Sunday, December 28, 2008

You can't cure Terrorism with ASPIRIN !

When I looked up the Wiki link for 'Ajmal Amir Kasab' the only sole surviving terrorist of the 26/11 attacks, who has been reportedly singing like a bird to the Indian authorities (and the FBI??) I was revealed to a new dimension of his personality. I wish to present two interesting aspects that he has supposedly revealed during interrogations.
1. The first excerpt from the wiki page Ajmal Amir had but a limited understanding of jihad, based on the statements he made to authorities. He told interrogators "it is about killing and getting killed and becoming famous." "Come, kill and die after a killing spree. By this one will become famous and will also make Allah proud," is what the suspect said when police asked him what he understood about jihad.[78]........"When we asked whether he knew any verses from the Quran that described jihad, Ajmal Amir said he did not," police said. "In fact he did not know much about Islam or its tenets," according to a police source.[78]
2. The second excerpt from the same page He shocked police through his readiness to switch loyalties now that he was apprehended.[78]...."If you give me regular meals and money I will do the same for you that I did for them," he said.[78]
These reports seem to suggest that although Ajmal was a terrorist he wasn't a religious extremist. Till recently the two personality traits of being a terrorist and that of being a religious extremist has been juxtaposed in many minds, often equating the two. 26/11 has seemed to suggest a possible de-linking of the two. This looks to be a silver lining in the otherwise dark cloud of terrorism. Its easier to handle and curb terrorism, if the roots are political, economical or even ideological. The job gets difficult if the desire to perpetuate terrorism stems from a religious cause.
Whether we curb terrorism or not , the first consequence of this de-linking, will be an increased tolerance towards people who may share a religious identity with those who perpetuate terror. After 9/11, the world over has seen the development of a social polarisation on the lines of religion. People who had completely contrary ideals to those of Al Khaeda, but still shared first names or sacred texts with the members of the infamous organisation, have been at the receiving end of a serious social discrimination. The statements of Ajmal should necessarily reverse this trend.
Terrorism has caused profound damage to lives and property of innocent individuals world over. But it has also shocked he world with its seemingly inexplicable ways of taking 'normal-seeming' people into its folds. With unexpected arrest of a MNC employee in Bangalore, accused of having links with the world of terror, and with similar such incidents world over, the rationale of thinking behind these well educated, financially satisfied minds have been in question. It has puzzled many a people that religious sentiments could be such a strong motive for individuals to walk the board and kill innocent lives.
The statements of Ajmal on the contrary are more comforting. It is nice to see that terrorists like Ajmal are willing to switch loyalties in return for socio-economic benefits . One can only hope that Ajmal is a good representation of the average terrorist from a poor family in Faridkot or any other impoverished part of the world.
I want to conclude with a very old but relevant piece of writing by Zaigham Ali Mirza in the Khaleej Times dated December 2005 (Read: Religious extremism to be major concern). It says that the real concern for the nations of the world in the next 10 or 20 years will not really be terrorism, but religious extremism. it is worth observing that terrorism is merely a symptom and not a disease . The real disease could be poverty, social discrimination, ideological difference or religious extremism.
Stringent security establishments, increased intelligence and air strikes over terrorist camps are merely attacking the symptom. It is like eating aspirin for a headache. But the headache could be caused by something as small as a viral infection or something as serious as a brain tumour. Our real problem is the brain tumour, not the headache by itself.

4 comments:

Sita said...

You are right in saying that terrorism and religious extremism is different.

Many muslims in US have been targeted in US, post the 9/11 attacks. It is not correct to blame the entire community just because a few of them in that community happen to be terrorists. We should not forget the fact that there are such anti social elements even amongst the Hindus, Christians and other communities. The Babri Masjid demolition,Malegaon blasts, attacks on Christian missionaries, Raj Thackeray’s attrocities etc stand testimony to the fact.

It is quite a relief that the statement made by Kasab reinforces the fact that the terror attacks in Mumbai is not linked to religion. Infact, many muslims have been also been killed in the attack.

We, as a nation have stood together united, during this time of distress, irrespective of caste and religion. That is truly the silver lining.

It is important for us to attack the problem from the root---which, as you say is related to religious, ideological, economical and political differences. It would have been great if we had only one world with one culture, one religion and one god!

vijayan said...

IT DOESNT SERVE ANY PURPOSE WHAT THE TERRORIST REPORTED TO HAVE SAID OR NOT ABOUT HIS MOTIVE.

THE REAL INTENTION BEHIND THE TERRORIST ATTACK SEEMS TO BE CREATE A WAR LIKE SITUATION OR A WAR BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES AS ANY PEACE PROCESS BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES WILL NOT GO WELL WITH ULTIMATE OBJECTIVES OF THE TERRORISTS. THE GOVERNMENT SO CALLED IN OUR NEIGHBOURING COUNTRY AS WE KNOW IS ONLY A PUPPET IN THE HANDS OF THE STAGE ACTORS AND THE MILITARY.NOBODY NEED EXPECT ANY STRONG ACTION FROM SUCH A GOVERNMENT. NEITHER CAN OUR GOVERNMENT KEEP QUIET UNDER SUCH A SITUATION.AS MEMORY IS SHORTLIVED THE SITUATION WILL PASS OF THAT WAY, YES ONLY AFTER THE ELECTIONS.TILL SUCH TIME STRONG RHETORICS WILL BE THE ORDER.

Padmini said...

There is a proverb in Malayalam (Kathunna Perayil Oorunna kazhikol Labham) means “Fishing in troubled waters”. This is exactly our rulers are doing now. To cover-up the colossal failures over the years start blaming the Pakistan. I read the present war cry by our administrators as an attempt to cover up the evident filures.Or am I to read as an election stunt.

Having said that I appreciate the efforts taken to create International pressure

If one really wants to solve the problem we need to understand and proceed:

-Accept the situation
-Accept that there are shortcomings within our country
-Identify area of concern
-take corrective actions

There is no use blaming Pakistan when we are not really prepared to tackle the issue. We need to understand that the present Pak government is functioning under the blessing of the Military!

Last: If we want to strike don’t do war cry…. Just do it

Ravi

Hari said...

It is right the so called terrorism
is Political activity for business
needs. And it thriving mostly because of educated unemployment at economically poor section of our society. If we concentrate this area some breakthrough might be possible.