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Present-day Islamic extremism and human civilization

By N. S. Venkataraman
The subtle difference between Hitler’s terrorism and Islamic extremism is that Hitler’s terrorism was aimed at one religious group (namely jews) and Islamic extremism is targeting everyone who do not belong to the Islam religion.
(A wounded man is carried as he leaves a hospital after a barrage of rockets hit residential areas in Kabul. Photo: Omar Sobhani-Reuters)

Ever since human civilization has been on record, several religions have sprung up in different parts of the world. Some of these religions still remain localized and not much known to the outside world and some other religions are well known with millions of people belonging to the religion spread all over the world.

While religions have come up from time to time, the fact is that every religion has spread at the cost of another religion. Such spread has taken place by members of one religion being converted to another by coercion and force or by brainwashing claiming the superiority of one religion over the other or by enticement. This trend has naturally resulted in conflicts between different religions, which started hundreds of years back and persist till today. It appears that such conflicts will not go away any time in the future, since the conversion of people from one religion to another continues to take place by fair or foul means.

Such conflicts exist not only between different religions but also between sects and groups in the same religion. Such a situation has caused intra religious war and intra caste war many times in the past all over the world.

One has to view the present-day Islamic extremism, keeping in view the past history as indicated above.

While extremism exists in some form or the other in all religions, the extremism in the Islamic religion has now reached such a grave level that the world can ignore it only at great cost.

While several conflicts have taken place in the past, one of the worst was Hitler’s terrorism, when he massacred and killed in the most cruel way millions of jews, solely with the evil intention of exterminating Jews from the soil.

After Hitler’s terrorism which caused untold sufferings to the jews, the next worst form of terrorism in human history in the world is caused by the present-day Islamic. extremists.

The subtle difference between Hitler’s terrorism and Islamic extremism is that Hitler’s terrorism was aimed at one religious group (namely jews) and Islamic extremism is targeting everyone who do not belong to the Islam religion. Further, Hitler’s terrorism was largely confined to Europe, whereas Islamic extremism covers regions all over the world.

One should be careful not to blame any religion for such a situation since no religion including Islam advocates hate and violence but preaches charity and love for all, though every religion recommends certain discipline for the followers.

The unfortunate fact is that over the course of time, a number of interpreters have emerged in every religion, distorting the basic concept advocated by the founders of religion and this has happened in Islam too. One can clearly appreciate this view if it can be seen that a religion which advocates charity and love cannot at the same time preach violence and death to those belonging to other religions.

In this situation, Islamic extremism has become the talk of the day, as a small section of people have taken upon themselves the “task” of spreading Islam by unleashing violence and targeting to eliminate people belonging to other religions.

It is certainly necessary to recognize that most Muslims do not subscribe to the methods of violence indulged in by the Islamic extremists but the majority of these Muslims are certainly guilty of remaining silent without protesting against the bad name being brought to the Islamic religion by the extremists.

Now, all said and done, most people in the world are slowly realizing that Islamic extremism has to be opposed tooth and nail for the sake of preserving world peace and ensuring the safety of innocent people.

Just as the world once thought that Hitler’s terrorism must be suppressed and defeated and the world succeeded in that, many people now think that Islamic extremism should be suppressed and defeated. Today , unfortunately defeating Islamic extremism has become difficult as some Islamic countries are giving free hand to the extremist groups, though indiscreet manner, which amounts to encouraging Islamic extremism.

Course of developments relating to human civilization is now at a decisive stage , as one hears about acts of Islamic extremism in one part of the world or the other almost every day.

The task of defeating Islamic extremism will become easy, if the muslims across the world who value peace and amity, raise their voice against Islamic extremism with courage and conviction. This is particularly necessary to ensure that the entire Islam religion do not get a bad name simply due to the extremist acts of a small fraction of people.

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

Published Date: Saturday, November 21st, 2020 | 09:19 AM

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