Don’t let terrorists win
By : Harun Yahya
The infrastructure of terror generally lies in false beliefs and ideologies, but rage is always the trigger. For example, one person may be well disposed to communism in terms of ideology, but if you put a gun in his hand and provoke him into attacking the so-called ‘ruling classes,’ that can turn him into a terrorist.
It is the same with Islamist radicalism. Communities holding radical beliefs have been around in the Islamic world for hundreds of years. Nonsense including violence has been around in the Islamic community since the year Hijri 200. However, radicalism has never made its presence so strongly felt as in these last few decades. The sole reason for this, which turns the radical mindset into radical terror, is ‘rage.’ The illegal invasion of Iraq, the martyring of millions of Muslims, people being forced from their homes, drones randomly launching missiles and insensitivity to this ghastly picture have all given rise to an enormous rage, resulting in a profound hatred of the West.
People who are currently using radical terror as a pretext for opposition to Muslims seem to have forgotten that hatred is the starting point for terror. Donald Trump, one of the Republican contenders for the U.S. presidency, may perhaps not calculate how his dangerous talk against Muslims may intensify the kind of hatred that leads the way to radicalism. He may not reflect that these words, spoken out of anger against radicalism and for the purpose of securing the votes of people who share that anger may result in a terrible scourge befalling him and all Americans. In declaring war on radicalism, he may be unaware that he is marketing a disaster, ‘rage’ in other words, that will further nourish radicalism.
Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security advisor for President Obama, is correct when he says, ‘Mr. Trump’s rhetoric was feeding the propaganda line of ISIS that the US was at war with Islam.’ The harsh language employed by people like Trump serves no other purpose than to make the U.S. a target for radical terror.
We need to heed these words from the journalist Mohammad Bazzi1:
“Trump’s latest antics play perfectly into ISIS’s hands, confirming the group’s message that the West is an evil, hostile land where Muslims are unsafe and where they will be persecuted simply for being Muslim… One reason why ISIS and other jihadist groups have had greater success in recruiting Muslims living in Europe, as opposed to the United States, is that Muslim communities tend to be more alienated there than in America. But thanks to Trump and other demagogues… a new backlash against Muslims will breed a greater sense of resentment.’
The error in question is also evident in Tajikistan in these days. Last week in Tajikistan, we were amazed to see reports of how 13,000 people had their beards forcibly shaved off during a campaign against ‘hostility to national culture,’ while 2000 Muslim women were ‘prevailed upon’ to cease wearing the headscarf. Parliament also banned children being given Arabic names. In fact, these developments are nothing new. Last year more than 160 shops selling traditional Muslim garb were closed during the scope of the ‘struggle against external elements.’ Party closures, a tradition in some Islamic countries, have also started. The Islamic Renaissance Party has been banned and some party officials have been detained.
The Tajik regime has declared its aim to be ‘the prevention of the radicalization of society’ and ‘striving to preserve the secular order.’ In fact, however, secularism as we know it is a concept based on popular freedom and human rights, and in that sense a major component of democracy. But how much secularism, which has declared war on force, can be obtained by the use of such force?
Tajikistan is a poor country with a 99% Muslim population. The threat of radicalism has shown its face there despite all the measures being taken. According to unofficial figures, there are more than 2000 Tajiks fighting alongside radical groups in Syria. These include high-ranking Tajik police chiefs. One reason for the panic in the country was a police chief saying ‘We will return to bring Sharia to Tajikistan’ on an ISIL video2. Let us also remember that Tajikistan shares a 1,344-km border with Afghanistan3. That includes areas under Taliban control. The country is therefore in a region where radical terror can easily take root.
The Tajik regime is unaware that in blaming various parties, the border with Afghanistan and, even worse, Islam, for radical terror it is itself engaging in provocation. No Muslim in the country regarding growing a beard or wearing a turban as halal is ever going to become more secular in the wake of the bans in question. On the contrary, a great anger toward the Tajik regime will grow up and some people will begin to think that the radical terror mentality is in some way justified. Such prohibitions have always provoked enormous reactions in such countries and have encouraged some Muslims who would normally be living in peace in the direction of radicalism instead.
Expressions of rage for Muslims, oppression and restrictions in fact provide some people with the spark they are looking for. It must not be forgotten that terrible uprisings that flare up in countries are started by angry people who think no other means are left to them. When the anger cannot be taken under control, no legal measure or immunity will be able to block such rage. Tajikistan must not stand in the vanguard of such anger.
The greatest error being made in the fight against radicalism worldwide is seeking to put an end to this scourge by inciting rage. All publishing and broadcasting media and the internet are in the leadership’s hands in these countries. It will be a very easy matter to eradicate the foundations of radical thinking through the use of these means, love, education and information, and by providing scientific evidence. The people capable of doing that are obvious, and assistance must be sought if necessary. The anger being triggered will serve no other purpose than to recruit more people for radical groupings such as ISIL and giving them exactly the climate they desire. And then countries will become even better acquainted with the scourge of terror, may Allah forbid.
The writer has authored more than 300 books translated in 73 languages on politics, religion and science. He tweets @harun_yahya
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in the Column section are their own and do not reflect RiyadhVision’s point-of-view.