Saturday, 26 September 2020

Root out barbaric ISIS

Updated: July 14, 2016 1:16 pm

In any war, it’s the reckless acts of barbarism that grab the headlines and lurch in the public domain. The world, in last few days, witnessed brutal terror attacks in Istanbul, Dhaka and Baghdad. It’s a long way from the Turkish city of Istanbul to Baghdad in Iraq and to Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, but in the brutal ideology of Islamic State, the three are strongly connected. The world leaders have condemned these gruesome attacks, which are further proof of the viciousness and barbarity of the ISIS. It is noteworthy for our ‘secular brigade’ that every secular clap, it gets a tight jihadist slap! More often than not, it is brutal, bloody and chilling. The secular arguments fall flat in the face of numbing violence not on States or security forces but on innocent civilians. Baghdad to Dhaka, New York to Mumbai, Brussels to Jakarta–the guns and machetes in the hands of terrorists claiming to fight in the name of Islam continue to take lives. The ham-handed responses by the governments are bringing on horizon Brexit, Trump, etc, for which, who can blame the citizens, who are tired of impotent intellectuals mouthing homilies. Here it is worth mentioning that the long-term challenge is to check growing radicalisation, which occurs because it is funded by seemingly unlimited petro-dollars from Gulf countries, which want to promote a hate-filled ideology, prevalent in their country to replace a more moderate version of Islam prevalent in many other Asian countries. The only way to bring down such incidents is to work on eliminating such forces ruthlessly. Here, it cannot be gainsaid that in our country some human rights activists and Left wing people want to give benefit of doubt and consider the senseless argument of brutal fundamentalists. If we count the total number of non-Muslim and innocents killed due to the terrorist acts, it will be much more than the number of Muslims killed. So will they support Islamophobia? Here, I would like to mention what the champions of ‘secular brigade’ say. They point out that this jihadi terrorism is rooted in Western hegemony, but that alone is not the reason or even the major reason for jihadi terrorism. The various Islamist monarchies like Saudi Arabia or terrorist organisations like the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt or the mujahideen or the Taliban of Afghanistan or Osama bin Laden of Saudi Arabia or the ISI of Pakistan willingly collaborated with the Westerners, most particularly with the Americans (whom they called ‘Friend’ or the Great Satan depending upon the situation). The jihadists are not indulging in ‘suicide bombing’ because they oppose Western hegemony; they are mostly doing so as a religious duty, as part of a religious indoctrination of hatred against the infidels. Why is India being attacked then, which has no hegemonic designs? Why is the ISIS attacking Syria’s Bashar-al-Assad, who is no darling of the Western world? Why are Chechens attacking Russia? Why is the ISIS now turning against Turkey after owing their very existence to them?

ISIS is without question a very brutal extremist group. It has rapidly ascended to global attention by taking control of large territories in western and northern Iraq. It’s the sheer enormity of the slaughter that’s overstretching this group’s resources, but ISIS’s murderous approach has compounded the problem. Also, the murder and rape of women is another heinous strategy of these militants. Hair-raising stories of women’s horrific experiences fill the Internet daily and from time to time, human rights groups release worrisome data about the extent of rape, noting that the price of a woman or child is no more than a few dozen dollars each. In India, despite all the tell-tale signs of the looming danger ostensibly by ISIS, the security agencies continue to be blurry-eyed and unprepared. The case of home-grown radicals influenced by jihad in Syria and Iraq, or those of returning foreign fighters remains a danger to multi-religious, secular and democratic countries with substantial Muslim populations like India. ISIS is a real terror problem with its fangs reaching not just in the West Asia region but beyond, India needs to realise this and get its act together, before the problem escalates. For, these agents of terror are totally mentally bankrupt. They cannot judge what is right and what is wrong. They are self-proclaimed gods. But gods for whom? For a section of disillusioned people. The people who believe in the cult of guns, bloodshed and mass murder; the people who have created a false belief around themselves that they are the saviour of the religion, that they are caliphs, the representatives of noble thought. But they should learn the lessons of noble thought from Malala, who has risen like a glimmer of hope. She showed that guns are not the real solution to the problems. Instead education is; development is. Hence, they should shun the path of gun culture and bring happiness to people by investing their resources and energy in noble works.

Deepak Kumar Rath

Deepak Kumar Rath

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