Saturday, November 21, 2015

When violence begets violence

Salleh Said Keruak

It is probably an overused cliche to say that violence begets violence but what other way to describe what is going on in the world today? Even before the world can get over the Friday the 13th terrorist incident in Paris we are hit by yet another terrorist incident yesterday, also a Friday, this time in Mali.

No doubt much negative publicity is going to be given to those seen as the perpetrators of violence and terrorism. What is seldom spoken about is that these terrorists are actually a a product of terrorism. No one is born extreme. You are moulded to be extreme. That is the sad reality of how terrorism is born. When we subject society to violence and extremism then we turn these same people into extremists and terrorists.

As an example, the Taliban were not born as Taliban fighters. They grew up in a violent society in Afghanistan, constantly dodging bullets and bombs and eventually had to seek refuge in neighbouring Pakistan. They were then schooled into the Pakistan madrasah and taught that their duty was to go back to their motherland and drive the Russians out.

When they were old enough to hold a rifle they did go back to Afghanistan to fight the Russians and eventually managed to free their country from Russian occupation. But they were groomed and indoctrinated from young to fight, and when there were no longer any Russians to fight they fought among themselves and against the American-backed government. And now they fight against the whole world.

Young boys kidnapped to become soldiers in Africa grow up to become pitiless killers who have no respect for life. Those such as the ISIS or Al Qaeda fighters lived under a state of war since childhood and now only know war. Unfortunately, some Malaysians and Indonesians perceive these wars as holy wars so they join what they think is 'God's army' and this has made the world a dangerous place.

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