how should we deal with the problem of religious extremism?

  • Monday, October 15, 2007
  • 9
It seems after the terror blast the government of Maldives is tightening the grip on all islamic groups.

a bill is to be submitted to the parliament on making the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs an independent institution,rather than being a toothless tiger (as the president of the council , Sheikh Raseedh puts it)... [read more]

Under the despotic law of 'protecting the islamic unity of maldives' the president have asked the Islamic council to ban face veiling in public, dressing or behaving in a manner which resembles -in any way- religous denominationalism.In other words they trying to find a way to make things hard for all islamic groups in maldives [read more].

This type of reaction from the government is nothing new. this had happened many times, crack down on wahhabis they call it... they would arrest people and shave off their beards, force them to keep their trousers below ankle (which,according to them is like being in hell),and even take off face veils of women (which will be for them as if removing their clothes).This kind of unacceptable acts of the government is doing nothing except for fueling the wild fire of extremism.This will move elements from more moderate islamic groups in to the stricter and therefore more dangerous people.What i am trying to say is , a bearded guy or a preaching bearded guy is not our business, not a threat to our national security. but bearded or not...a terror minded jihadi muslim is a threat to our country and we should keep an eye on them...when necessary punish them.but a crack down on all bearded or faceveiled people is not just...and very stupid.

Extremism is a serious issue which have to be dealt wisely and shouldnt be like the old majeedhee magu paving project or nerugovvun projects our government carried out.because this is no ordinary thing we are dealing with.religous ideologies or thinking cannot be killed by should be killed (if needed) by better ideologies.You all know they have read the story of ashaabul uhdhoodh from Bukhari collection of Hadiths.In that story people are burned alive for what they believe but they prefered death to giving in.This (the strong faith in what they believe...what ever they may believe) is what drives a young boy,well educated, loved by every one... changes in to a hated monster that wants to kill people.Strengthening the 'islamic unity' itself is a threat to our future. This kind of 'strengthening' will take the rights of islamic groups and will create a violent reaction. A group of religious extremists Gaafu Alifu atoll Maamendhoo are not praying with the common congregation ... now they are praying in the mosque after the common congregation...should we attack them too?!What ever his intention is...Sheikh Shaheem of Adalat party have showed that these people can be softened down by talking to them or discussing religious issues with them instead of releasing a canonic way of doing everything from the president's office and punishing those who disobey.

It is the hypocrisy of Maldives government when it comes to religion ...that have created a breeding ground for jihadi islamic movements and islamic extremism in maldives.For example; we are told that we should follow Quran and Hadith...but we are lied about them.Lies which are so evident that even the kids will know some thing is wrong in those fatwas.Now when this happens children turns to islamic books or websites originating from saudi arabia or saudi funded groups, looking for answers.These will lay a foundation for the wahhabi islam.Now from this stage a person may develop in to anything...just a salafi,a follower of political islam (hizb-ut-tahrir/ikhwanul muslimeen?) or to a houri seeking jihadi muslim.I am not saying that it is their right to preach terrorism. but we cant define what the limits are ,as long as we try to strengthen the 'islamic unity' by force.Let it come by its own (if there is any such thing as an islamic unity) .

I think what we need to cultivate is not islamic unity and hatred for other religions.what we need is an free society, a free environment in which religious tolerance,humanism, and brotherhood would prosper.For this to happen we need social change as well as political change.To bring about this we need education,awareness,change of policies and a secular state or atleast a state with freedom of religion.A state which wouldn't threaten to kill a person for choosing his or her own way of life or belief or for discussing a religious topic freely.Religion have to become more spiritual rather than being a 'dividing-in-the-name-of-uniting' force.Hate and violence would give nothing but hate and violence.The government should understand that these islamic groups too are maldivian citizens, faceveiled women and bearded men are our people..parents to our children...if you jail them beat them up just for what they believe or how they would be very unjust.I have known so far that .... two leaders of the dotcom group (the guys behind the bomb plot) have fled Maldives.This is what we need to concentrate on... bringing the violent and the terror breeding to justice and tackling the extremism problem ideologically.