Imlil crime : as any other extremist acts, is due to the absence of democracy; not Islamic teachings
By Jaouad Mabrouki
The misinterpretation of Islam or the misunderstanding of verses from the holy Quran shall not be regarded as the main cause for terrorism, for relating such act to Islamic teachings is only an alternative to escape from unjust reality and autocratic governance.
The cause of extremism in all its forms is due to the absence of justice and democracy in any given society, when darkness replaces light, and injustice sets up the floor for extremist views and lack of democratic values, both nationally and internationally.
The absence of the following elements represents the main cause for extremism, insecurity and unhappiness:
A – The absence of democracy: “Without democracy, religions represent nothing but darkness and nations serve as prisons”.
Human beings need democracy to feel safe and secure in their country or society. It is democracy that ensures and guarantees the rights of every citizen regardless of his or her beliefs, creed, race or culture. Democracy achieves unity in diversity, cultivates co-existence and familiarity between all elements of society, and makes our homeland a beautiful garden that introduces to the world a diversity of flowers and plants. Democracy brings all citizens together and creates harmony among them.
Citizens’ democratic satisfaction can be achieved through the right to education, health, well-being and dignity, while religions would bring nothing but darkness and lack of freedom as long as democratic values are absent.
In the absence of democracy, the door for extremism remains open, as it takes many forms such as drugs, prostitution, criminality, religion and politics, for human nature urges people to belong to a given group or minority, in order to embrace their rights and settle their personal accounts with the oppressors.
B – The absence of citizenship rights: People have no sense of belonging inside their own nations.
Citizens feel the need to belong to a given nation. Such feeling can only be achieved when citizens’ rights are granted in full by his or her group. However, feeling unwelcome or unloved in their own countries, and the fact that their rights are not preserved by their groups, pushes people in general to develop negative feelings that kill off their sense of belonging. As a result, individuals loose the true meaning of life, and tend to lean towards extremist views while being committed in full to certain groups, especially when such groups give people meaning and a true sense of belonging, regardless of these groups’ criminal or religious records.
C – The absence of justice:
Human beings need justice for it establishes cohesion within any society and ensures its safety and security. When justice is lost within societies, it affects the lives of citizens inside their nations as well. Under such circumstances, individuals loose hope in their homeland and their religion; therefore, they tend to lean towards extremism as they develop new friendships with those who share the same feeling and the same ideas, whether in criminality or religion.
D – The absence of a true meaning for life
Human beings need to cling to certain values that give meaning to life and please their expectations, such as democracy, rights, dignity, education, health, work and freedom. When people loose meaning of life, they start drowning in nothingness as they find themselves torn between committing suicide, and engaging in drug use, criminality and religion.
Clinging to religion in this case, however, can be viewed as different of what is common in societies, for people seek a group that has its own peculiarities; a group that is different from others, where they feel welcome, as their views are widely approved and shared. Belonging to such groups give people a new meaning for life that allows them to settle personal accounts with those they considers unjust.
2 – Internationally:
In the absence of all the above-mentioned elements, extremism and terrorism rise to the surface, taking different economic, media, political, military, criminal, cultural, ethnic and religious forms.
Whether we like it or not, the world shall rise as one; however, the absence of justice and democracy among societies causes disturbance in human happiness and shakes the essence of peace. The world is not a perfect place due to the absence of all the above-mentioned elements, and will be further hindered as long as differences still exist between societies everywhere.
Each country seeks to exploit others for its own interests even if this exploitation requires shedding blood and leaving people starving, sick and without dignity. The injustice in the world has a major role in the production of extremism and terrorism; therefore, there is no need to hypocrisy and falsely accusing Islam. In fact, trying to eliminate religion or change its teachings is unfair and completely undemocratic. Such measures will only make things worse, which has been the case for decades in several parts of the world.
**** Jaouad Mabrouki, Moroccan/Arab social and psychological analyst