Knowledge against hate

               We are living a time during which hate is working on taking over our world and the only way we can fight hate is by using our knowledge. Violence is neither a solution nor the right response to hate. People or governments do not seem to understand that adopting the same method 

as the extremists will take us nowhere. Extremism or violence as a tool against extremism can only create more extremism, more hate and more violence. We should not respond to violence with violence because we are not supposed to be violent people but civilized ones, no barbaric method succeeded or left a good impact on history.

                 Radicals and extremists come from dictatorship countries, where ignorance is encouraged and imposed on educational institutions and the media by the governments who also control the public opinion. The less the people know, the less chances they have to appraise against the tyrants or the organized crime groups in power. That ignorance mixed with the feeling of being weary with the tyranny and the daily humiliations pushes the youth to join extremist groups with the hope of a better tomorrow. The answer of the dictatorship governments is always jail, torture, kill or set free for a while to use them as a temporary weapon against any movement that can threaten the stability without freedom.

                  Depending on the country and the political regime, the enemies of the power can be seculars seeking freedom, mainstream Muslims, democrats, liberals, capitalists, communists, women seeking equality, or anyone who wants to live with dignity. All are also enemies of the radicals gladly used by the government since they have a common enemy for a temporary time until the movement or the revolt is silenced. Giving space to the radicals makes them look strong enough to scare the liberals and seculars so it seems like the choice is between the military dictatorship and the so called Islamic radical dictatorship. More frightened of the second one then the first one, the people are trapped between two fires and remain stunned. Once the revolt is controlled, the government can focus again on the radicals and their dark ages doctrine that threatens the power.

              This violent, ignorant solution has been used for more than a century and the result of it has been more extremism, more hate and more violence. The number of radicals increased with time and the dictators could not realize that the time of dictatorships is over just like the time of conquests and colonies vanished.

            In Muslim countries, as a political concession to the radicals, religion has been introduced as a mandatory subject in public schools.  The television broadcasts religious radical shows and interrupts live broadcast of games or events with the recording of the call for prayer five times a day, in order to prove that the junta in power is not as infidel as the radical movements or groups claim.

            During religious holidays, the leaders pray in mosques in front of an army of cameras, the whole event is broadcasted live with focus on the political “celebrities”. Occasionally, the extremists are given the authorization, either officially or non- officially by the power to preach in mosques or public squares. None of that worked to appease the anger of the oppressed but encouraged more radical thinking and enlarged their ranks with a desperate youth, who is  victim of oppression and ignorance.

             All these methods or answers in every Muslim country failed to stop or even decrease the radical movement because the only method that can produce results is an intellectual one. Extremism is based on ignorance and brain washing the people with false and inaccurate information derived from misunderstanding, misuse as well as misinterpretation of the religious texts. The best way to fight ignorance is knowledge, and every knowledgeable person should make it a duty to educate and teach.

           Both the power and the extremists are violent and brutal cold -blooded murderers which makes the mainstream believers terrified of both. This feeling gave them the opportunity to impose their thinking or rules based on fear and terror.

           Imams in mosques should not step back out of fear and give the preaching opportunity to the extremists but teach and demonstrate with proof from the religious texts that what they say is not true. They should also stop praising and pleasing the power also out of fear of their retaliation against them, but simply say the truth. A man or a woman of God should only fear God. The people will get closer to the God fearer who tells the truth as well as they avoid and hate the liar or the weak and the coward. Teachers should also teach the truth about religion and history without fear of the power or the extremists.

              Let’s not forget that extremism is not based on religion since everything it preaches is opposed to religion and a violation of the religious rules, it is an ideology of hate and violence. The only way to fight a bad ideology is to prove it wrong with an opposed ideology that preaches peace and tolerance and goes by the scriptures and the books of God. In order to do so, knowledgeable people, priests, ministers, imams, teachers and any intellectual who cares, have to combine their efforts by talking, teaching and spreading the truth because only knowledge can beat ignorance.

                We have to fight evil with good, hate with love, patience and strength. We have to believe in the power of God to destroy evil and protect our beliefs by giving us the strength to prevail with righteousness and good will. Evil has no power, because the power belongs to God only and God is merciful and compassionate. He does not bless any wrong doing but strengthens the hearts of the believers to help them act with righteousness and walk in his path.    

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