One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)
Thursday, December 1, 2011
How to resolve terror
War on terror, brain washing and UNESCO
In 1993, Samuel P. Huntington published in magazine “Foreign Affairs” an article that set the direction of the political view of world after the simple world model of cold war bipolarity. This article modified in a book by name of “clash of civilizations” that was published in 1996. The world of post cold war was not simple like bipolarity of cold war world that were divided based on two major ideologies or economic systems. The post cold war world was an era of revival of religious and cultural identities. Not only people of newly independent central Asian countries but also Russian federation saw a surge for religious identities. The Balkanization and Bosnian, Serbian, Croatian and Albanian war in heart of secular Europe was giving weight to the arguments of Samuel Huntington. There were many ethnic groups, cultural groups and religious groups divided into two camps of socialist and capitalist but now they were all on their own. Soon the fault lines between cultures and religions became evident and the competitions and conflicts began. The first global conflict began by name of “war on terror” that was started after 9/11 attacks on USA.
The world of cold war was not simple as was told. The world was not as bipolar as it was pictured. It was not simply two camps of socialist and capitalist that deterred each other’s powers. Each camp was a cluster of miscellaneous groups that were dependant on each other. The capitalist camp that was claiming liberty, democracy and secularity as their core values were involved in massive brain washing of Muslims to assemble a large enough forces of so called, “Mujahidin” that fight a “holy war” against so called, “infidel communists”. How massive brain washing worked? The brain washing they used was based on mechanism of “isolation”. We can call this type of massive brain washing as “Isolationism”. Why was isolationism that much effective that it shook the whole fabric of Muslim world and destroyed the core values of Islamic societies and replaced them by a new value and that is “Extremism”. The sole product of isolationism is extremism which was suited the interest of capitalist camp as extremism means absence of logic and rationalism. Illogical and irrational warriors were easy to engineer and use them as were wished. Few well known tactics of isolationism are as follows,
1- Isolation from mainstream education and society: Constructing a network of Madrasas (religious schools) that were dependant on foreign aid. Prior to the “Holy war” the Madrasas was dependant on society for their funding. I remember the rows of Taliban led by a Mullah who were collecting money and ration going from shop to shop at Qandahari Bazar. Similarly, it was a common scene to see Taliban standing beside doors of homes asking for food while we were on our way back to home from school. But as foreign aids flow in the Madrasas turned into complex of buildings and the Mullahs in pickups. The foreign aid isolated Taliban and Mullahs from society. Now they were not dependant on society but despite recruiting the children of families who were unable to attend schools, have food and proper clothing. The Madrasas became the home of extra and poor children. Now we couldn’t see the Taliban in Bazars and beside doors. They were cut out of society and were isolated.
Now it is recognized that how much it was dangerous to isolate small children that are unable to judge and decide from their families and society and raise them in particular environments of extremism. As these children were isolated from their families and were raised in Madrasas so they had no emotional attachments to their families, society, its culture and traditions. They were emotionally attached to the teaching of Madrasas. They were looking the whole world and their events from world view of Madrasas.
It is common tradition that students get twelve years of common education and then they go to professional colleges and universities to specialize in particular branch of knowledge due to following reasons:
a- The particular field of knowledge is specialized and requires a mature mind capable of understanding it to specialize in it. The world has a consensus that twelve or fourteen years of general education is required to specialize in a particular field of knowledge. Ignoring the general knowledge for admissions and entry into religious school is underestimation of religion. It means that religion requires no preparation for understanding and it is an insult of religion as religion is given a lower rank than other natural and social sciences.
b- It is the natural rights of the student to choose the field of knowledge he is interested in. Admitting a child that is unable to think about choosing fields of knowledge of his interest to Madrasa means deciding his fate without knowing his interest and hence ignoring his natural rights.
Disconnecting the Madrasas from general schooling was and is acts of educational, cultural and economical isolation. It was an act of massive brain washing that shook the foundations of Islamic societies by spreading extremism and intolerance.
2- Ideological Isolationism:
a- Disconnecting the Madrasas from general education by calling general education as alien to religion and a source of preaching of infidel beliefs led to an ideological isolation. The Mujahidin that were brought from nearly all Islamic countries in Afghanistan were targeting those families whose sons and daughters came to Kabul for education and hence forced people to attach to alien them from general education and there were no alternative except Madrasas. It was an effort to isolate people ideologically. This was a successful struggle as it is not only declined the number of indigenous professionals that were necessary to run government and provide basic services to people so the Kabul government were dependant on Soviet professionals and it caused the collapse of Kabul government. Secondly it spread extremism which was necessary to have popular support for Holy War.
b- Though extremism was a way to fight back soviet camp in Afghanistan and all Islamic countries but the open support of extremism caused deepening the fault line between different sects of Islam and other religions also. Sectarian and ethnic violence become common in Pakistan and Afghanistan but it was acceptable Capitalist camp because it was fueling Holy War against soviet camp. The Civil War in Afghanistan during cold war and after Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan has been neglected by international community. These civil wars changed the demography as Mujahidin that had come from all over world declared Afghanistan their base camp and a sanctuary for extremism. These extremist were already became global as their arms has been stretched in four of five continents under support of capitalist camp. They had the capability to export their goods globally and they did it successfully.
We can understand this tactic of isolation very clearly in Swat Valley of NWFP of Pakistan, where Tehrik Taliban Pakistan are bombing and setting on fires schools (until now they have destroyed 200 schools in Swat Valley). They have banned the girls from attending schools. They are targeting political workers, police men, government servants, tribal leaders, CD shops and saloons. They had threatened the lawyers and had established their own courts where they punish people. Why they are targeting schools? Simply because they want to finish all means of education except of Madrasas so they could isolate people ideologically to convert masses into extremists. These all were happening in Afghanistan during the Afghan Jihad but were neglected by international media to not harm war against Soviets.
c- Ideological isolation of Muslim world was not started during cold war but it was started during Colonization of Muslim world. The British Empire has to take the largest part of blame as they struggled hard to secularize the Muslim world which provoked reactions and people blamed modern sciences as evil and western culture. If it were allowed that people of area adopt modern science into their current cultures, it would revolutionized the Islamic world. The reactions to Colonization Muslim institutions, scholars and intellectuals divided into two camps of modern and traditional and both took the extremism and isolation as their tools to shape the Islamic world. The secularization of Turkey and Iran were symbolic which led to Islamic revolution in Iran. The conflict between Modernists and traditionalists in Islamic world do no led to a renaissance but to deep social divisions and developments of social classes. The cultural identity lost and due to chaos there were no destined educational, economical and social reforms so the Muslim world could not develop an ideological identity and integrity. The failure of ideological identities provide great opportunities for extremism to hijack people, brain wash them by isolation and fuel conflicts.
d- Due to ideological disintegration of Islamic world into modernist and traditionalist the clear vision of Islamic states remain obscured and they failed to institutionalize their societies so today we see no global ranking educational, scientific, industrial, economical and political institutions in Islamic world. A judgment of loss, failure and backwardness led people to mistrust on their state governments and hence it makes people easily available and acceptable for extremists and extremism.
3- Cultural Isolation: As culture is multifaceted so we describe a few aspects of it that were really affected hardly,
a- Language isolationism: Language is a means of communication and a way of thinking. Isolating a language means snatching a particular way of thinking and communicating. Indian subcontinent is the best example language isolationism. Ghamidi in a Geo TV program by name of Ghamidi described it this way, “By isolation from Urdu language, we have been isolated 300 years of our civilization. By isolation from Persian, we have been isolated from 900 years of civilization and by isolation from Arabic language; we have been isolated 1400 years of civilization.” When England conquered India by defeating Moguls Empire and replaced the Persian language by English. Hindus followed English men to isolate Muslims of India from their history, culture and religion by replacing the Urdu language and Arabic letters by Nagri letters. After partition of India, the Nagri letters replaced the Persian intentionally that their Muslim populace couldn’t read and write Urdu, Persian and Arabic. The rich culture and tradition of Mugal Empire was replaced by intolerance and extremism. Another example of language isolationism is a lingual and cultural conflict between Persian speaking and Pashto speaking. It was an intentional effort of Pashtoon Kings to disconnect people of Afghanistan from their history as Pashtoons had no history in Afghanistan. It was Persian, Mongols and Turks that ruled this area. Pashtoon in an effort to disconnect people from their culture and history imposed Pashto but it was a failure and it is still the source of conflict. The isolation of people from rich culture and tradition of Persian introduced extremism based on racism, religious intolerance and several massacres and continued conflict till today.
b- Historical isolation: Historical buildings and art pieces are evidence of evolution and maturity of culture and cultural traditions. It reveals the aesthetic tastes of a nation and society. Destroying Buddhas of Bamiyan was an act of historical disconnection and isolationism. It was intentional effort of the Taliban to erase the cultural identity of the Hazaras and force them towards the extremism by a historical isolationism. Similarly the Hindus destroyed the historical Babari Mosque to disconnect Muslim from their past and to down their morality as a nation connected to whole Muslim nationhood. Similarly, the control of Golden Mosque by Israel makes the suspicion stronger that Israel tries to destroy Golden Mosque of Palestine to disconnect Palestinians and Muslim from the Palestine and their first Qibla.
c- Communication isolation: Banning on photography, cinematography, performing arts, sport events and cultural events like spring season celebration (Jashani Nauroz),etc by name of religion not only slow down the creativity but also tolerance. Every society has core values based on it develops cultural events. There were always efforts that will never stop to rebel against these values. The assessments of rebellions and evaluation of cultural events is the works of intellectuals which can create alternative and positive means that could foster both creativity and tolerance. Self expressions through art, media and cultural events are means of social communication in which both individuals and society are assessed and evaluated to set the direction of society and individuals living in it. Isolating people from these activities make both individuals and society blind enough to become easily susceptible for mass brain washing.
4- Economic isolationism: Economic isolation is an old and widely used technique applied mainly for subjugation. Both Iraq and Afghanistan which are currently the focal point for war on terror were economically isolated before attacks on them but the history of Afghanistan is more interesting than Iraq. In last quarter of 18th century the Afghanistan became a buffer zone state between two empires of Britain and Russia. To support her army mobility the British Empire constructed a networks of railway lines, paved roads, bridges, electricity, postal services, telephoning and cantonments throughout then Indian subcontinent. It is clearly visible than all these infrastructures is consistent to Border of Afghanistan in today’s Pakistan Chaman (A border city between Pakistan and Afghanistan and Iran’s border with Afghanistan (Heart: Border city between Afghanistan and Iran). Why there were no roads, rail way lines, bridges, postal services, telephoning, etc in Afghanistan. Is it due to its geography or people of the area doing not want such services? The fact is that Afghanistan south is a semi desert to desert area and the central Afghanistan’s highlands have divided it clearly into three distinct areas of north, central and southern areas. These geographical divisions suited ideally for being a buffer zone state between two Empires. To keep the buffer zone state of Afghanistan intact it was necessary for both empires to keep it isolated poor and illiterate so both extremists’ people and extreme conditions keep each power to not enter in such a red and harsh zone. It also suited the rulers of Afghanistan as they weren’t able to deliver social services to their people and defend them so they pressed more the people of area by ethnic and religious cleansing and conflicts. It is a common belief in people of Afghanistan especially oppressed areas that rulers of Afghanistan intentionally do not and did not developed Afghanistan because they believe that it is hard to rule on literate, aware, wealthy and politically empowered people. The economic isolation of Afghanistan by both Empires followed by later power bordering Afghanistan to make a sanctuary for extremism. Economic isolation of Iran, Palestine, North Korea, Cuba are very well known sources of conflicts in global levels beside many more countries in Asia, Africa and South American continents.
5- Administrative isolationism:
a- Areas in which administrations physically do not exists and are run by traditional means of tribal chiefs or some representatives of governments to rule the area are examples of administrative isolationism. No constitutional laws, judiciary systems and hence no means of justice for poor and weak. These areas are susceptible for extremism as people are forced to ally with mighty people to ensure their security.
b- The same happens on international levels where strong countries make regional alliance and weak countries are forced to cooperate with them. Those countries who can find a place in alliances are forced to adopt extremism as a mean of survival or some deterrence.
The above mentioned tactics for isolationism are those of very clearly visible efforts that are not limited to capitalist camp. The same tactics are adopted by socialist and communist camp also. The most famous example of the socialist isolationism was isolation of East Germany, North Korea and South Korea and North Vietnam and South Vietnam that the isolation of north and South Korea still continues. The isolation of Inner Mongolia, Tibet and other areas of China is another example of isolationism of communist camp.
How to resolve terror and role of UNESCO
Certainly, terror results from climax of extremism. We have discussed the reason of extremism and its spreading. The mechanism of extremism is isolationism. By isolating people educationally, economically, ideologically, culturally and historically the massive unlearning process began. Once people are unlearned by disconnecting them from their past and present, they become readily susceptible for learning new things. The unlearning old ones and learning new ones are called brain washing and when the same process are applied to whole society then it is called massive brain washing.
Resolving terror is possible by reducing extremism and by reversing the mechanism of extremism. Following strategies will be key in resolving the terror:
1- Resolving the isolationism of religious schools: Just like theology, philosophy, literature, economics and other social and natural sciences the study of religion is a specialized study and require a general education that those interested in specializing in religious studies and become religious leaders of society they could understand the society by having practical knowledge of society as well as a rational level of understanding to study the religion. Hence minimum twelve or fourteen years of general education should be necessary for admission in religious schools. The responsibility of UNESCO as a global representative of all nations of world to monitor the religious schools of all religions and ensure to make their studies specialize like universities and students could enroll after completion of general education. The admission of children in religious schools are violence of their natural rights so it should be given the human rights of children to get general education and states should be helped and make accountable for the human rights of their people.
2- Resolving the ideological isolationism: Though there is not the same resistance to natural and social sciences as it were during colonization periods but still the failure of Islamic countries to create globally renowned universities, research centers and industrializations so it is the responsibility of UNESCO to help the Muslim world in setting up such centers so the Muslim world slowly come out of sense of loss. I should admit here that Muslims are sensing inferiority as they are certain in their beliefs but it is the sense of loss that make them incline towards extremism. The Muslim world is serious in gaining their lost honor and dignity. The struggle of Iran and Pakistan in scientific and technological excellence is an evidence of such desires. Banning the Muslim countries from technologies and sciences will increase extremism and helping them in their achievements and peaceful uses of sciences and technologies will make them harmonious with world ideologically and culturally.
3- Resolving cultural isolationism: It is really appreciable that UNESCO are declaring several historical sites, world heritage and helping in preserving and maintaining them. But it is also important that UNESCO help nations of world to connect them with their cultures and hence resolving the cultural isolationism. Language is the most active and effective part of culture that require special consideration. We have provided an example of language conflict in South Asia and efforts to disconnect and isolate people culturally from their history, identity and religion. UNESCO can play a vital role in preserving the language that have large reserves of cultural achievements and creations to connect people in with their cultures and hence help them to appreciate and accept cultural differences and hence discourage extremism. Promoting the rich languages and cultural and literary reserves of them through academic and popular cultures make people understand the cultural evolutions and reasons for cultural differences.
4- Resolving economic isolation: Certainly there is global organization like World Trade Organization to promote the global free trade but the regional alliances like EU, ASIAN, Arab League and AU along with protectionist policies of each country are stronger than WTO. If organizations like World Economic Forum are struggling to promote global trades based of free market principles than there is also World Social Forum to challenge it. It is sign of positive change as global leaders along people are struggling to voice their views for promoting global trade. It is the sign of global democracy in globalized world where still tyranny exist even in UN. The VETO power of five victorious countries of World War Two is a global dictatorship and tyranny which is the greatest obstacle to real globalization. The VETO power and regional organizations like EU, AU, Arab League, ASIAN, SAARC, NATO, etc are isolating people of world from each other and making classes in world. It makes people feel victims of unjust and consider themselves oppressed. It provides them reasons for extremism. I know the fact that regionalism has strong roots in economic interests, cultural and geographic ties. Neither countries in regional alliances nor the VETO power countries like to sacrifice their hegemony but the struggle of people of world in forums like WEF and to face it WSF is appreciable but if these two forums come to face and challenge each other democratically under UN and more openly by letting representatives from all sects of all parts of societies around the world to debate and present their program to global communities would resolve the economic, political and cultural isolation.
5- Resolving administrative isolationism: The networks of roads, bridges, postal services, telecommunications, electricity, air ports, etc are become mature and diverse enough that they could connect whole world physically by such networks. There are several areas in world that lack the resources to connect themselves to world network. I think these networks are key in developments as well as in harmony and reducing extremism. The developed nations can help the countries lacking capacity in developing networks as well as good governance by shifting decision making into community levels. Empowering communities and connecting them to global communities make them responsible part of globe both contributing and accountable communities of the global communities.