Taliban: Should We Fear The Ideology More?


War brings with it a tinging uncertainty, which is almost impossible to overlook. The fact that war will bring peace sounds quite hypocritical.Yet there are many situations that appear to have no other solution. On a personal level, I am against war, or any sort of violence for whatever given reason. War is something I wouldn’t want to justify. Just last months I was in the same state of mind when I wrote about the incessant war. The fact that  the war in swat  is a long term affair. Its not only about killing the militancy but wiping the ideology that seeps in our society at many levels. Without dismantling the mindset we will only gain a temporary victory. This wasn’t my attempt to boycott the army offensive in swat, but to point out a lot more that should be done alongside.

Although it may seem like a  vague idea but certainly not something we can afford to ignore.  Its quite interesting that Saudia Arabia offers a Jihad Rehab to those involved in extremist activities.

Jihad Rehab
In Saudi Arabia the government’s employing a radical approach to win back the hearts and minds of those who’ve committed atrocities on behalf of organizations like Al Qaeda. Turning young men away from extremism, Saudi style.

This is not what you would imagine when you think of a typical Saudi jail.
Inside, prisoners enjoy access to wide-ranging recreational facilities including their own swimming pools, video games and table tennis.
In return for the more relaxed environment, prisoners have to attend religious education classes where Islamic scholars challenge their views.
The thinking behind the new initiative is to fight al-Qaeda’s ideology by convincing militant Islamists they have a distorted view of Islam.

“You cannot defeat an ideology by force. You have to fight ideas with ideas,” says Abdul-Rahman Hadlaq, ISU director.”( ideology security unit)

As amusing as it might seem its interesting to note how the tactic is being practiced. The idea is not to prevent them from being punished but to try and tackle the ideology.  In Pakistan , growing terrorism and the ease for recruiting terrorists is blamed on poverty.  Alberto Abadie made a thought provoking contribution at the in the American Economic Review , focusing on the link between terrorism and political conditions in a region.

According to Abadie:

“The empirical results reported here show that terrorist risk is not significantly higher for poorer countries, once the effects of other country-specific characteristics, such as the level of political freedom, are taken into account. In contrast with the results for civil wars in Collier and Hoeffler (2004), lack of political freedom is shown to explain terrorism, and it does so in a nonmonotonic way. Countries with intermediate levels of political freedom are shown to be more prone to terrorism than countries with high levels of political freedom or countries with highly authoritarian regimes.” [p.51, Abadie, 2006]

Photo Courtesy: Econnow.com

Note here he means that countries in transition from authoritarian regimes to democratic institutions are particularly at risk from terrorism. This specific  example seems to set well into our current situation. However it  still fails to explain the suicide bomber psychology. I feel there are other  elements apart  from ffinancial economic reasons.  For me the growing uncertainty a transitional phase brings  cant be a long term tool for recruiting veterans .  This is where the extremist mindset comes to serve the purpose.  Plotting extremist ideologies that would cause a drastic change of mindset.  Where a particular person is made to believe that they are in fact serving a larger cause ,or more sacred perhaps.  Playing the religion card is definitely not a new tactic. The world’s witnessed it during the soviet invasion and Talibanization.  Over the decades the cards are being used to serve the same purpose. A sense of righteousness and make-belief  allowing a long term commitment.  The term ‘brainwashing’ is most commonly used to define the tactic. Its shocking that these brain washing exercises are in-fact started at a very young age.

Just about recently authorities rescued several children being recruited by the Taliban.

CBS reports:

Security forces have rescued several children forcibly recruited by the Taliban, allegedly to be used as fighters or suicide bombers, and there could be hundreds more of them, officials said Tuesday.

Lt. Gen. Nadeem Ahmed,  said he had met with nine boys rescued from the Taliban.
“They have been brainwashed and trained as suicide bombers, but the nine who I met seemed willing to get back to normal life,” he told Pakistani state-run television.
Ahmed’s deputy, Lt. Col. Waseem Shahid, later clarified that it had not been determined whether all the boys were being trained as suicide bombers.
“What we are saying is that they are Taliban recruits. They are trained. They could have been used for any purpose,” Shahid told The Associated Press.”It seems that there are some 300 to 400 such children who the Taliban had taken forcibly or who they were training,” Ahmed said.

Photo Courtesy: Guardian
Photo Courtesy: Guardian

The reports bring out a rather disturbing figure. A growing army of mindless individuals waiting to spring up at any given opportunity. This is the kind of situation that needs to be tackled. Its extremely important that these children and Young adults are properly looked after. As apparent it can be a devastating situation .  Even though the army offensive in swat is almost over many still fear the chances.  The chances of Taliban being scattered or even springing up again. With all those fears, still at large , the authorities need to be much more cautious.

While we talk about religious extremist its important that we realize how deep rooted it really is.  In the case of Talibanization we can’t afford to forget its origin. Giving different names to religious extremism doesn’t solve the issue but deviates from the solution. The fact is that more emphasis needs to be laid in tackling the extremist ideology. While dealing with religious extremism inflicting force cant be taken as the only solution. In many cases force or use of violence has triggered a breeding ground for terrorism.

Should we fear the ideology more than the people? my answer is yes.This however doesn’t mean that terrorism should be overlooked.  The only point that matters is how we decide to tackle the issue and rehabilitate the society. The psychological brunts aren’t only endured by those recruited in to the mindless army but also the society as  a whole.  While the army vows victory, there is lot more that needs to be take care of.  We may have to fight this battle more than once to win it, this is our battle to fight back the true essence of Islam and rehabilitate our society.

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8 thoughts on “Taliban: Should We Fear The Ideology More?

  1. Well , it’s not cleared who is a “Taliban” or extremist here? From current trend(which I learnt from Media), anyone who dares to talk about Islam, talks about defending the rights of wearing Hijab,having beard, is a Taliban for those who call themselves liberals.

    Recently I made a post on one of Nadeem Paracha’s article in which he went sick beyond limits. Reading him reminds me that the country is clearly divided between two extreems; religious fanatics which are called ” Talibans” and secular fanatics like Nadeem who embrace Americans on Pakistani soil and strive their best to impose their own view. Don’t consider it as an excuse of promotion(as I don’t need one), just want to let you and your readers know that how a religion is used by both religion and anti-religion experts:

    http://tinyurl.com/nfparacha

  2. Well researched piece. As you rightly point out, religion has been used by states, governments and rulers throughout history. Let’s not forget the Crusades, one of the most (if not *the* most) brutally violent periods of history.

  3. Great article Sana. thought provoking. You should also read up on Child soldiers in various conflicts ranging from Sri Lanka’s LTTE to a bunch of African countries to Latin America. Start while the mind is still soft and sculptable. (you could catch some idea of this in the movie Blood Diamonds and several documentary movies on the subject itself).

    -Aly

  4. Aslan demonstrates that while modern Jihadis may have legitimate social grievances – the suffering of the Palestinians, American support for Arab dictators, the presence of foreign troops in Muslim lands, to name a few – they have no real goals or actual agenda.So, what do the Jihadists want? Aslan’s answer is: Nothing. The Jihadists have no earthly agenda; they are fighting a metaphysical conflict, a theological war. And ever since 9/11, we have unfortunately been fighting the same cosmic war, the war they want: the so-called War on Terror. How do we win a Cosmic War? By refusing to fight in one. And in this stunning new work, Aslan reveals surprising conclusions about how we can deal with this predicament.

    — How to Win a Cosmic War by Reza Aslan — http://bit.ly/1b6bkn

  5. “You cannot defeat an ideology by force. You have to fight ideas with ideas.”
    Excellent.

    And to “Should we fear the ideology more?”, yes, it is ALL about the ideology.

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