Dec 18, 2019 14:17 UTC

The acts of violence and extremism gripping the modern world are the result of both the ignorance of the unsuspecting perpetrators and the arrogance of their devilish masters, who never miss an opportunity to create chaos by disturbing the peace and order of societies.

The following is a feature in this regard on the International Day of “World against Violence and Extremism”, titled: “The root cause of violence and extremism”.

Mankind still suffers from numerous tragic incidents, despite the countless scientific, industrial, economic, and social advancements and developments which have taken place over the past century. The ominous phenomena of widespread violence, extremism, and terrorism that has taken a heavy toll on human community and has left countless victims behind, is indeed a disturbing factor. Almost every day we are witness to hundreds of innocent victims of bouts of violence, including innocent Muslims in West Asia and the Subcontinent, as well as among the people of North and South America, Europe, and Africa.

In line with relentless efforts which have been underway to eradicate violence and extremism, President Hassan Rouhani of Iran, in his keynote speech delivered at the UN General Assembly, in New York, on December 18, 2013, called for a World against Violence and Extremism. This proposal led to the approval of a UN Resolution, leading to designation of December 18 as the International Day of “World against Violence and Extremism”.

Mankind has experienced violence and radicalism from the very beginning of creation, as was evident by the killing of Abel by his jealous brother Cain – the two sons of Adam, the Father of the human race.

Throughout history, the conscientious people have expressed hatred and resentment towards this ugly phenomena. Yet the world has continued to indulge in these cases, resulting in catastrophic wars. Bouts of violence and extremism were heightened upon the break out of wars, especially World War I and World War II that occurred during the last century. Moreover, in the aftermath of World Wars; acts of terrorism, and other small and large battles continued to take heavy tolls on the psyche and physical health of mankind, in different parts of the world and periods of time.

A world freed from violence is an aspiration which is yet to come true. Irrespective of the efforts made by different religions to end wars; the global organizations' endeavors to achieve a world freed from violence, is yet to be achieved in the real world, despite the efforts of world countries to this cherished goal, and the claims of the bid powers to support global peace and amity. Psychological, physical, social, gender-based, and sectarian violence remain part of the irrefutable realities of the contemporary world, irrespective of the relentless global campaigns to achieve peace and amity worldwide. The fact of the matter is that the international community solely resorts to verbally condemning acts of violence and extremism and/or is incapable of uprooting this global concern in a broader sense.

In the meantime, negative attitudes have fomented confrontation and hostility in human communities, and set the stage for violence and extremism. Although certain efforts for alleviation of violence in the global arena and in different countries have resulted in relative calm and safety. Unfortunately, the international community has always been witness to presence of violent, selfish, extremist, and self-righteous individuals. Many arms-manufacturing multinational firms which supply military equipment worldwide and bring profit to greedy politicians, promote violence in order to safeguard their vested interests. We thus realize that mankind has a long way to go in order to achieve a world free of violence and extremism. Proper administration of justice and removal of discrimination could be main factors for eradicating violence worldwide.

Over the past half century, systematic usage of violence has directly and indirectly assisted autocracies and dictatorships. As a matter of fact, violence, armed operations, and terrorism have impeded the progress of prudent and reformist strategies. Even worse, systematic usage of violence, and unwavering support for violent and terrorist outfits has turned into an instrumental means for global powers to attain their sinister and mischievous goals. The role of the US, Britain, and their regional cohorts in emergence of terrorist outfits such as al-Qaeda and Daesh is a known and proven fact.

Meanwhile, if a country stands up against violence and extremism, it will be bombarded with baseless accusations leveled by regimes such as the US. For instance, the Islamic Republic of Iran has taken practical measures in countering terrorism and violence in Syria and Iraq, and has put emphasis on an end to occupation and steadfastness against extremist groups in the region. Nonetheless, Islamic Iran has been groundlessly accused of adopting meddlesome policies.  

Under the circumstances, it is necessary to understand the root causes of extremism in order to identify and eradicate terrorism and extremism. The underlying inner and outer contributors to these unwanted phenomena, in addition to political, social, economic, and ideological situations that lay the ground for their emergence, should be taken into account.

The Leader of Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, in his two well-known letters to European youths, put emphasis on understanding these realities, while pointing out that the danger currently posed to mankind is a resurgence of the era of ignorance. Ignorance derails mankind from the path of humanity, leading humans to overlook their valuable inner-self and inner capacities.

Emergence of terrorist outfits is the product of ignorance. Growth of concepts such as neo-Nazi or far right currents in Europe is also the product of present day ignorance, and is rooted in the West's political culture; the negative impacts of which are evident in violence and extremism exercised by racist and anti-religious currents in Western communities.

Six years has passed since the UN General Assembly ratified the resolution for global campaign against violence and extremism, but the world continues to witness to numerous developments. The murderous acts of Daesh; the misconstrued policies of US President Donald Trump including his economic terrorism against Iran, the terrorist attacks in various countries, the Saudi war crimes in Yemen, and the massacre of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar are part of violence-and extremism-driven realties that have taken place during this time. Upon analyzing these tragic events, we realize that the closer the individuals have got to peaceful coexistence; violence and extremism have significantly dampened, and the further the individuals have been immersed in ignorance, they have gotten close to violence and extremism.

In the meantime, Iran's proposed resolution on a “World Against Violence and Extremism” has called for faith and confidence in human values and dignity. The approval of this resolution sends a message to everyone for furthering cooperation, and avoidance of false mindsets, violence, and extremism. This initiative of President Rouhani is rooted in the global outlook of the Islamic Revolution, which calls for a world filled with peace and amity, and far from violence.