Intellectual Security in Combating Extremism

  • | Monday, 17 June, 2019
Intellectual Security in Combating Extremism

     Young people in most regions of the world, especially the Muslim world, currently face a number of changes and challenges resulting from technological developments and the expansion of online communication that made our world a small electronic village, as well as the emergence of extremist groups with religious and racial backgrounds.

The Islamic Shari’ah paid attention to intellectual security and used to address young people in the gentlest manner lest they abhor the discourse. Therefore, the guidance given by the Shari’ah varies from one occasion to another, and in many cases it avoids the direct commanding style. For example, Abu Musa narrated, “I asked the Messenger of Allah ‘which (attribute) of Islam is more excellent?’ The Prophet (PBUH) replied: ‘the one from whose tongue and hands the other Muslims are secure.’”

The real danger is not to have some people with radical thought, as such persons are found in all societies.  However, the real danger is the spread of this radical thought, the expansion of its realm and the increase of the number of its followers because after this it may turn to form a part of the culture of that society and then comes the attempts to impose it by force.

Intellectual security is part of the public security system in society; it is the basis of any sort of security and stability. Perhaps we agree that intellectual security is one of the most significant forms of security in the present time because of the difficulty of dealing with intellectual extremism as well as the variety of its methods and its ability to reach any place. The danger of intellectual extremism increases in light of the fear of its spread among young people through the hidden methods established for negative action. Therefore, many people believe in the importance of the role played by intellectual, educational and religious institutions, especially mosques, schools and universities to combat extremist ideology, in addition to the central role of the family in achieving the intellectual security and protection of society and its members.

The roots of intellectual extremism are old but it became more dangerous, with its internal and external connections, on the Arabic, regional and international levels. Intellectual extremism can be found in different societies and is not limited to one religion, country, people, language, culture or a geographical area, though the causes and conditions may vary. However, in all cases it is based on not accepting the other, rejecting diversity and imposing its ideology through the use of violence.

If extremism represents an existing case over all ages, we, on the contrary, have moderation, tolerance and the common grounds between peoples, nations, religions, and diverse languages. Cooperation is an intrinsic nature of humans since diversity and pluralism are human qualities and rights that humanity reached after long struggle. They are the opposite of extremism.

For sure, when missing intellectual security, the inevitable consequence will be intellectual terrorism. In my view, intellectual terrorism is the most dangerous form of terrorism; why? This is because when one gets fully convinced of an idea, then it turns to be a material power that cannot be overcome and which pushes one to sacrifice oneself for its sake.

The takfiri ideas have poisoned the minds of the youths who experienced brainwashing, which led many of them to attempt to destabilize many countries and nations and turn the real life, alongside its many challenges, pains and hardships, into a more severe and arbitrary one, by spreading terror and panic among people through blasts, explosions, explosive belts and mass graves, acts of vengeance and spreading the spirit of hatred. What strange is that "Allah Akbar (God is the Great)" has become the slogan terrorists utter and write on their flags before beginning any terrorist action!!!

Although many terrorists may not have direct contacts or personal interrelationships, they have for sure relationships and common interests with regard to fanaticism and extremism that unite them all together. Modern technology, communication revolution and digital boom provided easy contact and communication between them and created incubators of terrorism. These means have also helped in bringing about environments receptive to extremism. Such environments are necessary for the terrorists as to enable them to move in and towards, whenever they face challenges. In this way, a relationship is created between the operational and producing environments of the terrorist virus on one hand and the receiving and responding environment of the terrorist ideology, on the other hand, positively and negatively.

We may wonder: what is the relationship between a terrorist who lives in Paris, London, Brussels or Madrid and other terrorists who live in Bagdad, Damascus, Cairo, Beirut, Mogadishu, Tripoli, Rabat, Tunisia, Chad, Niger or any other city, region or country?

If religion is used to serve political ends, it is because it represents a sanctified space that terrorists employ to pass their political projects and exploit others under religious or sectarian pretexts, especially when intolerance controls them, and extremism thus dominates their behaviors to the extent that they engage in violence.


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