The Madness of Extremism

Posted by on Apr 4th, 2012 and filed under Opinion, World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry


It is deeply  troubling to read a graphic  headline ‘A suicide bomber detonated her explosives Wednesday at a ceremony at the national theatre, killing at least 10 people, including two of the country’s top sports officials’  Toronto Star, April 4.

 ACCORDING to the online BBC News, the head of Somalia ‘s Olympic committee and its football chief are among eight people killed in a bomb attack on a high-profile event in Mogadishu .

The Alshabbab had claimed responsibility for the attack.

This is a continuous cycle of madness where a group of fanatics taking matters into their own hands and murdering fellow humans and creating a large scale of death and destruction, all in the name of Islam.

What is more disappointing is to see a lack of a plan in the Muslim community to tackle the issue of extremism that is taking toll on the youth.

I will never forget the experience I have had with a young man and how he was brainwashed by the element of extremism and became a different person altogether.

He was bright in school and doing well in sciences and math, among many other subjects and was determined to pursue higher education and study medicine or engineering.

He mentioned to me  the higher grades that he was achieving  in  subjects most students find challenging such as Calculus, Algebra, Physics, Chemistry and English. He was humble and friendly.

After that, I did not see him for a while.

I was shocked when I met him again. He was no longer the same friendly and humorous person I used to know.

He dropped out from school and had abandoned his dream  of becoming a doctor or  engineer.

He started talking like a born again Christian who had discovered Jesus  and was spoken  to by  the holy ghost.

He warned me of the “deviant scholars” of our time who will lead us to the hell fire. He was speaking in an angry and   emotional tone and was breathing heavily.

I started to reason with him but to no avail. He was like a member of the Jehovah’s Witness who will not open their minds to any new information and will  only try to have you listen to them.

The young man was preaching to me about the importance of avoiding the ‘misguided scholars’ and to follow only certain scholars from a particular branch of Islam  who are the ‘rightly guided’ people, as he said.

He had abandoned his education and said a Muslim should only study Islam and leave everything else.

A Muslim should not enter the “Kuffar University” and study along with the Kuffaars, the disbelievers.

Neither should he take the interest to enrol at university or college.

The “born again” man was promised to get scholarship to the Middle East to study religion.

The group who had taken him out of  darkness and promised him scholarship had abandoned him. His dreams were shattered and as a result, he became mental and started talking to himself.

It is sad to witness how the illness of extremism can do to the mind of a person. It can shatter the dreams of a young man like my friend whose skills and knowledge could not only have benefited him but the entire society.

He could have become a carrying doctor who saves lives or a highly skilled engineer who would not only build homes and bridges, but build hopes in the lives of young people.

Extremism can poison a man and make him look at other people with contempt and hate including his own family and friends.

According to the news from the terrorist incident in Somalia, an old woman in tears ran toward a police officer after the blast saying: “My son was in there.”

The policeman stopped her. She sat down and cried, but later ran into the theatre, where she learned her son had died.

The alleged suicide bomber who was reported to be a woman was brainwashed to a level that she had taken matters into her own hands and massacred her own fellow citizens who happen to be Muslims.

Parents and imams need to raise awareness about the element of extremism and its negative effects to the well being of a person.

Muslims are indeed facing problems throughout the world. Not only Muslims,  the entire world is boiling with problems  such as famine, wars, diseases, global warming and other catastrophies.

Young people ought to understand that life is full of hardship and tribulation.

This is what life is all about.

Every human should have the courage to  face these tabulations with steadfastness and patience and do his utmost to bring a positive change.

Among the best tools community leaders could use to tackle this sickness  is a book called  Islamic Awakening between Rejection and Extremism by Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

It can be accessed online at

In this thoughtful and important book, as stipulated in a brief summary on,  Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi examines the worldwide revival of interest in Islam and attempts to explain why this interest has led so many among the younger generation of Muslims to tread the path of intolerance and rigid interpretation.

An older and more experienced voice, he articulates the wisdom brought on by maturity, sound scholarship, and a deep understanding of both the letter and the spirit of the Qur an and the Sunnah. Looking for answers in a world marked by enormous volatility, pressure and political and economic corruption, Muslim youth are an easy target for extremist movements. Shaykh Qaradawi traces the complex roots of these views, and examines in-depth the many uses of the path to intolerance, offering a variety of remedies and cures. Perhaps more relevant today, given our troubled climate, than at any time in the past, the work introduces readers to a subject of great significance and wide ramifications. (

Muslim leadership have a greater responsibility to educate the young about this unhealthy phenomenon and the importance of understanding Islam through reliable sources.

There are indeed injustices that are taking place in many parts of the world.

Taking matters into one’s own hands, however, and murdering innocent people is not the answer that would solve the world’s problems.

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