Freedom movements arise and assert themselves. They”re doing so on almost every continent populated by man—in the hills of Afghanistan, in Angola, in Kampuchea, in Central America. In making mention of freedom fighters, all of us are privileged to have in our midst tonight one of the brave commanders who lead the Afghan freedom fighters—Abdul Haq. Abdul Haq, we are with you. They are our brothers, these freedom fighters, and we owe them our help.
—Ronald Reagan, The US President at the Annual Diner
of the Conservative Political Action Conference March 1, 1985
This was perhaps the bloodiest month of Ramzan we have seen in the recent past. From Saudi to Bangladesh the monster of terror in the name of Islamic State is creating havoc in the name of ‘Jihad’. Unfortunately, close to the festivities of Eid, which is known for the safe passage of none other than the Prophet, his self-proclaimed followers are killing their own Muslim brethren. The creators and supporters of fundamentalist Wahhabi version of Islam are facing the wrath of their own making.
Not long ago, any act of violence in any part of world was associated with Al-Qaeda. It did not appear in vacuum. The above quoted statement by President Reagan is indicative enough to ascertain the US intention in creating Afghan militia. To defeat the ideological foe during the Cold War, the US armed many groups to prevent the Soviet Union and its agents, client states, and satellites. After the fall of Soviet Union, the same groups used their might to challenge the ideology of liberty and democracy, which according to them has been exploitative. It was only emergence of Taliban in Afghanistan and the catastrophic attack of 9/11 could make the pre-eminent power of the world realise the nature of monster they have created to win the ideological war. To defeat the Communist ideology of violence, the Western block equipped another ideology of violence and they are still grappling with the way out to end the menace. Unfortunately, the Islamic State which is a direct outcome of false understanding of ‘good’ terror and ‘bad’ terror, is spreading its arms in and outside West Asia with more radicalised ideology and sophisticated methods.
The proponents of liberal democracy were conveniently supported by ideology of Wahhabism that provided manpower from the Af-Pak region and money power from Saudis. No wonder, these two regions are also facing the Frankenstein effect of the ideology of terror. Though Af-Pak region has received lot of attention and the phenomenon is analysed across the globe, the self-created threats faced by the Saudis are neglected to a large extent. The recent attacks in the close religious and political power corridors of Saudi—including one in Medina, one of the holiest sites in Islam—targeting both Saudi security forces and Western interests. Saudi region is largely believed to be the funding source of Wahhabi ideology, which propagates fundamentalist and intolerant version of Islam. Therefore, besides, Western forces, their allies, Shias, Kurds and whoever slightly deviates from their core thinking is attacked with full force. Interestingly, the Saudi Interior Ministry identified the Jeddah bomber as Pakistani national Abdullah Qlazar Khan. The negative ideology for existence led to the adoption of terror as an instrument of foreign policy by Pakistan and it is facing the same fate. The real question which arises is that can the two players who have been instrumental in creating this menace would ever learn their lesson and mend their ways.
On the eastern side of Bharat, another victim of intolerant version of Islam is facing the curious situation where the IS is claiming the responsibility for violence but Bangladeshi government is in denial mode. Even if we believe that the heinous attack on the cafe in Dhaka and blast that took place in Kishoreganj District during the Eid prayers were the acts by home grown terrorists, we cannot neglect that the series of events that has taken place in Bangladesh are the outcome of radicalisation that was supported by the establishments since its creation in 1971.
All these incidences suggest that ideology of terror boomerang on their creators and supporters. Regrettably, we also have our own versions of preachers and politicians who endorse the Wahhabi ideology of terror. The vote-bank consideration is a very short-term and dicey basis for such moves. Unless welearn the lessons from global recurrence of terror versions and take a clear and unequivocal stand against all forms of radicalisation, the Frankenstein effect will keep haunting us with monstrous effect.