Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

A Culture of Suicide and Death | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Recalling the scenes of my childhood and youth, I sometimes find myself asking the question; was I ever at any stage of my life tempted by extremist currents into taking up arms and killing God’s creations in the same manner as armed militias throughout our region? Every time I ask myself this question I am always certain that I have never been tempted or lured by any such ideologies, and that I have always felt that human life is sacred. This is why I am astonished to see some of our youth adopting such suicidal ideology and drifting into violent organizations. I am certain that the only difference between this generation and the majority of my own generation is the lack of standards in the education of the former. This is something that we should all be aware of, in our homes, our schools, and our constituencies, before this lack in educational standards becomes more dangerous and even more difficult to reform.

Anybody observing these armed movements can clearly see that they belong to a culture of suicide, they are well aware that their ideology lacks the power to convince, and so resort to shows of strength. In spite of this, these militias act ceaselessly in order to convince others to accept this culture of suicide. One of the most recent of such movements was the Salafist Jihadist movement in Gaza that called itself the Jund Ansar Allah. This group was led by Dr. Abdul Latif Moussa AKA Abu Noor al-Maqdisi who during his Friday sermon announced the establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Palestine in the Gaza Strip. Hamas took action against the group in response of this, resulting in 88 casualties [including the death of the group’s leader]. This situation is similar to that of Fatah Al Islam in Lebanon; the group’s leader Shaker al-Absi mobilized a large group of youth in Nahr Al-Bared in a hopeless confrontation with the Lebanese army on the pretext of liberating Palestine.

The Pakistani Taliban is also a good example that illustrates this culture of suicide, and its leader Baitullah Mehsud – who was killed in a US raid last week – was leading a suicide project since the movement’s establishment. He challenged his country and the world with a narrow minded ideology that goes against modernity, normality, and [the wishes of] the people. In fact, Mehsud’s ideology was so narrow-minded and ignorant that he even refused to allow young girls in the area that he controlled to receive an education, threatening to bomb schools that allowed girls to enter the education system. Such an ignorant ideology is completely contradictory to the normality of life and Mehsud wasted his life playing a game of hunter and hunted. Death is the ultimate end of this culture of suicide that is embraced by some extremist leaders, and the youth who adopt this culture suffer and become lost in an endless maze where there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

The question that must be asked is; how can we aid the development of the ideology of the youth, where they are able to judge ideas rationally and recognize the dangers of temptation, in order to achieve ideological security for the vulnerable youth?