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A united civilized world against theology by terror

Terrorism Photo File Photo

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 Source: Eric Bawah

The very recent attack by terrorists in Burkina Faso should be of worry to Ghanaians since we share borders with that landlocked country.

What is most worrisome is that our borders with Burkina Faso are so porous that if terrorists decide to enter Ghana, it will be as easy as ABC. We must begin to ask ourselves several questions while we keep watch.

What fuels terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism or militant Islamist? Do we have hate preachers in our mosques and how can we identify them so that they could be reported in time? How safe are our shopping malls considering the fact that when the Westgate Mall in Nairobi was attacked by Al Shabbab terrorists, our illustrious son, Professor Kofi Awonnor paid the supreme price?

It is an undeniable fact that the West Africa sub-region is awaken to danger and called to defend freedom of religion. We have in our midst a collection of loosely affiliated terrorist organizations all operating in the name of Islam. The goal of terrorists is not making money.

Its goal is remaking the world and imposing its radical beliefs on people everywhere. They practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism that has been rejected by Muslim scholars and a vast majority of Muslim clerics.

This fringe movement perverts the peaceful teaching of Islam. When they go out there to kill people and destroy properties, they do not make any distinction between military and civilians, including women and children. In fact, they even do not make any distinction between Christians and Muslims. They just kill to satisfy their ego.

There are thousands of these sick brains in more than sixty countries. Some of them are recruited at home and foreign countries like Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. They are trained in the tactics of terror and sent out to plot evil and destroy.

Al Qaeda for example has active cells in many West African countries and they plan evil on daily basis. All what they need is an opportunity to strike. We saw the vision of Al Qaeda for the world in Afghanistan. When Al Qaeda held that country at ransom, women were not allowed to attend school.

You could be jailed for owning a television. Religion could be practiced only as their leaders dictate. In fact, a man could be jailed if his beard was not long enough. Children were allowed to play football but they should wear treasures and shout “Allahu Akbar” instead of “goal” when they score.

The sad thing about these terrorists is that they are traitors of their own faith and they try desperately to hijack Islam for their own interest.

Terrorists kill not merely to end lives but to also disrupt and end a way of life. Here in Ghana, the Muslim youth in particular should be on the look- out because they can be deceived by the pretences of piety of these overzealous scatterbrains who use hate preaching to brainwash the youth.

The founder of Bokom Haram, Mohamed Yusuf started his hate preaching in his own mosque at Maiduguri way back in 2002. Then he extended his tentacles to Adamawa and before the Nigerian authorities could say Jack Robin, the canker had spread like a wild bush fire.

Not even the killing of Mohamed Yusuf could stop Boko Haram because the followers of the man had been brainwashed for so many years. One interesting thing about Boko Haram is that the group attracted mainly poor Muslim families across Nigeria and her neighbors. The current leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau is from a very poor family.

When Carl Max said ‘religion is the opium of the masses’ little did he know that what he said many years ago will come to materialize like what we are seeing in Nigeria, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan etc.

Here in Ghana, the Jihadists will find it difficult to recruit suicide bombers or terrorists in the big cities. They will be easily exposed if they try to do so. What they will do is to go to the small towns and villages to start their hate preaching.

Since they have money, they will embark on charitable ventures which will surely attract the poor youth in particular. Because Muslims are well known for their hospitality, these Jihadists will be warmly welcome wherever they visit.

They will then seek the blessings of the Imams of the mosques to preach to the congregation on one Friday and that will be the beginning of their wicked plan. In no time, they will establish an Islamic school to teach the students diluted doctrines.

Those who pass out of such schools turn to be disrespectful to their parents because they were made to understand by their teacher that the way their parents worship Allah is not the right way.

As for Christians and traditionalists who live in the villages, they will be referred to as infidels who do not deserve to live among human beings.

When Ansar Deen, the terrorist grouping killed many people in northern Mali, I wrote in this column that the barbarian terrorism was directed against everything that holds the innermost core of our world together, namely respect for human life and human dignity, the values of freedom, tolerance, democracy and peaceful conciliation of interest.

The time has come for Ghana to strengthen her intelligence capabilities to know the plans of terrorists before they act, and of course, find them before they strike.

Terrorism is an invisible enemy of civilization and it must be unmasked and inexorably pursued. Otherwise, no one in this world would be able to free himself or herself of the fear of being attacked by these mad dogs.

A terrorist’s death-trips and terrorism are motivated by his desire to go to heaven after killing so many people. At least that is what their leaders tell them. Whether the suicide is individual or collective, the urge to end it all suddenly in an act of violence seems preferable to drawling out the real or imagined agony any longer.

The only difference is in the dimension of this violent end – otherwise, the perpetrators all have one thing in common: their unpredictable aggression is directed not only against random human targets but, primarily, against themselves. If a terrorist can claim some lofty motive for his actions, all the better for him.

But whatever illusion he cites is irrelevant-any authority from on high will do, be it a divine mission, some sacred fatherland, or the Revolution. His victory consists in his immunity to both attack and punishment – he sees to his own execution. His commander, in his distant bunker, also awaits the moment of his own annihilation – consoled in his imagination by the spectacle of myriads of people, including his underling, preceding him to death. These terrorists do not live in fear of being killed but they desire to end it all as martyrs.

Those of us who prefer to carry on living find all this hard to understand. We giggle when we hear these Jihadists telling us that when a terrorist or a suicide bomber dies with his victims, he is assured of seventy two virgins to marry in heaven. Although the overwhelming majority of people have no desire to run amok, they have no chance of survival when faced with somebody infatuated with suicide.

Since there are probably hundreds of thousands of time-bombs walking around, this particular form of violence will continue to accompany us in this 21st century. Thus, one of the most ancient barbaric rituals of our species, human sacrifice, has also succumbed to globalization.

The emergence of terrorism, no matter where it comes from, is manifested not only in the terrorist’s behavior but also by their choice of weapon, like hijacking an aircraft with passengers and crashing it into the World Trade Center or hiring a van and driving it into a packed crowd. Crazy!

We need to be on our guard everyday because terrorism is a pathological copy of the organism it attacks, a retrovirus created from the latter’s cells. It is thus deceptive to think that the enemy comes from outside of our contemporary network of global relationship from which any impulse, human or inhuman could come.

The threat of terrorism is omnipresent-like the telephone, the camera, the internet and the spy satellite. When we try to see these terrorists as primitive, we will be laughing at the wrong side of our mouths. Some of them are well versed in the study of computer technology and they apply that knowledge to advance their cause.

The terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center were not just well versed in modern technology. Inspired by the visual symbolism of Western culture, they staged the massacre as a media spectacle, following Hollywood scenarios to the letter. Such an intimate understanding of American civilization does not spring from an anachronistic way of thinking. It is therefore, no co-incidence that there was initial doubt as to who was responsible of the September 11 attacks. As always in such cases, all kinds of conspiracy theories were rushed into print.

So what can we do to avoid being attacked by terrorists? Undoubtedly, Muslim clerics and scholars in Ghana preach peace. Unlike other jurisdictions where different Muslim sects are at each other’s throat, we do not see such things in Ghana. That is why Muslim clerics and scholars should lead the fight against hate preaching in Ghana and also spare some time in the Mosques on Fridays to educate Muslims about the dangers of terrorism and suicide bombings.

Clerics and scholars who preach on TV and radio stations should also seize the opportunity to warn Muslims of the activities of terrorists. They should consciously tell their listeners to be wary of hate preachers and report such persons to the appropriate quarters.

We are living in hard times with a wobbling economy which needs to be fixed and as such we are not prepared to add the menace of terrorism onto our heavy load. And come to think of this: We have just started the fight against environmental terrorism (galamsey) and we are not going back, so terrorists should back off.

Assalam Aleikum!!!

Columnist: Eric Bawah