutions – be it universities or religious centers – will have to preach promoting moderation and combating terrorist groups, mainly regarding their recruitment and spreading radicalism, in terrorist-dominated areas.
It is further believed that the youths and teenagers will be able to realize the wrong path of radical mindsets preached by terrorist groups through media or any other means if they are taught the true knowledge which will promote their insight. Subsequently, this will impede their success in recruitment.
Terrorist groups seek to target uneducated or less educated individuals in their recruiting process. Therefore, the under-aged people are highly vulnerable to this issue and easily fall for the bogus claim and wrong preaches of terrorists. Hence, they exploit the naïve teenagers and use them as a vehicle for their political aims. For example, a number of teenagers are taught in Pakistan’s seminaries by the Taliban who implement wrong ideology in their minds under the mask of religious teachings and train them militarily.
Religious scholars are responsible to preach in their Friday’s sermons that religion in general and Islam in particular will not encourage horror and terror and the practices of terrorist networks are against religion. It should be noted that divine religions are the messengers of peace and tranquility and the main reason behind jihad in Islam is to adopt preventive measures and invite to peace. None of divine religions, including Islam, have recommended the issues being exercised in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, etc. Exploiting religious symbols by terrorist groups in Islamic territory is a great tragedy.
What compounds the public anxiety is that the approach of religious scholars within the past decade and half and their campaign against terrorist groups have not been serious enough. The pregnant silence of some religious scholars in condemning the practices of terrorist groups have emboldened them more than ever before. The emergence of radical slogans from the most significant educational centers such as universities, raising voice in supporting and justifying the Taliban’s acts under the legitimate government, flagrant support from the Taliban via some media under the term of freedom of speech have aggravated the continuation of death and horror.

Mohammad Jawad Sorosh is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at the outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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