Up-rooting Terrorism after Osama. By Fr. Anand Muttungal

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The terrorism continued to grow faceless till Osama was projected as its head following attacks on World Trades Centers. Long ten years of search and killing has put him a point of reference to terrorism. Every year we remember the victims of the September 11. In the same time the opponents remember him as hero of terrorism. It may be true to believe that he may be a victim of misconception of religious principles. Over the years terrorism has been re-defined to suit the interest of peoples in power. Terrorism has its roots in the religious fundamentalisms. Advent of social network, communication and mass media has given a new face to the religious fundamentalism and its ill begotten child extremism that has given birth to terrorism. So to up-root terrorism we must first deal with the multifaceted religious fundamentalisms and extremisms.
Religious fundamentalism has played a decisive role in dividing the society over the years. Many religious followers regardless of the basic principles are trying to interpret its scriptures to make its followers more fundamental than its founders and proponents. India has become a global village where people from all parts of the country are moving from one place to another, yet dissident voices of extreme form of Regionalism is also heard in different parts of the country as in many parts of the world.
Political extremism is growing in different parts of the world with killing both innocents and political rivals alike. Time and again cultural extremism is making its head visible in many developing countries including India . People with cultural extremistic thinking are interpreting even otherwise minor instances through a cultural glass branding the rest as ‘foreign’ and then it leading to violence. A rare form of extremism is also being cherished by the economically powerful nations which make policies that bring the developing countries to their knees. It is used as a global strategy to get hold of the natural resources and consumer market but it should not be neglected that such countries invite irreparable hatred from the victims.
It looks that all these core issues we have accepted as the evil to be lived with. If we analyse terrorism, it is nothing but extreme form of pursuing ones ideology through all forms of violence. We need to begin addressing the issues of religious fundamentalism, extreme forms of regionalism, linguistic and national culturalism, one sided economic policies and suppression of voices of concern that comes from under developed areas and different communities. It is here that we need to take care that no such issues are let to grow unaddressed.
The religious organizations and families have a major role to play because majority of children at some point of time are close to the religious beliefs. It must become a universal effort to teach tolerance. If all religions are teaching that there is one God and one Heaven then that must be the point of agreement that to be taught. All differences of opinions are ‘the ways’ through which we experience that Supreme Being and reaching that Heaven, the eternal place of rest. Even though children will be practicing one or the other religion, when they are grown up, they will have a conscience choice to opt for better paths that they found while schooling.
To destabilize terrorism and all forms of extremism, like any other subjects we must have religion as a compulsory subject in schooling where all religious teachings are taught to children. It might give correct teachings of all religions. It can help to grow them in correct principles of God, Heaven and Means to attain. Whether we practice or not, I do appreciate the makers of Indian constitution where ‘promoting harmony and spirit of common brotherhood’ has been put as a fundamental duty of every citizen.

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