Revival of ‘Traditional Islam’ Crucial to Counter Radicalisation and Terrorism

Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses

Dated: November 23, 2016

Describing political motivation as a key to radicalisation and Islam as a vehicle to legitimise radical philosophies, Hon’ble Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Shri NN Vohra today called for a need for strong intra-regional, regional and global policies to counter the menace of terrorism.Shri Vohra was delivering the keynote address at the international seminar on ‘Addressing the Challenges of International Terrorism and Radicalisation’ at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) on November 23, 2016.Reflecting on how the true philosophies of Islam have been overshadowed by the radical school of thought, he implored all the nations afflicted by terrorism to join hands and revive ‘traditional Islam’. The clergy should lead by propagating the true teachings of ‘Sufism’ through a counter discourse, and the youth across nations should also be engaged, pointed out the Governor.Radicalisation in the Indian context is a threat to the very unity and integrity of the country, said Shri Vohra. India cannot allow a large community to go in any other direction, other than the direction propagated by the actual faith of that community, he added.Speaking in the context of Jammu and Kashmir, Shri Vohra said that a mythology that has been created, disseminated, and propagated by the radicalists in the valley – that the Government of India functions with the ulterior motive of suppressing the Muslim identity in Kashmir – has aided the spread of radical ideas in the valley. This entire process is methodically eroding the historical and traditional values of the Kashmiri people, he noted.Highlighting the dangers of ethnic divisions and the need for ethnic cleansing, Shri Vohra pointed out that the old world religious values have changed over the years, leading to the gradual destruction of intercommunity relations. Social harmony has been eroded by the spread of extremist philosophies, he further noted.Explaining how social media has aided radical ideas to spread their tentacles, the Governor said that social media offers terrorists and extremists the capability to communicate, collaborate and convince, thereby playing an increasingly prominent role in radicalisation, extremism, and terrorism.Earlier, in his welcome address, Director General, IDSA, Shri Jayant Prasad said that terrorism and radicalism cannot be uprooted by kinetic or coercive methods alone. Counter-terrorism policy has to go beyond the use of force to apprehend, disrupt, and eliminate terrorist cells and groups. It must also use preventive means to alter the circumstances in which terrorism and radicalism grow, he said.The Seminar was organised as a precursor to the sixth ministerial meeting of the ‘Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process’, scheduled at Amritsar on December. 

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