[Letters] Ideological terrorism: The biggest threat

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[Letters] Ideological terrorism: The biggest threat

Terrorism is considered to be the biggest challenge facing the world today. Clever and cheap-minded extremists somehow manage to convince the people of their community that they are facing an “existential threat” from a certain community within their own country. And, this way, they succeed in erecting a wall of hatred between the two communities.

But those canny “intellectuals,” demagogues and fundamentalists who are indeed responsible for such acts go scot-free. These clowns clandestinely support, advocate and perpetuate such insane acts. In the garb of a politician, social activist, god-man, etc., they are nothing but like a snake which keeps on replacing its outer shell. Such white-collared promoters of extremist ideology need to be dealt with timely so as to evade an impending catastrophe threatening mankind.

Unfortunately, the tragedy that is the spread of extremist ideology is not restricted to a single country or community. In fact, every religious group in the world is facing the scourge of this incoherent ideology. It has already isolated Pakistan to such an extent that other countries think twice before entering into an engagement with it. Terrorist groups in Pakistan which support different ideologies have become bitter enemies.

On July 22, Anders Behring Breivik, a religious chauvinist, killed over 80 people in a shootout and a simultaneous bomb blast in Oslo, the capital of Norway. This 32-year-old man is said to oppose the idea of multiculturalism. It is strange that a person owing allegiance to Christianity believes in opposing multiculturalism rather than following the ideals of love, peace, cooperation and brotherhood taught by Jesus Christ.

Similarly, there are many such chauvinists among Muslims who spread prejudice among the people of the community by calling Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism “existential threats.” Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahri, Mullah Muhammad Omar and Maulana Masood Azhar are among these self-proclaimed guards of Islam.

In India, too, people like Ashok Singhal, Praveen Togadia, Swami Aseemanand and Pragya Singh Thakur take their inspiration from the hate-spewing ideology of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, which mislead their followers to such an extent that they are ready to kill anybody, anytime.

Recently, another armchair politician in India, Subramaniam Swamy, created furor when a controversial article he authored was published in a national daily. A visiting professor at Harvard, Swamy believes that Indian Muslims “who refuse to acknowledge that their ancestors were Hindus should not have voting rights.” Swamy fully supports the unfortunate demolition of Babri Masjid, an issue that created a huge divide between the Hindus and Muslims of the country. Speaking the language of the typical Hindutva elements, Swamy, too, calls Islamic terrorism “India’s number one problem of national security.” Such an expression of intolerant and hateful mindset has not come from any common person but rather a well-educated, “anticorruption crusader” Subramaniam Swamy. That’s a different issue that, upset over his venomous article, a majority of Harvard Alumni, faculty and guardians of students want the “Harvard administration to repudiate Swamy’s remarks and terminate his association with the university.”

Such are the people responsible for spreading communalism, hatred, animosity and dividing the society in the name of religion, thus breeding terrorism. Therefore, in order to save mankind, the need of the hour is to circumscribe such people with polluted minds.

*Letters and commentaries for publication should be addressed “Letters to the Editor.” E-mailed letters should be sent to eopinion@joongang.co.kr.

Tanveer Jafri, a columnist based in India.
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