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Thursday, May 23, 2024

What’s causing extremism in Pakistan?

The writer highlights the causes of extremism in Pakistan. According to the writer, lack of training and failure of man's internal correctional system are the two main reasons for extremist behaviour.

Extremism has become a common social attitude. This attitude is not of any two or four people or in any one sphere of life but it is the general attitude of most of us and is present in almost every sphere of life. Be it religious issues, political issues, scholarly debates, or social conflicts, this attitude is everywhere.

There are two main reasons for this extremist behaviour in Pakistan. The first reason is lack of training and the second reason is the failure of man’s internal correctional system.

When a person appears in this world, he needs regular education and training for some time, and then comes a stage where the internal correction system of man is activated. The man now deals with new sciences, new things, and his surroundings. He acquires new knowledge, learns new things, and with all this, he keeps improving his personality and you keep building your character.

Read more: Religious extremism in Pakistan: Genesis and a way forward

Lack of training

We do not currently have a complete training system. There is no such organization or political party at home, in school or college, in any university or madrassa, and in society. These are the basic centres of education and training in a society, which provide good and conscious people to society. This is not only their sole moral responsibility but also a solemn duty.

In our society, ethics, etiquette, and manners are not taught at any level in the above-mentioned centres. What is our role in society? How do we deal with other people? What is our attitude towards conflicting issues? What is personal dignity and how to raise it? There should be no contradiction in our words and deeds, etc., but no attention is paid to it.

Read more: COAS lauds efforts to bring madrassahs in mainstream education system

The main reason for this is that the majority of the people in our country who are currently holding the positions of reformers, teachers, and preachers are people who have come out of the above-mentioned centres. Therefore, moral degradation and extremism are not big social problems in their eyes.

Failure of man’s conscience

In the second stage of human life, man’s inner corrective system becomes active and dynamic and now the man himself becomes his teacher and reformer.

There are various sources for this internal self-correction system. One of these sources is man’s contact with society. When a person interacts with society or in other words with the people of other societies, he sees the manners and habits of different people which influences his character. He then accepts these influences and as a result of this effect, a natural change takes place in his personality.

However, when the whole society is the same or the whole society is formed in one mould, and the majority is united in one tendency, then man becomes obsessed with his present behaviour and his conscience no longer applies to it. The human conscience is created by social norms and traditions.

Read more: The power of conscience: Dr. Asim ljaz Khwaja of Harvard Kennedy School resigns in protest

Sayyid Abu al-‘Ali al-Mawdudi, while discussing the formation of conscience, writes: Conscience is born of the thoughts, beliefs, and customs of the human community. He further writes after quoting various philosophers such as Bradley, Mill, and Hegel, etc.: So it is known that man’s conscience is connected with the moral system of his nation and community.

Role of books

Books are another source of internal reforms. Books based on various thoughts and ideas not only increase human knowledge but also expand the human heart and mind. An added benefit of reading books is that it develops a person’s reasoning power and style of communication.

Reading books is no longer a common practice in our country and even if it exists, it is usually limited to books of one’s thought or one’s sect. Social media was able to fill this gap to some extent, but due to our unscientific attitude, no significant improvement or training could be done here.

Read more: 75% of Pakistanis don’t read books: Gallup survey

This attitude has also limited us to our circle on social media. Constantly associating with like-minded people not only diverts people from different views but also makes a person accustomed to praise and support, which results in a kind of extremism in human behaviour.

Can we prevent extremism?

As a result of the whole process mentioned above, the individual who develops and the society that comes into being, extremism is his natural attitude and it can be rightly said about this society. “Everyone is holding a stone in their hands.”

To prevent this behaviour, first of all, the above-mentioned centres need to be activated and mobilized, and secondly, every human being should always be self-accountable and compare his personality with the accepted moral principles instead of the people around him. Keep doing it and correct it wherever you find it. It is a permanent means of self-improvement rather than self-accountability.

Read more: How continuous improvement can enhance your personal life

The writer has graduated in Mass Communication from Punjab University. She has worked in Daily Jang and Aaj News TV and is currently serving as an Administrator in the Federal Board of Revenue, Islamabad. The views expressed in the article are the writer’s own and do not necessarily represent the editorial policy of Global Village Space.