The Malta Independent 13 July 2020, Monday

The challenge of extremism

Malta Independent Sunday, 3 February 2013, 09:03 Last update: about 7 years ago

In today’s modern, full of technological inventions and civilised world, extremism is increasing rapidly. The overwhelming presence of violence, aggression and extremism in the world has become one of the most crucial and core issues of today.

Despite the fact that we have every possible means of countering this problem, recent history bears witness to the fact that we have seen a very considerable number of attacks from those who adhere to this ideology of extremism, and this number is increasing every day.

The restlessness, dissatisfaction, agitation and anxiety among people bears witness to the fact that mankind is not at peace.

The challenge of extremism did not start with 9/11 and neither did it end with the Arab Spring, and with the increasing international tension, its hold on the world is growing stronger by the day. From the recent shooting of Malala Yousafzai in Pakistan for her demand for the unequivocal right to education, to the conflicts and wars that continue to engulf the world, extremism is perhaps the biggest challenge of our time.

Such incidents clearly show that the liberal and secular voices are under huge threat from extremists.

At present, there are many countries that are at the risk of civil war and, in fact, some countries are already passing through such hard times. Syria – where the government is killing its own citizens and people are struggling for their basic and fundamental human rights – is a clear example of this.

In some countries, their revolutions seem to be hijacked and translated into violence and aggression. The situation in some African and Middle Eastern countries – such as Nigeria, Mali, Libya, Algeria and Egypt – is very critical. The situation in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan is also not ideal for their people, where not a single day passes without dozens of deaths, attacks and brutal killings.

This situation is not only threatening to these countries, but it is precarious for the entire world, because this extremism seems to be spreading across borders.

The online Wikipedia very comprehensively explains: “Extremism is any ideology or political act far outside the perceived political centre of a society; or otherwise claimed to violate common moral standards. In democratic societies, individuals or groups that advocate the replacement of democracy with an authoritarian regime are usually considered to be extremists, in authoritarian societies the opposite typically applies. Extremism is usually contrasted with moderation, and extremists with moderates.”

I believe the time has come to realise that extremism of any kind is dangerous for the existence of peaceful and serene societies, and that moderation is the way forward.

Extremism of any kind is bad, be it religious, political, ethnical or otherwise. Some extremists use religion to inflict extremism in their followers; and they prepare a jihadist kind of extremism. They should have made a better use of religion to serve mankind and establish cooperation between different people, but, very unfortunately, they are poisoning the minds of people and filling their hearts with extreme hatred and violence.

I think those who believe in justice and equality must raise their voices against this extreme ideology. Because if some people or powers yield to the extremists for the sake of apparent political benefit or gaining some favour, then their countries will no doubt become immersed in strife. If someone allows such groups to spread then it will lead to nothing but a moral decline, and social destruction.

The time has come to take all the necessary steps to counsel against all forms of extremism. We must join hands to combat extremism and to engage ourselves in jihad against extremism and oppression, and in jihad of serving mankind and spreading the message of peace and hope. I think that any form of extremism has to be outlawed; otherwise the consequences will be grave.

 

Laiq Ahmed Atif

President

Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat,

Malta

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