Muslims reject cult of death

DESPITE extremism and terrorism taking centre stage in international affairs since the onset of the war against terrorism, little concrete has been done to understand the problem and its main feature – suicide bombing.

Recent findings of the Pew Research Centre in America showing a decreasing ‘backing’ for suicide bombings among Muslims are important. That so because the poll should go a step further and trigger debate on the core reasons behind terrorism and suicide bombing, which has been missing till now. And in that debate might lie the answers to the most glaring puzzle of our time.

The survey clearly shows that the great majority of Muslims have no appetite for suicide bombings or any other form of armed attacks on innocent civilians. More importantly, the poll also finds former adherents thinning in number, showing rare sanity stemming from the current confusion.

However, in dubbing the exercise a “pro-globalisation set of findings”, the report sidesteps the core issue, and conveniently points at economic surges in developing countries as the reason behind the falling support for extremist tendency. While the explanation cannot be ruled out completely, it falls short for two important reasons.

Firstly, it does not delve deep enough into the nature of the phenomenon, which is why the explanation is premature at best. Secondly, the research does not explain why apparently well-to-do people have been behind some of the most heinous crimes like 9/11, 7/7, Glasgow, etc.

While economic self-sufficiency, and the lack of it, is an essential component of the paranoia that promotes extremism, it is not the most important one. The present research will do well to prompt more on the nature of the prime factor – hopelessness, dishonour and utter helplessness in the face of unwarranted hostility and continued oppression.

If the international community is serious about ‘rooting out terrorism in all its manifestations’, which it should be, it will have to do a tad more than demand “do more” from partner states that struggle with the menace on an everyday basis. No doubt taking life is the highest form of crime and deserves the severest condemnation, but it can also no longer be denied that far too many people have been wasted because of crime that had and continues to have its roots in unjustice that has too long been justified for unfair gains.

Again, it is for potentially initiating perhaps the most important debate of the terrorism-era that the research is much appreciated, even if sections of the contents are disagreed with.

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