Be­fore it’s too late

Southasia - - EDITOR'S MAIL - Sam­ina Rehman Karachi, Pak­istan

The sick­en­ing episode of the kid­nap­ping of over 250 school­girls in Nigeria should act as a wake-up call for the lead­ers of the Mus­lim world. Boko Haram, a ra­bidly ex­trem­ist Nige­rian out­fit that is against western ed­u­ca­tion among other things, de­manded the re­lease of its pris­on­ers in ex­change for the kid­napped girls. The out­fit also forced the non-Mus­lims among them to con­vert to Is­lam. The Boko Haram’s pris­onerex­change de­mand re­minded me of the Tehreek-e-Tal­iban Pak­istan which made sim­i­lar de­mands to the govern­ment of Pak­istan. There are re­ports that over a dozen Tal­iban pris­on­ers were set free to please the Tal­iban and prove to them that the govern­ment was in­deed sin­cere about talk­ing to the TTP.

The Nige­rian episode is a sad re­minder of the di­rec­tion the Mus­lim world as a whole might be tak­ing. It is the path that leads to­wards rigid­ity, in­tol­er­ance and vi­o­lence. What is more un­for­tu­nate is that no steps are ap­par­ently be­ing taken to con­trol ex­trem­ism. In­stead, what we see across the Mus­lim world is a dan­ger­ous and grow­ing tilt to­wards rad­i­cal­iza­tion of thought. I won­der if we re­al­ize the con­se­quences of this ten­dency and how it will harm us far more than it will harm oth­ers.

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