Daily Takes: Unbridled Fanaticism

National

A court orders cow slaughter case to be registered against Akhlaq’s family, Akhlaq was killed on 29th September by a rancorous mob in Dadri near Delhi.

The relatives of the accused involved in the gory lynching of Akhlaq were long pressing the administration to prosecute Akhlaq’s family amid forensic reports that the family actually consumed beef & may have slaughtered a cow.

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Md. Akhlaq

That someone’s choice of food may become a reason for prosecution & helps justify the subsequent mob action is something that underlines the inherent flaw within India’s modern democratic setup.  The case may very well become a dead man’s trial, a travesty of justice in an India where unbridled religious fanaticism may someday parallel neighboring Pakistan & Bangladesh if left unchecked.

International

It’s the 3rd major violent attack in less than 18 months in France, 80 killed in Nice as people reveled on National Day.  President Hollande has called for extension of emergency for 3 more months as security forces go swooping in search of potential threats across France.

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Terror strike in Nice ( Source: Euronews)

These continued attacks in France & other European nations can potentially polarize societies in the Western world digressing from the very debate on how best to deal with rising threat of Islamic terrorism.  Young men from France to Bangladesh are finding succor in the violent & aggressive interpretation of Islam through internet & unaccounted proliferation of social media.  Internet is replete with materials extolling violence & revenge.  With Daesh losing hold over territories in Syria & Iraq, it may soon transform into a typical terrorist organization with far- reaching implications for the international community.

Beyond the usual arguments of a ‘globalized’ threat of extremism, French society is torn between the ‘locals’ & the ‘immigrants’; predominantly people from former French colonies in Northern Africa : Algeria & Tunisia. The single most potent threat to France is the fact that even 2nd & 3rd generation immigrants don’t feel at home here.  The immigrant communities haven’t been able to integrate with the larger French society & at the same time there has been little effort to assimilate the immigrants into the fold of French culture. Rising Islamophobia and hate rhetoric in the French polity disillusions people arriving in search for a better life, many seeking refuge from persecution & civil strife in Africa & the Middle East. Terror strikes bolster reactionary & regressive right wing political entities feeding on people’s trepidations of an increasingly gloomy world.  The rhetoric & resentment against a particular group prepares fertile grounds for ‘recruits’.  Amid all these, some questions may never be answered:

When would we break free of prejudice against fellow humans? Why won’t a suicide bombing in Baghdad elicit the same empathy as for Nice & San Bernardino? How long would we allow religious dogma to determine our perceptions of the ‘other’?

©Haris Ahmed

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