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Muslim Militancy: Genesis and the Solution

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Message Abdul-Majid Jaffry

"Islam's borders are bloody and so are its innards", so pronounce the chattering experts on global media. In the present quandary, Islam and Muslims are equated with fascism and violence. The sentiment, "the most hate-driven violence in the world today is perpetrated by Muslims", is widely debated in international fora. The pundits and self-anointed analysts paint only part of the picture; unable or unwilling to see beyond the black and white of the topic. They present the view of the Islamic militancy as a conflict between the West and Islam, confrontation between the Franks and Muslims, and as another chapter in the long struggle of Crescent and Cross. President Bush's asinine explanation, "(Muslim extremists) hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other", may be bought by the blithe and naà ves but laughed away by the informed citizenry; it was simply a political rhetoric meant to rouse support in the gullible masses.

It would require unbiased courage and logical clarity to go beyond the superficial sound bites and put the events into wider global political context to identify the cause of the militancy in the Islamic world; a diagnosis is needed before the cure is found.

Islam is neither inherently militant nor inherently pacifist. As with the people of other faiths, it's the prevailing political and socioeconomic circumstances, which form the collective character of the Muslim populace. The situation on the ground provides a context or even inspires violence or, on the other hand, contributes its renunciation. If we explore the political tension prevailing in the Muslim world the root cause of militancy will become apparent; root cause is defined as, "a factor that is both a necessary and a sufficient condition for an event."

It's not the illiteracy, poverty, or "hate-filled education" that spawns violence, in the Muslim world or elsewhere, as some argue. The ETA in Spain, Red Brigades in Italy, the IRA in Ireland, Hezbollah in Lebanon are all based in affluent, educated and secular communities. Various organizations that operated under the auspices of the Palestinian Liberation Organization were secular in its character and organization. The alleged perpetrators of 9/11 incident were, both, educated and came from well-to-do backgrounds. Osama bin Laden is a professional engineer and millionaire, his right hand man Ayman al-Zawahiri is a medical doctor. Research has shown there is no relation seems to exist between illiteracy and poverty and militancy.

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Retired engineer from aircraft industry and a freelance columnist.
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