Florida shoot­ing: Re­mem­ber vi­o­lence is vi­ral

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS -

FIFTY peo­ple died in the worst mass shoot­ing in US his­tory on Sun day when a gun­man opened fire at a packed gay night­club in Or lando, Florida. The FBI is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent in­clud­ing pos­si­ble rad­i­cal lean­ings of 29-year-old sus­pect Omar Ma­teen, an Amer­i­canAfghan, who too was killed at the scene, but, as usual, some me­dia re­ports have quoted ‘sources’ to link the at­tack with IS.

The at­tack can­not be jus­ti­fied on any ac­count and there­fore, its uni­ver­sal con­dem­na­tion is un­der­stand­able. But it re­flected one thing that so­ci­eties stand bru­tal­ized the world over and how a virus-bit­ten mad man can cause havoc. What we see in dif­fer­ent parts of the world es­pe­cially in un­end­ing con­flicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya, is psy­cho­log­i­cally af­fect­ing young peo­ple around the world. Some con­flicts are seen as ex­am­ples of state-spon­sored ex­trem­ism and ter­ror­ism di­rected against some par­tic­u­lar com­mu­ni­ties. Un­for­tu­nately, at­tempts are be­ing made to link the phe­nom­e­non with Is­lam but ex­perts agree that political in­jus­tice as well as poverty and un­der­de­vel­op­ment and a sense of marginal­i­sa­tion and ex­clu­sion that comes from lack of gov­er­nance, par­tic­u­larly at the lo­cal level, are seen as driv­ers as­so­ci­ated with vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism. In this case too, fa­ther of the sus­pect told a tele­vi­sion chan­nel that his son might have been mo­ti­vated by ho­mo­pho­bia and not by his faith but White House hopeful Don­ald Trump was quick to jus­tify his views about Mus­lims cit­ing the in­ci­dent as a threat to the US. The fact re­mains that such in­ci­dents could be re­sult of in­di­vid­ual or group be­hav­iour of a hand­ful of peo­ple, who, in no way, rep­re­sent any faith; but at­tempts to cre­ate link­ages with a par­tic­u­lar re­li­gion widen the trust deficit and harm in­ter-faith har­mony. We be­lieve that in­stead of giv­ing such in­ci­dents a par­tic­u­lar twist and use them as a jus­ti­fi­ca­tion to push a par­tic­u­lar com­mu­nity to the wall, there is need for global com­mu­nity to join hands to dis­cour­age bru­tal­i­sa­tion of so­ci­eties. The ob­jec­tive can be achieved if some restric­tions are im­posed on pro­jec­tion and glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of ex­trem­ist and ter­ror­ist ten­den­cies by print, elec­tronic and so­cial me­dia.

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