A faith hijacked

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THE horrific Paris attacks have reopened the hot global debate linking terrorism with Islam. The cliche ‘terror has no religion’ is being bandied around yet again. While I’m sure it is exasperating for my Muslim friends to be repeatedly reminded of the religion of the terrorists when a heinous atrocity takes place, it is delusional and escapist to suggest that an extremist ideology is not being used to wage jihad. There is no doubt that some rotten apples give the Muslim community a bad name. It isn’t a good feeling to be bunched with ruthless, radicalised militants whose sole ideology is hate. The fact is that everyone is an enemy for these butchers and the irony is that Muslims are as much a target as non-Muslims. Considering the Holy Quran preaches peace and compassion and condemns violence, it is beyond enraging to see these militants conveniently and blatantly hijack Islam to validate their dastardly acts and suit their nefarious aims. One of the miscreants screamed ‘Allahu Akbar’ while opening fire at unsuspecting victims and indiscriminately executing hostages in a Parisian theatre. Another was barely 15-years-old, which means that his indoctrination with a hate-filled ideology may have started at the impressionable age of 10.

France has sadly experienced what the Syrians, Lebanese and Iraqis have been experiencing for long with the alarming rise of the Islamic State (IS). But for a mainstream European nation to be the victim ensures that decibel levels of global outrage are significantly higher. Even Madonna pays a tribute to Paris at her concert, never mind that there were other affected nations too. What we are seeing is the IS swiftly moving away from its conventional and insurgent territorial operations in Iraq and Syria, and extending its networks in other countries. France has been its first major success and armed with this ‘triumph’, it is only a matter of time before the IS transforms into a global terrorist movement on the lines of al Qaeda.

It is a shame that the US, Russia and European nations have been unable to set aside their differences and unite, in order to exterminate the self-proclaimed jihadi agency. The time for prayers, rage and analyses is long over. Francois Hollande has moved to action to fulfill the immediate thirst for retribution. Massive air strikes on IS’s self-styled de facto capital in Syria are already in motion. The IS needs to be annihilated like the Khalistan movement was in 1984 and the LTTE in 2010. This is necessary to prevent the otherwise peace-loving Muslim community from being repeatedly blamed for such tragedies, facing heightened scrutiny and being viewed through the same prism as the one employed to view the perpetrators of crime. We must remember that till anti-Muslim bigotry does not stop, groups like the IS will continue to use this ideology to recruit more foot soldiers for more nihilistic violence.

Tailpieces

1) An international icon like Sachin Tendulkar bitch-tweets British Airways and a poor 20-something social media intern in the UK innocently tweets back asking for the passenger’s full name and details. Technically, the intern was following procedure, except that it would have been nice if she had made an effort to check the complainant’s credentials before belting out a standard template response that evoked outrage against the airline for its stupidity and ignorance. Sadly, British training disables inventive, out-of-the-box thinking so one can hardly blame the intern, but it was about time that the carrier, notorious for its arrogance and insensitivity, got a bitter taste of Indian venom. You don’t mess with our legends!

2) Cristiano Ronaldo says he will tell his five-year-old son Cristiano Junior, born to a secret surrogate mother, about his parentage when he’s 12. In this web age, good luck with that!

 

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