Fan­tasy of ex­trem­ism

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - BABER ALI BHATTI

Saad was the stu­dent of ‘O’ and ‘A level’, an ed­u­ca­tion, which is con­sid­ered to be the elite ed­u­ca­tion of this coun­try. Saad who was sen­tenced to death af­ter his sen­tence was con­firmed by Chief of Army Staff, a few days back, was in­volved in the in­ci­dent of grue­some killing of peace­ful Shia Is­maili Com­mu­nity. Later on, the in­ci­dent was known as Safoora bus in­ci­dent. He was also in­volved in the killing of Saben Mehmud, a so­cial ac­tivist. Ten­den­cies de­vel­oped in Saad and his ‘ed­u­cated friends’ are alarm­ing. De­spite hav­ing a se­cure and de­sir­able po­si­tion in so­ci­ety, rich sta­tus and back­ground, and mod­ern en­vi­ron­ment, Saad and his friends were con­vinced to con­duct this cal­lous oper­a­tion. This con­vic­tion arose in­side Saad that may be termed, spe­cific to Saad, as a mind­set of Saadism.

One of the sev­eral rea­sons is the fan­tasy and thrill of ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­i­ties be­ing car­ried on by ter­ror­ists. As it was claimed by the au­thor Ma­rina Ot­t­away in her ar­ti­cle “ISIS: Many faces, Dif­fer­ent bat­tles” That a fan­tasy is pri­mary rea­son that lur­ing all the ed­u­cated youth from across the world to­ward IS. This at­trac­tion is not con­fined to the Mus­lim youth. Non-mus­lims are also be­ing at­tracted to­wards this phe­nom­e­non af­ter con­ver­sion. There­fore, this phe­nom­e­non can also be ap­plied on this so­ci­ety. Though there can­not be one rea­son for the at­trac­tion of youth, yet ac­cu­mu­la­tion of var­i­ous rea­sons in­clud­ing rea­son of fan­tasy makes youth to do such kind of acts.

Un­em­ploy­ment also cre­ates the space for th­ese kinds of thoughts to be ac­cu­mu­lated in the mind of youth. In a broader anal­y­sis, it has deep con­nec­tion with un­em­ploy­ment. A sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of youth is un­em­ployed in­clud­ing those who do not need job for money. A sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of youth is look­ing for the job be­cause they have pas­sion to in­vest their en­er­gies in pro­duc­tive ac­tiv­i­ties for sake of ex­po­sure. So, it can also be claimed that Saadism grows be­cause of un­em­ploy­ment.

In or­der to counter the Saadism, it has to be man­aged by all spheres. Pri­mary ground for this bat­tle is ide­o­log­i­cal ground. All the se­cu­rity in­sti­tu­tions and other parts of so­ci­ety have to work on ide­o­log­i­cal grounds. Con­vic­tion can be killed by the con­vic­tion only. Pun­ish­ments must be awarded to all delin­quents. How­ever, ide­o­log­i­cal fights must be taken in par­al­lel way of th­ese pun­ish­ments. Death sen­tence can take the lives only; it can­not be taken as ‘the only way’. Con­sti­tu­tion of back­drops of th­ese acts has to be made and pub­li­cize through all the avail­able means.

There can be sorted out var­i­ous other fac­tors. Priorities and pref­er­ences of youth can take any course in this en­vi­ron­ment of un­cer­tainty. Per­ilous back­drops of this un­cer­tainty may be ag­gran­dized as much as needed. All in all, it is an at­tempt to estab­lish the fact that death sen­tences are not enough to be re­lied on. There are other grounds, which re­quire dif­fer­ent strate­gies to counter this phe­nom­e­non of Saadism or what­ever it is. —Islamabad

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