Community Leaders and MPs need to be hold to account over religious extremism


Some people identity which community they belong to and try to engage, problems arises when they question so called community leader(s) who do they really represent community vs themselves or their organisation which open can of worms for political debates. Unfortunately this is just a tip of the iceberg which community leaders and elective representatives continually fail to address on a large scale as many have forgotten to hold their elected members and community leaders to account.

Recently we have read in the press, social media and television we have also seen an ever increase of Middle East situation with no ending to it. I came across two recent articles one of a wannabe prospective candidate from one of the main political parties what the candidate trying to address Jihadist issue. And another who was born during the Taliban war and escaped. Unfortunately both have failed to address the key concerns of all communities that have a Muslim population so the issue then becomes much wider than just mentioning one sector of society. We all have our part to do in society by not pandering to some so called sound bites.

me in my heydaysAs painful as it is most Jihadist or fundamentalist groups have taken to social media to both promote and recruit their brand of brainwashing ideology which is very worrying not just to the government but to the wider communities at large as nobody wants to see or learn that their son or daughter taking up arms in the name of religion in any faith based organisation(s). Some people may now become defensive by now. I say to them it’s a reactionary action which is human nature which the Far Right would lavish by rubbing their gabby hands and say we are listening to what you are saying. I concur that extremism has to be addressed and I welcome the UN resolution to deal with ISIS but unfortunately it does not go far enough to address extremism in the wider context with all religious groups.

The questions then become how the 17 nationals’ addresses this issue which alleges 17 different nations counter the extremist group in the wider context as there are some suggestions of taking their passports away from them, stopping the funding at source, supporting the Assad regime to help stop extremism. All countries that identified their nationals’ involvement of joining the jihadist groups should be involved to help prevent terrorist and not just two countries viz USA and UK. Let not forget the problem of the Middle East by sending in troops and decides that it was time to leave as their budget could not continue to sustain the effort owing to cut back in defence budget to be frank with all this is and has always been about the short term with no plans of the long term solution but to gain a quick bucks to gain control of black gold and to sell arms to the leaders of the countries who face terrorism.

Some countries would strongly argue that we helped to make a difference by training the countries arm forces and improved the situation and offered advice. Well I say to US & UK governments to wake up and smell the coffee as it has not improved the situation as the extremists group just went underground then gave their instructions to their foot soldiers then disappear and abide their time  until the foreign troops left  only to see them resurface again with a rebrand.

Some time ago I recall speaking to a very close friend of mine Rohullah Yakobi was born in war and escaped the Taliban. He is a political activist with a difference as we spoke of the time when I visited Afghanistan Buddhist Statues  and the Afghanistan Buddhism history whilst we were in heavy discussion over lunch he mentioned about a recurring situation which he reminded me of :

On August 8, 1998, Taliban forces, with the help of Pakistani and Arab fighters, captured the city of Mazar-i Sharif in northern Afghanistan. What happened next was described by Human Rights Watch as a “killing frenzy”.

Their main target was the Hazara community, who had fiercely resisted the Taliban’s advances. Tajiks and Uzbeks were persecuted too. Within days, thousands of dead bodies piled up in the streets. Mullah Abdul Manan Niazi, the new governor of the province, had given the people of Mazar-i Sharif a merciless ultimatum: convert to Sunni Islam, leave Afghanistan, or face death.

An old proverb says: “Koho mardumon mo ya” (mountains are our people) — thousands of Hazaras had survived taking refuge in the mountains and remote valleys. The current tragedy of Iraq’s Yazidi and Christian communities is a déjà-vu of what the Hazaras have experienced in Afghanistan.

Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi’s Islamic State is similar to Mullah Omar’s Islamic Emirates. The former calls himself the Caliph; the latter Amir-ul-Moemineen (commander of the faithful). Both want to create a state based on literal interpretations of the Quran and the Hadith.

We in the West are horrified by IS’s atrocities. We are appalled by IS’s destruction of cultural, religious and historical sites in Iraq and Syria: the Taliban have been there, done it, and continue to do so. They destroyed most of what was left in Kabul’s once rich museum. When they captured the historical city of Bamiyan, they detonated the two giant statues of Buddha. They again massacred the local Hazaras.

The Taliban were the consequence of chaos and bloodshed ensued after the West abandoned Afghanistan following the defeat of the Soviets. We made a fundamental mistake with the decision to let the country rot in its own miseries; a strategic error that is haunting us until the present day.

The Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan, was not so much a threat to the West as an entity. However, they had turned Afghanistan into a failed and rogue state. They had given sanctuary and training facilities to Osama Bin Laden and his fellow Al-Qaeda terrorists. Al-Qaeda used Afghanistan as its home base and it was there where their deadly attacks were planned. After 9/11, the US demanded the handover of Osama Bin Laden and the deportation of his followers. Mullah Omar refused. Had he accepted, the Taliban might still be in power.

Until Al-Qaida hit the twin towers, there was not much interest in the Taliban’s affairs. Only few knew about the motives of the group, let alone the ideology behind it. We only acted when it was already too late and looked away when the Hazaras, the Tajiks and the Uzbeks were massacred.

The Islamic State’s motives are clear. They want to create a universal Islamic Caliphate and have become a cohesive, committed and efficient force. They have successfully recruited thousands from the West – Australians, Germans, Brits and many others. These foreign fighters pose a fundamental threat to our national security and have been described by the intelligence community and terrorism experts as the single greatest danger since the 9/11 attacks. Whilst the Taliban did not have the intentions of attacking the West themselves and focused on committing brutal atrocities at home, Al-Baghdadi’s men can and, if left to their own accord, will attack the West and their interests. This should alarm the policymakers and force them to action.

We have a moral obligation to protect the defenceless and innocent people being persecuted and slaughtered not just because of our liberal-humanitarian values, but because we can. We also have to act against the Islamic State, Al-Baghdadi and his mad men for the sake of our national security. The Taliban barbarism and threats were ignored and we continue to pay blood and treasure as a consequence. The Islamic State is far more dangerous. We must not repeat the mistakes of the past: they have to be confronted, defeated and completely eradicated.

After we finished lunch I left with a sense of feeling that the so called Community, faith Leaders and members of parliament of all sides of all faiths as painful as it is have to address all forms of religious extremism. Educating our children to not be radicalised is one thing but parent(s) also need to take responsibility to educate with equal balance and not to be one sided of the debate with their own agenda and prejudices that has in-breaded by their fore parents.

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One response to “Community Leaders and MPs need to be hold to account over religious extremism

  1. Govt is responsible for the indignity its meshing out with sanctions and foodbanks alienating so many people, particularly minority cultures

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