Why do they join the radical terrorist organisations?
Experts on terrorism, intelligence agents, writers, editors and analysts in the West are constantly seeking the answer to one question: Why do people join radical organisations?
They come up with numerous theories; they talk about poor kids from city suburbs, about uneducated and ignorant people and about bored young people looking for adventure. Some describe this phenomenon as “the attractive force of utopian politics”, while others maintain that these people set out with the aim of “writing a story of their own”.
However, these theories have been largely shelved as it has gradually been realized that many such groups contain large numbers of wealthy people, people with careers, academics, doctors and engineers, and that many of their members hail from well-off backgrounds.
Some have declared that those who join such organisations have “mental problems”. The response to that came from John Horgan, a psychologist and a professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Center for Terrorism and Security Studies: “Because of what terrorists do, we assume that can be explained via the pathology of those people, but trying to explain terrorism as mental illness is misleading.”5
An estimated 15,000 fighters from at least 80 nations are believed to have entered Syria to help overthrow the regime of al-Assad. Europe at the moment is in a state of abject fear and paranoia over members of radical organizations that may return to their home countries and continue to commit acts of terror in their own countries.
Horgan and others have had to eliminate all the possibilities they had hypothesized; neither poverty, nor boredom, nor mental illness can explain why people from almost every country in the world are so determined to overcome a good deal of difficulties to become part of a system in which people die and are killed with ease. Nobody would hurl himself into a war, leaving behind his family and all he owns for the sake of “writing a story”. He would never accept death so swiftly and unconditionally.
People are joining radical groups from all over the world, from European countries to Kazakhstan, from Australia to Somalia and from Russia to Tunisia. The number of people joining such groups is rising all the time. European countries such as France and Germany head the lists of these figures.
Let us now look at the true answer to the disturbing question: Turning away from the Qur’an and the true teachings of Islam and the consequent adoption of a skewed interpretation of Islam has led some Muslims to turn their backs on liberty, art and science and has radicalised them to a significant extent. As the ideological infrastructure of radicalism has spread in an uncontrolled manner (and sometimes in a manner controlled by certain covert forces) it has begun threatening a wide swath of territory, including Europe. The radicalism that ensued triggered Islamophobia, though the proponents of Islamophobia fail to see that they are further encouraging radicalism in a manner they never desired.
As the numbers of those seeking a solution in destroying Islam and Muslims, who do not want Muslims in their country and who sit back and watch the oppression of Muslims in the world has grown, this further serves to incite hatred. The horrifying images left behind by the coalition forces’ interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq were, for a good many, the final straw. Nobody could or did remain unmoved by the Western powers’ indiscriminate killing of families and destruction of homes. Savagery inevitably incites hatred.
The aim of the Western coalition may genuinely be to install its own version of democracy in these lands. Yet the method used is so wrong that it has harmed not just the Middle East, but the West itself. Those who wish to understand as to why so many people have joined radical groups from Europe and why suicide is such a major problem in the US Army need to take a profound look at the erroneous nature of the policies being followed.
So what should the solution be? Radical groups follow a deviant ideology that many people in the world believe to be true. The followers of that ideology cannot oppose the groups in question because, at heart, they simply do not believe that they are on the wrong path. This deep-rooted problem can only be resolved by the Islamic world completely renouncing sources based on nonsense and turning to the Qur’an instead, and the person who will bring that about is Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh).
More than 1,000 foreign fighters are joining the fight in Syria each month. Even airstrikes do not seem to change this rate. The problem of radicalism can only be resolved by the Islamic world completely renouncing sources based on nonsense and turning to the Qur’an instead.
Radical groups manage to produce this effect to a large extent by way of the internet. They employ social media with a mastery of persuasive propaganda. They reach out to five continents and gather supporters. They win people over with perhaps only a few brief lines. In other words, through education.
Horgan summarizes that effect in these words: “They have become so adept at social media that they are reaching out to disaffected individuals on a global scale.”
It is truly astonishing, given that education is so easy, that the Western coalition powers still insist upon reinforcing their bases in the Middle East with more weapons. What needs to be done is to set out using the same means and to show people the false nature of that religion of superstition with evidence from the Qur’an by making use of such a powerful communication tool as the internet. It is to prove, using Islam’s own holy book, that Islam rejects savagery and teaches love and peace. If the West can do that, there is of course no need to remind anyone that it has greater means at its disposal than the radical groups. Just imagine that all the international media, which are generally under the control of the West, were to provide such education with a loud voice! It would take mere seconds for the world to hear the truth.
What needs to be done in the face of radical groups is to prove, using Islam’s own holy book, that Islam rejects savagery and teaches love and peace. It would take mere seconds for the world to hear the truth if the international media were to provide such education.
Europe at the moment is in a state of abject fear and paranoia over members of radical organisations that may return to their home countries. It believes that people who have fought in those regions and then come home will inevitably continue to commit acts of terror in their own countries, and those countries are taking extraordinary security precautions in order to preclude such a nightmarish possibility. Yet they never stop to think that the problem could be resolved at the root if they were to simply educate these people about the true Islam.
What they need to understand is this: If someone has set out to kill or die in a foreign land, the reason for that can only be an underlying belief. Since that belief is based on a deeply flawed interpretation of the Qur’an, there is a solution that can produce clear and certain results; to teach people the true belief from the true source, in other words, the Qur’an. However, if Western countries in particular continue to turn their backs on that education, the tragedy afflicting the world may well begin to threaten them even more. Bombs, guns and missiles are no solution to the problem; they are just a means of spreading hatred.