Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Is violence restricted to political Islam?

Sameh Mahareeq
Al-Quds Al-Arabi

“The tendency towards violence and
oppression seems to be more of a social
phenomenon than a political or religious
one. Looking at the discourse of any group
or force that falls within the Eastern Culture
category, one detects the propensity to
silence ‘others’ to different degrees. Also,
there’s no lack of a wide range of implied
and expressed mockery directed at different
opinions and beliefs,” said Sameh
Mahareeq. The writer believes that the
ideological conflict that has arisen over
renewing the religious discourse and school curricula in the Arab world overlooks the fact
that a high percentage of those inclined to violence are unemployed and marginalised in
society. That is the case in most of the countries plagued by violence, terrorism, and
organised crime. Invoking Islam is merely a pretext and psychological excuse for murderers
as it provides them with an implied absolution. “Giving priority to the unemployed, socially
alienated and marginalised people is a necessity. However, this does not absolve clerics who
adopt positions that feed the people with violence. Yet the only real link with religion is the
distortion of Islam. However, the belief that reforming religious speech, promoting
secularism and intellectual openness will put an end to terrorism in societies polarised
between rich and poor is illogical,” added Mahareeq.

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