Opinion, July 2003, www.aljazeerah.info
Who detonated violence in the Middle East?
(Part II) BY HASSAN AHMED RAAFAT
12 July 2003
IN THE previous column we traced the roots of violence, and selected the Middle East as the focus of analysis over a span of 100 years where the Zionist ideology started crawling towards achieving its goals to be crowned with the setting-up of the state of Israel.
Mayhem and bloodbaths had spread. Here, readers should realise the significance of tracking the origins of violence in order to encounter the current occurrences with objectivity; and to at least realise the genuine driving motives; so that these forms of violence can eventually be defused.
Roots: Having said that terror is the natural outcome of violence, while the latter is brought forth by extremism and radicalism. The question raised here is, what brings extremism into being?
I believe that radicalism is a state of mind affecting human being, or a psychological affair that has an impact on ideology, whichever occurs first. The causes of radicalism and extremism can be limited to any of the following:
Sense of loneliness and solitude, and consequently clash with others.
Feeling of persecution, and as a result, the desire to avenge.
Mood of pre-eminence and primacy and as due to that, the desire to manipulate and control others.
I believe the third is the most dangerous factor, as the first two depend on reaction, where such reaction may disappear when such causes are absent. The third factor depends on 'act' or 'action' as the extremist endeavours with his radicalism to achieve his goals, in cold-blood, and is willing to destroy whatever stands in his way even if a next of kin.
Based on this, the other beliefs and ideologies that brought with them into the Middle East, the seeds of radicalism and extremism should be unearthed. To me, discrimination of all its forms, racial, religious or ideological, is the strongest entrant. The aforesaid sentiment of individuality and superiority is embodied deep within discrimination, while the other two factors can be set aside due to the wars to which the region has been a scene between one of its states and a western power, which did not preclude these countries from building up economic, cultural and scientific constructive ties with those powers. Therefore, discrimination, as a newcomer to the region even if in the form of traditional struggle, remains the 'prime suspect' which should be monitored and tracked down.
To manifest the definition and concept of discrimination, we find that the UN Charter, symbolising the ideology of this international organisation, described discrimination in philosophical and legal manners.
Clause 13 of the charter urges: "To develop international cooperation in terms of health, educational, cultural, social and economic rights and to provide all possible assistance to establish the foundations of basic human rights and freedom for all people without any discrimination on the basis of race, sex, language or religion".
Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent Al-Jazeerah's.