Normally, an-Naseeha does not lend its pages to external opinions.
However, an opinion expressed below is quite expedient and worthy of consideration.
What Is In A Name,
We are all touched in some way, knowingly or unknowingly, by the terror and destructive mayhem that is going on in our nation. We need to think through, evolve and take the optimal solution path not just to address the immediate challenges but to put a full and final stop to this carnage. Terrorism is asold as mankind and its underlying causes are similar; failed brute force reactions are usually our first emotional inclination; and finally we find that we must address the underlying issues, that spawn and feed the ideologies that underpin terror, terrorists and terrorist organisations.
Today, the global family especially Nigeria is being tested by a group colloquially and allegedly known as “Boko Haram.” However, we need to bear in mind that these people themselves do NOT regard themselves as “Boko Haram” - that is a name given them by the media and adopted by the status quo. They call themselves “Jama’atu Ahlus Sunnah LiddaAwati Wal Jihad” which means “Congregation of followers of the Prophet involved in Call to Islam and Religious Struggle.” There are some people that also call them “Yusufiyya” after the slain sect leader Mohammed Yusuf, which also diverts our understanding of whom they perceive themselves to be.
What is in a name you may say? Well when we’ get it wrong from the name, then we view and place them wrongly. The name “Jama’atu Ahlus Sunnah LiddaAwati WafJihad” connotes something much more and deeper than “Boko Haram” which arguably means “western knowledge is forbidden/bad.” When we understand how they see themselves, then we begin to acquire valuable insight into how we can effectively deal with them. As Sun Tzu in his famous treatise ‘The Art of War’ states “So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss. If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose. If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.” So there is certainly an intelligence challenge that needs to be addressed. They certainly know us and our weak underbelly, and unfortunately are taking dramatic advantage of their insight about us. Yet it seems, as a society, we know very little about these people who are members of this same society.
This extremely small group of people, who opt to inflict, on all of us, terror and destructive mayhem that is greatly disproportionate to their numbers are definitely very well educated and certainly know what they are doing. The people the press call “Boko Haram” was never “a small group of uneducated people in some remote part of Maiduguri” as many of us have been misled to believe. That was misinformation exacerbated and propagated by the media, including the modern social media, which these days often propagates “sound bites” and not always “sound” understanding, that caused us all to get it wrong. These people have an ideological base. Albeit warped, and they are propagating themselves because we, as a people and Government, in-part assigned them nomenclature that has caused us to significantly underrate them.
History has repeatedly shown that brute force alone will not kill an ideology. no matter how warped. Brute force will kill people. But the destructive ideology will recruit more “fodder” and casualties in a never ending vicious cycle. We have got to take this matter up on several fronts.
The Muslim Ummah itself has to cut off their recruitment base by shining its intellectual light on their ideology and showing their ideology for what it truly is: illogical, destructive and an anathema to all Islam stands for and it is NOT the way of the Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him), even though from their name they sincerely believe they are following his way. We must understand their thinking. get a grasp of where they are coming from and then deal with things accordingly from an intelligent not just intelligence point of view.
We must all work towards cutting out this type of cancer by preventing, with superior reasoning, those who are inclined to, from joining; reforming, by showing a better way, those whoare reform-able; and based on justice (which by the way they espouse) incarcerating, or otherwise, those who are culpable.
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited