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Understanding extremism

Updated on May 22, 2017

What is extremism?

What is the most widely used phrase in international media these days? Is it science? Is it technology? Or is it health?

The most widely used term in the national and international media these days is "extremism". What is extremism? Do we even understand what it means? Or it’s just another one of widely misunderstood and misused terms floating in the media?

Most dictionaries would have you believe that it’s a manifestation of extreme behavior. They are partly right. Extremism is going beyond rational limits of one's logic to do something or abstain from doing it. It can mean being fond of video game to an extreme length, or a particular food, it could be anything. Extremism can manifest itself in many ways


Let’s take a look at the causes. As far as the personal habits are concerned, there can be many versatile causes to having extreme fondness for something. It could be psychological or physical inability to part from something, it could be a wide range of mental disorders, or it could just be love.

But discussing extreme behavior in liking a pizza is not why we are here. We are here to discuss why extremism constitutes to so many of the world’s problems these days. What do we mean when we say the extremism is the biggest problem of the world?

Some of you, if not most of you are likely to be parents right now. Imagine dealing with a child. He needs something and he calls out to you. for one reason or another, you ignore his call. he will start by being polite, but when a child is consistently being ignored, he will resort to other measures. he will shout, or cry or even shake you up physically to make you listen to what he has to say. Now go over this in detail one more time. What prompted the child to shout or physically shake you up? The fact that his grievances were not answered with usual means.

Now, take a super magnifying glass and enlarge the picture, place it in the context of global politics. If I could sum it up in one sentence, Extremism results when people in authority do not pay attention to the needs of people without authority. Of course one always reserves the right to disagree with me, but this is the main reason for public display of extreme behavior

People need to be heard


The most extremist regions?

To further re-enforce my point, take a look at the picture given below. It is the activities of the extremist outfits according to the their areas. It isn't a surprise to see that the areas most affected by the extremism are those with undemocratic regimes. People in these areas have no where to go to. There is no right to speak freely, no right to protest, no press freedom. Any objection the people may have to the way they are being ruled, is suppressed with brute force. If you look at the middle east, it becomes evident. Governments do not listen to the needs and views of its people.

Extremist sentiment is less visible in western societies mainly because their governments listen to what their people have to say. People feel this sense of security that their interests will be protected by their governments.

extremism by areas


voice against oppression


Measures to curb extremism

Economic prosperity and equal opportunities

First and foremost measure to curb extremism is to give them the economic and social freedom much like given in United States of America. People need to believe that working hard, will get them a better life-style. Proper steps must be taken by the governments to ensure that basic human needs are fulfilled of all people living under their jurisdiction.

Democratic Rule

Another important measure to curb extremism is democracy. People must have the right to chose their ruler. They must chose someone they trust to listen to their problems and strive to solve them. There must be democratic institutions in place for solving the everyday problems that people face, like law and order. And these institutions must be independent of any influence. Their goal must solely be to tend to the peoples problem.

Respect their sovereignty

People must solve their issues themselves. No country should interfere in the domestic matters of a country. Looking at the current downward spiral of middle east, it all started when United States and United Kingdom over-threw a legitimate Iraqi government and killed million in the process. Whatever the problems a country may face, a direct foreign intervention, military or otherwise always makes things worse.

Extremism,political or religious?

According to a study conducted by American institute, the suicide attacks that occurred between 2001 and 2005 were not religiously motivated, Now it may come as a sshock to most readers, as the media loves to link extremism and religion but quite often it is not the case. Those attacks were politically motivated. People did not have any political liberties, or their liberties were quashed by domestic or foreign occupants.

But wait! don't these. extremists always talk about religion and use religion to justify their acts? They certainly do. But one needs to go deeper into the abyss in order Most of these extremists say that they are not given their rights. Islam in its peak gave all the those rights to all its people. Muslims or non muslims alike. But the western systems has failed to deliver these less developed regions their due share of rights and resources. Since islam ensured the political and social rights of people, and individual freedom is one of the core principles of Islam, these extremists use this argument. It not only helps them look like the saviours of Islam, but it also inspires the young energetic muslims who also have been denied the political and social freedom. But it actually has nothing to do with the religious practices of Islam. It is more concerned with the political and social rights that Islam and muslim civilization ensured in their golden age..


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