Shaikh Muhammad Bilal
As the Quaid-e-Azam said Pakistan is proud of its youth, particularly the students, who are nation builders of tomorrow. They must fully equip themselves by discipline education and training for the arduous tasks lying ahead of them. Youth being a pillar of nation should extend actual vision of Islam which globally, encompasses on avoidance of discrimination, violence and terrorism on the bases of religious faith, colour, language and race. Terrorism is now in its transformative phase, as zones of conflict and chaos which these Terrorist organizations were able to entrenched themselves in Muslim countries are shrinking and diminishing. Now these organizations faced with the problems of physical space are turning to the virtual world to launch a more sinister offensive of ideologically poisoning young Muslims to resort to violence, extremism and terrorism. Islam is not just traditional to historically Middle Eastern countries but also is as much traditional in Europe and the Americas. It has to be mentioned here that Islam was the first religion that laid the emergence and foundations of global interconnectedness or globalization as we call it today. This is evident from just a simple fact that papermaking in Europe was introduced by Muslims which they had learnt from the Chinese on the other edge of the Islamic empire.
This Islamic empire also was not just won with the force of arms but also through revival of ancient philosophy of Greeks and Romans which was lost due to barbaric destruction of Europe from pagan northern tribes such as Goths, Visigoths, Vandals, etc. Then how is it possible that a religion which won over people including cities, states and empires falling to Islam through its teachings and principles, is now being promoted as perpetually violent and being hijacked from within and without by certain nefarious individuals who give the call and only gain satisfaction in acts of violence, torture, terror and fear. Theirs is a violent extremist ideology which can only be defeated through a multi-dimensional mechanism involving not just military actions but also on an ideological front which requires superior rejuvenation.
The terrorist offensive is now firmly ingrained to manipulate the young Muslim population and in them they find easy targets as they either have no memory of the glorious past or lack knowledge on the true historical facts on how Islam was able to penetrate long distance geographical boundaries. Terrorists through their ideological propaganda are utterly involved in falsification of religious historical facts in their publications and while dissemination of individual acts of barbarism are being given the colourings of the glorification which is in fact the blood of innocent on their hands.
In the contemporary modern world, religious – political extremism is trying to change and overthrow the state system and forcefully seize power thus violating the territorial integrity of the state. The predominance of forceful methods of struggle for achieving goals is distinguished by modern extremism on a religious basis, which is highlighted by religious postulates and slogans. Modern religious and political extremism is inseparable from terrorism. Most of the states of the Muslim world are currently confronted with problems of religious and political extremism under Islamic slogans, thus terrorists gain their justification on violent methods of political struggle, including heinous terrorist acts.
The intensity of development of this social- ideological phenomenon in the Muslim world is due to a number of objective reasons. Accelerated modernization of Muslim countries is inevitably accompanied by the growth of cities, the erosion of the rural way of life, the crisis of traditional social structures, the strengthening of property differentiation and, as a result, the spread of fear of the future in many social groups. Its role is played also by the loss of ideological landmarks, connected with the disappointment in the ideas of Islamic nationalism, which is revealed by the inconsistency of artificially planted socialist projects from one side and the aversion of capitalism and liberal values that are associated with colonialism and the breakdown of family ties among a large part of the population, from the other side. This has made Muslim countries lag far behind in the development of science and technology from the developed countries especially of the West.
Research proofs that in Europe and later on in the United States, Protestant ideology, values and principles helped to build confidence in people which lead to the development of public institutions, establishment of high standards of civil, political and economic freedoms, and the containment of extremism. Accordingly, this had a positive impact on the dynamics and quality of society and became the engines of economic growth.
Contradictory, Terrorist ideological endeavors are based on the idea that the spread of extremist ideas and sentiments is stimulated by discontent with the economic and political expansion of the West in the Islamic world, as well as by the unresolved conflicts in newly founded countries with predominant Muslim populations and the Western countries’ attempts to influence the political processes in these countries. In these conditions, those who do not see a way out in the future turn to the past, to the “golden age” of Islam, which they dream to revive, realizing the principles of true, purified from the later layers of Islam. On the basis of this true religion, extremists dream of building a society of social justice, radically different from infidels who they think and propagate have forgotten the Prophet’s (PBUH) covenants. It should be noted that the social, political and economic views of the adherents of extremist doctrines are rather confusing and contradict political reality. Thus radical political Islam not just comes in demand but also penetrates ideologically in the mindset especially of the young.
In the tectonic transformations at the turn of the 20th-21st centuries emerged Pakistan, a unique country founded in the name of Islam and a natural leader of the Islamic world due to its not just ideological underpinnings based on the sacred religion but also military prowess. As Islam is becomes increasingly important for the domestic policy of not only Muslim countries or states with a significant Muslim population, but also a number of Western countries, in this respect, the situation also bestows greater role of Pakistan especially on the ideological front for defeat of terrorism which has currently like a snake has wrapped around the heart and soul of Islam. The destiny of Pakistan is dismantling, defeating and liquidating this greatest menace faced by the sacred religion. For this purpose, Pakistani youth as harbinger of peace, should raise their voice against violent extremism.