Barq Center for Consulting continues with the intellectual enlightening series about the relationship between the educated and the society and his anticipated role in building the society cultural form by the educated effectiveness in understanding and explaining the formation problems in the collective political work of the environments affected by the vibrations of revolting against the authoritarian regimes in the Middle East.
The prevalence of violence and the increase of terrorism in the Arab region are considered ones of the important issues that have been facing the educated Arab because of their several effects and different dimensions on the society in particular and the country in general. As the educated is a part of them, the mutual influence is inevitable with the presence, increase and prevalence of violence and terrorism at the present stage. There is even a consensus among the political, educational, intellectual and economic circles that there area is passing through a historic turning point characterized by extreme difficulty and complication because of the increase of violence and terrorism whose threats reach all levels, the political, the social, the economic, the cultural and the security. Violence and terrorism issues have become the effective factor in the policies and strategies of the Arab, regional and international countries and the effective motive for individuals and groups- according to a particular interpretation of events, issues and life- to adopt intellectual stances embodied in reality through violence operations that shake security and stability which constitute the base of life in society and the country.
Violence and terrorism and the terms related to them form the most controversial issues in the intellectual, political and media circles. Despite the consensus to fight all kinds of violence and terrorism which damage the societies and the consensus to eradicate them, but there is no agreement about their implications and indications. However, everyone agrees on the extent of the danger of violence and terrorism on the security and stability of the countries, as we have said.
The contradiction between education, violence and terrorism
The relationship between education, enlightenment and awareness and violence, terrorism and extremist acts is an inverse relationship and most often both of the sides are at odds as the absence of education and the educated from being involved in peoples’ movements, directing them and enlightening then and in making them committed to their causes contributes to the prevalence of radical, extremist and racist thoughts, in addition to the presence of troubled political, security and economic situations peoples suffer and the absence of justice for the oppressed strata in these societies and countries. The general educational weakness, similarly, leads giving the chance to the terrorist and radical groups to spread their ideas and promote their projects exploiting the ignorance of societies and their realization of the danger after it is too late. Those groups spread their ideas while the educated are busy in the crises of education on the one hand and in their conflicts on the other and the resulting inability to resist the intellectual-cultural inertia. As a result, the society remains far away from understanding the educated opinions, because of the discrepancy between the two sides in the thinking field.
The phenomena of violence, terrorism and extremism are intellectual phenomena. The Arab societies did not develop in their educational structure to the point of making the appearance of illogical symptoms rejected in society. The educational and media environment plays an effective role in enhancing the authoritarian thinking and in the justification of the practices of the stronger side, being either a political authority or an armed group or a financial power or any other side that have strong papers to perpetrate action or influence. The failure of the educated Arab in finding a rational modern intellectual environment is one of the reasons of breeding extremism, ignorance and fanaticism, in addition to the other political, economic and social reasons, let alone the conspiracy theory that forms a part of the Arab mentality. Instead of facing reality and identifying the mistakes clearly, many find in the conspiracy theory a way of an easy escape for them by blaming others for the mistakes and by talking about a conspiracy being made against the Arab countries to wipe out their civilization and peoples; it is something that contradicts logic in many aspects. What is unfortunate here is that many educated people or those considered educated play a role in strengthening this image and consolidating it in the minds. This made young men resent each other and consider that we have to take revenge from those who conspire against us and to fight them instead of any dialogue with them. This contributed to the fostering of violence and terrorism and the extremist ideology in the Arab countries. The same case applies to the educated who cheers for the tyrants and dictators and who polish their image and justify their brutal actions and their use of violence against the opposition. This contributes to the continuation of the regimes in using violence and killing against their peoples.
The educated, the victim of violence and terrorism
It can be said that the educated and education are more vulnerable to the sides that perpetrate violence whether they are the regimes and the authorities or the violent groups and those similar to them, the extremist and terrorist groups. The educated have become between two choices and both are hard: either fulfilling their responsibilities and duties as educated practicing their role in criticism and awareness and commitment to the matters relating to public affairs- something that will expose them to danger that might cause their death, imprisonment or torture- or to stay silent where their role as educators is lost and the feature of education no longer applies to them.
No doubt that the violent radical groups many times fear education and the educated more than they fear authority due to the role the educated can have in drying up sources of terrorism and in shrinking their areas in society. Similarly, the despotic regimes in the Arab countries which realize the danger of the educated on their presence use all it can, all methods of carrot and stick to gain the educated to their side or at least to silence them or they will be liable to the violence methods they possess and which they use extensively against those who criticize or oppose them alike.
Thus, the radical groups and the violence and terrorism groups are inconsistent with the culture of modernism and the modern style of life that prevailed in the Arab societies where the national state after independence was built on some of their concepts and values. These groups aimed at changing the modernized culture and life style to a new kind of culture built on the ideas these groups believe in depending on the violent means, the strength, the weapons and the killing of any educated person who opposes them.
It is no exaggeration to say that the most prominent victims of violence and terrorism are the educated by targeting them more than once. The first one is represented in being a citizen in the first place regardless of his religious or ethnical identity. The second, he was targeted because he is educated and carries an opinion that opposes terrorism and extremism and the projects of the violent groups. The third, the targeting is accumulative by the appearance of the terrorism phenomenon and its domination over the process of building the society by practicing violence in all possible means.
The second violence the Arab educated face is the violence of the governing authorities in a number of the Arab countries. These authorities adopted a single way of dealing with the people represented in “I show you what I see only”. Anyone who opposes these authorities is either dead or imprisoned or displaced. Under an arbitrary policy against the educated and under the closure on the educational movement and making it walk on one leg, many writers were chased and imprisoned to force them to join the ruling authorities or by getting rid of them by absenting them from the cultural and political scenes.
This atmosphere prevailed in a number of Arab societies and caused the suffocation of the educated and the writers before others and which made the educated divided among themselves; some of them explicitly or implicitly hid behind his tribe or ethnicity, while others remained truthful to their national view and tried to keep a balanced objective vision. The problem with the latter ones was that there was no one to protect them. Thus, leaving the country was the only way to survive.
The role of the educated in facing violence and terrorism
Violence and terrorism are based in many of their sides on certain types of thinking that pushes towards intellectual, doctrinal and behavioral extremism. It is bad in activating certain motives towards violent behaviors which in turn lead to other violent and terrorist behaviors at the individual or gr group level. These behaviors are an expression of a chaotic terrorist ideology or a terrorist organized ideology. This means education in some of its components is a part which lies behind the violent behavior and the terrorist thinking. It also means that the cultural analysis or approach is an important introduction to check and dismantle the intellectual structure of the terrorist ideology and its components and the motives of the behavior of its followers. Here comes the role of the educated and that of the researchers and specialists in particular in bearing the responsibility to perform the required role in observing and facing the challenge of violence and terrorism and in addressing their roots and reasons and their results. What the educated can do in this regard can be summarized as follows:
- The educated bears the responsibility of stopping the processes of reviving the violence and extremism phenomena in all their types and forms and different levels, let alone his role in preventing their formation and the stages of their incubation in the society. This contributes to the disabling their mechanism of their production and the paralysis of promoting them. The educated has a message and an enlightening role and he shows his commitment to invoke the national and social common dividers and make them the most important choice instead of leaning on side affiliations which lead to violence and extremism.
- The educated bears the responsibility of studying the issues of violence and terrorism by uncovering the objective and personal factors that led to bias to use violence and terrorist operations, and the intellectual, cultural and social backgrounds on which extremism relies, and the uncovering of the sources that led to the foundation of the hotbeds of terrorism and its practice in the Arab region in particular and in the world in general. The educated also bears the responsibility of showing the private and general reasons of violence and terrorism and of presenting them in an awareness form to society in a way appropriate in its words and method to the cultural discrepancy in the society strata.
- The educated bears the responsibility of involving himself in the outcomes of the Islamic ideology to defend Islam in relation to terrorism. This should be done in an educated language that suits the society strata. This is a responsibility all educated people share in all different means to show the truth and defend Islam as a heavenly religion which carries the best values for all humanity, let alone the educated role in dealing with the active culture in what is related to terrorism issues by participating in the communication methods and the most common actions in the world for this to be in parallel of the foreign ideas. This contributes to the removal or the resistance of the distortion of Islam.
- The emphasis of the role of the educated in his continuous seeking to change the despotic reality that dominates our societies and to break the will of autocracy, calling all people and society to participate in the choice and the general responsibilities. The political flexibility and the absence of political domination and despotism and the elimination of the social oppression and the cultural subjugation are the most important requirements for the preparation of comprehensive developmental growth in society. Thus, it is inevitable to establish a multi political system that guarantees the participation of everyone in society in the public affairs and in choosing their representatives in the political life and in giving their opinions in public affairs. The feeling of oppression and subjugation and marginalization which leads to practicing violence, terrorism and extremism cannot be addressed without an area of freedom and without applying social justice away from oppression and despotism.
- The necessity of planting the scientific enlightening mind by the educated in the different fields of life because the mind is the key to defend man and to know the truth. Being sane is the means of modernization and the prevention of intellectual closure which leads to extremism that breeds violence.
- The Arab societies have changed to political societies with one dimension and advanced in arbitrariness against the individual, and the domination of the controlling authority over the requirements and directions of public life. They made subjugation their political rule. This led to the confrontation of the oppressed by the violence of the government by a random violence exploited in the direction of systematic terrorism. Here comes the role of the educated to work on breaking this single dimension as a first step and to defend diversity ideologically, socially and politically and to work on changing the political society to a civil society so that ideas become the expression of withstanding against dictatorship in all its shapes. In the second step, the educated must work on enforcing the advanced ideology which is built on freedom and mind.
- The educated has to seek to enable the culture of difference and the acceptance of the other as these are the most important means to withstand violence, 4extremism and terrorism.
- The role the educated have in trimming society from the intellectual terrorist phenomena to secure shaking the available concepts to expel whatever is odd in education and society and to amend the mind which absorbed wrong concepts especially at the times of crises and conflicts and the abnormal situations which are a reason to produce ideas that incubate terrorist acts,
- The educated must bear the awareness responsibility to inform the society of the misleading ideas, extremism and violence and to promote the culture of tolerance and the spirit of nationalism.
“The mentioned ideas do not necessarily express the views of Barq Center for Consulting and Future Studies”.
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