LAHORE-Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief Dr Tahirul Qadri says the most effective way to counter terrorism is to target its origin.

According to PAT press release, addressing an OIC meeting at Riyadh, he said violent extremism is never spontaneous, or appears in a vacuum, it starts from narrow mindedness; failure to understand Islamic concepts, and injunctions. If this is not addressed through education, and awareness, it leads to the process of radicalization, which, in turn, leads to extremism.

He added: “Our States mostly tackle it at last stage, and at this stage one can only prevent some people from committing violent acts, but it is very difficult to change their mindset. So, all actions in the name of counter- terrorism are like a game of hide and seek. They disappear for a span of time, but re-emerge, re-emerge with a new name, and at times at a new place.” The Holy Prophet (PBUH) mentioned about the Kharijite groups; “Every time a generation of them appears, it will be cut down, every time a generation of them appears it will be cut down. He said that more than ten times—until the Anti-Christ appears from their last remnants.

  “We need prevention at the first level; here education becomes indispensable and paramount in countering extremist thoughts and radicalization. There are many other factors; social, economic, political injustices, unemployment, feelings of isolation, etc”. These factors are to be addressed by the states and societies, and ideological factors by the scholars, Islamic authorities, preachers, intellectuals, writers, institutions, think tanks and organizations etc. This is undeniable reality that worldwide recruitment of terrorists is mainly achieved through exploitation of socio-economic circumstances.

He continued: “Terrorism is a serious global problem not only causing much deaths and sufferings, but also destabilisation of societies and disrupting peaceful co-existence. Tackling violent extremism requires understanding of reasons and motives that give birth to terrorist mind-set; otherwise, attempts to deal with problem would be futile.

“Apart from ideological there are other factors like political grievances, isolation and sense of marginalization, as well as criminal traits, plus socio-economic reasons. Combined effect of various factors plus ideological indoctrination leads to terrorism. It is ideological and theological drivers of terrorism which must be focused; because terrorists use them to recruit new members for their cause, and to justify their acts of barbarism.”