The Writers Voice
What Generates Terrorism
Ehsan Elahi Ehsan
Disliking is the first negative step which leads human society towards regression if not reconciled at the earliest. Disliking cannot be avoided. It is innate in human beings and on a larger scales, in groups and nations. This is a negative attitude which is curable at an early stage through dialogue and mutual understanding. Disliking encompasses many things within it. It can be the disliking of a pattern of life as whole, of religion, of social structure, of ideology, of political and economical systems and so on. This is the first stage when the possibilities of clashes are visible. This is the germinating seed to make two groups poisonous against each other. Suppressed disliking is more harmful than the expressed one. It is, therefore, important for the reasonable people to check it, pacify it and remove it by patience and reasonable dialogues. The basis for this dialogue is provided by the principle of ‘live and let others live’.
If disliking is not checked, converted, pacified or removed, this shifts itself into interference and that is usually done by the stronger and more powerful. The opposite side, who is weaker and unable to resist, goes in the back ground and begins to prevent this interference through untraditional methods. Guerrilla wars and cold wars come into this category. This negative attitude which takes the shape of negative action can still be checked through the dialogue and suspension rather dismissal of interference by the interfering. If that is not checked , it begins germs of intolerance within it. The stronger one become proud of its physical power and begins to threaten the other side of its use. The weaker one begins to be the most cautious and avoids the possible physical clash because it knows that in physical clash it is bound to lose.
The local governments, however, become aware of the possible coming danger, and begin to stop their suspected individuals, or groups by making some arrests and putting them behind the bar. As a reaction, the groups begin to react against their own governments labeling them as the agents of the stronger party. In this reaction they use every possible method to force their governments to accede to their desires or face the consequences. For this purpose they exploit religion, give their own brand to the religion, criticize the government’s foreign economical and political policies and create misunderstanding among the general public. They use different kinds of slogans which create the impressions that their government are the foreign agents, that there is a recorded price hike and the government is insincere and indifferent to the national problems. Most of all, they propagate that the govt. is unable to maintain peace and order in the country. To provide a proof of this, they attack the religious centers. They kill the worshippers and the innocent and they blame the opposite religious sections.
This is the stage when intolerance changes itself to prejudice when each party says that it is right and the other is wrong. The first party begins to persist on it and the second begins to resist with full determination. Those people who advocate the midway or moderation are made targets. The worst example of this victimization is the Pakistan’s President Musharraf himself. In such a condition, the local governments are put to a dilemma. There is the external pressure to control the disrupting elements and there is the internal pressure on the government from public to maintain peace and order.
When the element of prejudice begins to dominate, every thing on the opposite side is criticized and the principle of "live and let others live" is damaged badly. It is changed into "we are right and the others are wrong" The tension which already exists between the parties changes itself into hatred. The situation deteriorates when the slogan of righteousness is changed into self- righteousness. Now it reaches the point of ‘we are right, and only we are right." The basis of ‘live and let others live is demolished and a new foundation for the destruction of human society is laid on "Live and do not allow others to live." This is the stage which opens ways to violence. The stronger one uses the violence overtly and the weaker one covertly.
This is also the stage when the external support by both the parties is sought. The stronger one convinces other governments and nations to join in the holy war, and the weaker one increases its membership from the innocent public. Both of the parties begin to act as extremists. Now the blind use of force and weapons from both sides is made and both of them claim to be fighting for a noble cause. The most tragic aspect of all this bloody drama is that on both sides the victims are the innocent, the old, the women, the children at par. The fields of activities are expanded and in one way or the other, the whole world, howsoever peaceful it may be is involved. The attacks are made by one in the form of padded bombing, and in demolishing the world trading towers by the other. The men of reason are cornered by both the sides and they are forced to shed their tears for the dying humanity. Men of reason bewail the condition of the crown of all creatures and resort to God Almighty for help. Now both the parties invent new labels for each of them. One is called the aggressor and the other the terrorist. Both of them feast themselves on human flesh and blood and that even of the innocent.
The only way to find a solution out of this chaotic situation is to reverse the situation as "terrorism – extremism – hatred – prejudice – intolerance – interference – disliking" till it reaches the point "live and let others live" through global reasoning. There can be no capable machinery to do this all except the U.N.O. but only in that case when it works as an independent judge and not merely as a maid- servant.
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