Terrorism: The Origin and the Destination – I
The History of Terrorism
Almost every dictionary conveys fear, horror, fright, dread, shock, panic and alarm as the meanings of terror but has failed to further elaborate it as to what could be those occasions or events which, if provide reasons to cause fear, horror, panic or shock, could qualify that specific event as an act of terror. The history shows many such events where an armed rebellion, if was called as war of freedom by one faction then there were others also who would call it an act of terror and it’s still being practiced throughout the world. The genuine freedom movements and the act of terror are going side by side throughout the world and the interesting thing is that on the acts of terror there is globally a consensus while for the freedom struggles; one would always find a split opinion. However, keeping that debate aside, one thing is for sure that the terrorism (real one) is the most disliked, lamented and ruthlessly countered act, the world over.
The terrorism has not spared any time, era or part of the world. The first act of terrorism took place soon after Adam and Eve’s descending from the Heaven when Kane murdered his brother Abel to marry his own pair mate, who was to marry Abel, as per logic. And the first accomplice in that act of terror was a crow. The crows later turned smart and clever while leaving human being insane and emotional. As it is said that, the terrorism has a long and old history, hence it is full of dreadful events, although the crows, except for the initial incident, aren’t involved in any other or further.
Ever since its origin there is a big consensus on terrorism, nevertheless, at the same time the disagreement over its definition is equally of a great deal. It’s most likely that the world will never arrive at a perfect definition of ‘Terrorism’ to which we can all agree, despite the fact that majority of us point towards its characteristics like violence or threat. The only defining quality of terrorism, the poor world is left with, is the fact that it invites squabble, since the label “terrorism” or “terrorist” arises when there is disagreement over whether an act of violence is justified as revolution or war of freedom (as mentioned earlier) or its exactly the violence involved ruthless killing of innocents. We shouldn’t forget that there is no unanimously agreed official definition of terrorism throughout the world, and definitions tend to rely heavily on who is elucidating and for what purpose. Some definitions focus on terrorist tactics to define the term, while others focus on the actor. Yet others look at the context and ask if it is military or not.
When we talk of terrorism the names of the Sicarii and the Hashhashin, robotically comes to one’s mind, as to oust the Roman rulers from Judea, the Jewish group Sicarii and their collaborators in the campaign murdered their enemies in the first century while the Hashhashin, whose name gave us the English word “assassins,” were a secretive Islamic sect active in Iran and Syria, who executed the assassinations of Abbasid and Seljuk political figures, from the 11th to the 13th century. However the history has refused to take Zealots and the assassins as the terrorists and it suggests Terrorism as a modern time’s phenomenon, whose characteristics straight flow from the international system of nation-states, and its success depends on the company of a mass media to create an atmosphere of terror among citizens and populace.
The Emergence of Terrorism in Modern Times
The real emergence of terrorism as a term came from the ‘Reign of Terror’ instigated by Maxmilien Robespierre in 1793, soon after the French revolution who after killing the enemies of revolution, installed a dictatorship to stabilize the country. He was convinced that, “Subdue by terror the enemies of liberty, and you will be right, as founders of the Republic” and according to him it was mandatory in the transformation of the monarchy to a liberal democracy. His, such sentiment laid the foundations for modern terrorists who believe that violence will usher in a better system. The misinterpretation produced some genuine terrorists while the others are taken as such. Unfortunately the categorization of terrorism as a state action gradually faded, while the idea of terrorism as an attack against a breathing political order became high-flying. The term state-action faded to an extent that in modern times those states who are actually involved in state terrorism have a strong media at their back to hush-up their doings and even the freedom movements like one in Kashmir Valley and other just struggles against the suppressors are now kept along the real terrorism which has proved for the world peace as a bane than the boon.
In promoting the terrorism, its wrongly attribution towards the Muslim society has played a major role than anything else. The teachings of Islam have been misquoted by quite a few of the western writers, researchers and intellectuals quite excessively. The brainwash propaganda campaigns, while using all media tools, are being run to misguide the world and pour this point in innocent minds that Islam is a fanatic religion which provides reasons to its followers to choose terrorism as a tool to get their demands fulfilled, which is absolutely rubbish and concocted. There are numerous interesting, nevertheless, baseless and highly irresponsible theories hammered out in media and at international forums. For example it is wrongly conveyed that in the Islamic societies; the fathers ignore their children, it doesn’t allow male and female to mix up at the public places, neither the girls are allowed to attend the schools nor did the women can hold to their jobs, women are treated as the second rate species, the sexual abuse of girls is far higher in Islamic societies than elsewhere, the Islamic schools regularly practice corporal punishment and children are harassed and snubbed by their parents and aren’t allowed to speak up their mind in front of them etc, etc. The terrorists are termed as the by-product of the so-called terror-filled Islamic homes, who do this all to get Allah’s love, the love they never got from their homes. Ironically while suggesting this all, what the propagators forget is that the Muslim and the other eastern societies had the norms, traditions and civilisation even when the European societies were experiencing the darkest periods of their history. After all who were Jbir Ibn Hayyan, Al Khwarizmi, Al-Farabi, Al-Biruni, Ibn Khaldun, Avicenna and many other Muslims? Weren’t they the scientists, scholars and the Mathematicians who were the founders of the new world? Isn’t it a bit unfair to hold the Muslim societies responsible for the ‘terrorism’ today? The most tragic part of this episode is that these so-called intellectuals while throwing total onus on Islam forgot about the murders, rapes, obscenity and vulgarism of the western society. Alone America’s law and order situation is alarming, where the crime rate is considered highest in the world. The campus-shooting tales are very common in America and not in the Subcontinent or some Muslim countries. After all it can’t be denied that the broken homes, abandoned offspring, illegitimate infancy and frequent rapes are part of same violent society and that society is more potent to trigger terrorism than any other society. It is quite agreed that the religiously motivated terrorism is measured as the most alarming terrorist menace today. Mostly the Muslim outfits like Al Qaeda, Hamas or Hezbollah are alleged for justifying their violence on Islamic grounds; however Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and other religions aren’t lacking behind and have also augmented their own forms of militant extremism. That’s why according to a religion scholar Karen Armstrong, this term represents terrorists’ departure from any real religious precepts. The point is that whenever there is a terrorism case, the people involved are not simply orthodox believers turned violent, but rather violent extremists who manipulate religious concepts for their own purposes. Hence blaming religion and categorically Islam for someone’s wrong doings is highly unjust.
(to be continued)