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Theoretical and Operative Framework of the Vicious Cycle of Muslim Radicalisation PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alhaji Dr. Foday M. Kallon, 076 788 967 /077 320 425   
Wednesday, 14 June 2017 08:42

I am a scientist, not a Muslim scholar per se, but a truly concerned Muslim practitioner .  An Islamic  value of importance for social equality can be seen in the institution of zakat (an alms tax). Another central theme is respect for creation. Both cases can be widely read up in the Holy Qur’an. The underlying theological principle of creation is the unity of Allah (Arabic: tauheed). 

According to the Glorious Qur’an, everything has been created by and strives to return to Allah (the God), thereby giving meaning to human existence. In addition to the emphasis on the unity of Allah in a monotheistic sense, the unity Allah is also embodied in creation. The theoretical principle of creation is closely connected to the principle of responsibility. The creation principle assumes that there is a harmonious state of nature (Arabic: fitra) for both people and creation. Human beings are thought of as fundamentally different from other life forms because of their capacity for reason. People are aware of the linearity of time and are therefore responsible for carrying out the role of earthly vicegerents for Allah (Arabic: khaleefa).  They are also responsible for promoting civilization. The question is: How much has the Muslim majority done to uphold this principle of harmony and civilization?  Wars, bloodshed, suffering, wanton killing of innocent lives in the name of Islam? However, Islam came as an instrument to enjoin peace and extend mercy for Mankind.

The Muslim brotherhood in Egypt and ideologically related groups in other parts of North Africa initially emerged as winners from the Arab spring. By then, politically-motivated Islamic practices had lost power almost everywhere, and their radical and violent practical manifestations prevailed.  One major reason was the failure to tackle the people’s problems (compare to the civil war in Sierra Leone). The other one was a vicious cycle of repression by the authoritarian regimes, that were back in power, on the other hand and sectarian-based radicalization on the other hand.

The Arab spring was followed by extremism. At that time, more than two years after the start of the Arab spring, politically-motivated Islamic practice was at its zenith. It was the big winner of the upheavals in the Arab world: Egypt had a Muslim Brotherhood president, and Tunesia’s constitutuent Assembly was dominated by a similar ideologically related Party. Islam is not a religion of ideologies.

Opposition to that development was signally led by Saudi Arabia, where a different form of Islamic practice was dominant: Wahhabism, a branch of Sunni Islam which is linked with the House of Saudi since the 18th century. Wahhabism gave rise to modern Salafism.  Salafists advocate a return to the values and social structures that existed in the earliest days of Islam. Islam is a way of life, and not a religion per popular definition. While Salafism places doctrine first, the Muslim Brotherhood was formed in Egypt in 1920s as a political and social movement. The return to Islamic values was a means to an end, and the end was liberation from colonial hegemony. The harnessing of Islam to a social agenda and anti-Western politics is still inherent to the movement up to date.

The Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists share similar beliefs and practices. Nonetheless, the Muslim Brotherhood opposes the form of government that exists in Saudi Arabia and most of the Arab States, with their conspicuous wealth and alliance with the west. So the rulers of those countries saw the development of the Arab spring as an existential threat. The attempt by Saudi Arabia and some of its neighbours to turn back the tide, should not be seen as a fight against politically-motivated Islamic belief and practice but as a school of thought-based clash within the“Mazhab” (school of thought): Wahhabists/Salafists versus Muslim Brotherhood.

Only one country in the Gulf stepped out of the line. Interestingly, the country is also a Wahhabi society, Qatar. Qatar lent backing to the Muslim Brotherhood across the Arab world, granted its leaders asylum and provided media support through TV broadcast Al-Jazeera.  She is only a small country of only 300,000 (three hundred thousand) people, overshadowed by neighbours Saudi Arabia and Iran. The Emir of Qatar adopted that policy in order to make clients of the most likely winners and thus secure Qatar prosperity and independence.

Sunni Islam, particularly in its Wahhabi and Salafi forms, regard Shiites as heretics. To Jihad-Salafis, they are as much an enemy as no-Muslims. The religious hostility towards Shiites is connected with the rival claims of Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran to hegemony in the region- and given the fact that the two countries see themselves as leaders of their respective religious denominations. Conflicts that erupt in neighbouring countries (Syria, Yemen, etc.) are sometimes effectively proxy wars.

Conflicts in the ethnically and religiously heterogeneous countries of the Middle Ease were kept under wraps for decades, if not for centuries, by authoritarian forces.  With the end of the authoritarian regimes, there was nothing to stop them” boiling” over. They were provoked by instrumentalisation of minors and denominational allegiance in Islam by actors with various interests.

Against this backdrop, the Islamic State (ISIS) became alarmingly “attractive” in the eyes of many Sunni Muslims. Its media-savvy use of violence even bewitched people in the west. In the eyes of many, ISIS is now the prevalent manifestation of politically-motivated Islamic practice. All this has made ISIS strong and now makes it so hard to defeat. The vicious and protracted cycle of radicalization is turning faster and faster, and the perpetration is taking new versions, dimensions, and forms.  Let us beware of digital Jihad. The Internet has become an arena of international warfare. The ISIS uses social media to target individuals and communities in the virtual world, with the aim of spreading their ideology and recruiting people. We need to focus on identifying ways to combat cyber-jihadism and disrupt digital jihad. More private sector cooperation and corporate social responsibility is needed: Google, Facebook, and Twitter have to police their platforms better so that they cannot be used for criminal activities. Moreover, a counter-narrative needs to be developed.  Especially web-savvy Muslims (precise knowledge and interpretation of the Qur’an and Sunnah) have to counteract ISIS propaganda by information, and must challenge the ISIS narrative rather than leave the interpretation our Holy Qur’an to the amateur.

If we don’t stop them online, we will have more problems offline. A piece of advice for America and her allies:  It is far more effective is to kill the “idea” than the “perpetrator”, for more of the latter will be born again and again. Therefore, the best prevention is an effective counter-narrative alongside tackling socio-economic and political grievances, like youth unemployment. Unless young people find perspectives, radicalism will appeal to them.

 

 

Editorial

2016 Global Peace Conference to be held in Freetown---as IPRA 50th Birthday confab ends in Istanbul

 

The 26th biennal conference of the Internatonal Peace Research Association (IPRA) is billed to take place in  Freetown, Sierra Leone in November 2016, marking the second time Africa has hosted the conference since the founding of IPRA in 1964. This was announced following the re-election of  the two IPRA Secretaries-general, Dr Ibrahim Seaga Shaw (pictured) and Dr Nesrin Kenar, who co-ordinated the 25th  IPRA conference in Turkey,  at the organisation’s administrative meeting on August 14 during the 25th  IPRA  conference in Istanbul  to serve a second term of two years.

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Business News

Sierra Leone Embassy & Beijing Chamber Of Commerce for Cultural Industries Launch China-Sierra Leone Hand-In-Hand International Foundation

The Sierra Leone Embassy in China in collaboration with the Beijing Chamber of Commerce for Cultural Industries on Saturday 17th June, 2017 launched the China-Sierra Leone Hand-in-Hand International Foundation with a view of cultivating good citizenship by enhancing social, environmental, cultural and economic wellbeing of communities in Sierra Leone.

It also will among others, serve as a bridge of friendship between the two nations in a bid to promote international culture and art exchanges and contribute to economic development.

Speaking at the event, Madam Kumba Alice Momoh, the embassy’s Chargé d'Affaires   referred to the launch of the China-Sierra Leone Hand-In-Hand International Foundation as “the birth of a new era during a period that Sierra Leone is celebrating 46 years of bilateral relationship with China”

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Media News

Freedom of Expression Violations Rise Sharply in West Africa

The incidents of freedom of expression rights violations in West Africa more than tripled in the first quarter (January-March) of 2017.

Over the three-month period, a total of 47 violations were recorded as against 14 violations for the last quarter (October-December) of 2016. The violations recorded in the quarter under review range from arrests and detentions to physical attacks, online violations, shutdown of media houses, censorship, seizure and destruction of property and killings. The 47 violations occurred in 10 out of the 16 countries in West Africa.

These findings are contained in the latest edition of the West Africa Freedom of Expression Monitor, a quarterly report by the MFWA which analyses and highlights freedom of expression developments in the sub-region.

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Commentary

REVIEWING THE JUNE 2017 ECOWAS SUMMIT

A PASSIONATE LETTER TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT:  44TH EDITION

REVIEWING THE JUNE 2017 ECOWAS SUMMIT
 Your Excellency Sir,
 It’s been six months since I subscribed to my usual publications of this piece. And this is primarily because I have been out of the country for the entire period, and as such would not normally objectively tender a subscription. I do apologize to my readers for this. So having being in Monrovia, Liberia for the recently concluded ECOWAS Summit, I would like to do some analysis on such a historic august body and gathering of this sub-Saharan/West African region.
 
In resume, among other crucial achievements, ECOWAS, through its military apparatus, ECOMOG, played very sacrificial and invaluable roles in bringing peace, security and democratic governance to both Sierra Leone and Liberia during their past civil wars, and most recently ensuring that the Gambian people’s democratic change of government from the notorious dictatorial twenty seven years regime of Yaya Jarmeh, to the current government of President Adama Barrow, through their tactical robust intervention, overseen by President Helen JohnsonSirleaf of Liberia and other ECOWAS Presidents/actors, was enforced. Furthermore, ECOWAS has also spearheaded the enactment of several socio-political, advocacy and economic treaties in the sub region.
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View Point

WHY SIERRA LEONEANS HATE PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT

Honestly speaking Sierra Leoneans are well known for their hospitality all over the world, especially in Africa. But ironically many of them hate each other. But they love foreigners. They have high respect for strangers. But unfortunately they do not have respect among themselves. You can attest this to what is happening in the social media. Where they are showing their pull him down (PhD) syndrome. By castigating their compatriots unnecessarily. Some of them just because of jealousy and envious evil spirit they possess. They prefer to promote foreigners than their own brothers and sisters both in and out of the country.

Day in day out they are insulting each other.They are using all sorts of vulgar languages against each other. And even their own highly respected president in the world, President Ernest Bai Koroma they are insulting him openly. Therefore, it is an open secret that many Sierra Leoneans are not well cultured.

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News - Press Release

WHO Director-General elect welcomes new funding for polio eradication

 World Health Organization Director-General elect, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has welcomed contributions and pledges of US$1.2 billion for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. The pledges were made at the Rotary Convention in Atlanta, USA which is being attended by 32 000 Rotarians from around the world. 

“It is humbling to see again the power of this incredible global partnership to generate funding to fight one of the world’s most horrible and debilitating diseases,” said Dr Tedros.

 

 

A proportion of the money pledged will help WHO fund disease surveillance in more than 70 countries and enable it to provide expertise to help countries vaccinate 450 million children per year against polio. The Organization will also provide guidance on vaccination policy and participate in research into vaccine delivery methods, operational tactics and other approaches that can help accelerate eradication.

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Society -Local News

WAI-SL rescues hermaphrodite …more support needed

Women Against inhumanities Sierra Leone (WAI-SL), has over the past months embarked on fundraising for the surgery of Ibrahim Sorie Karama a hermaphrodite. The founder and CEO of Women Against inhumanities Sierra Leone (WAI-SL), Miss Michaella Sallu with her team are pleased to inform the general public both home and abroad that surgery has been successfully done on Ibrahim Sorie Kamara the 16 year old boy that was popularly seen on social media having breast enlargement.

The Bilateral Subcutaneous Mastectomy surgery was done on the 6th of June 2017 at the Holy Spirit hospital Makeni free of charge by a team of 5 surgeons from Ghana headed by Dr. Albert Painsil and assisted by our Sierra Leonean brother Dr. Abdul Jalloh with fund from Resurge Africa UK.

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Development

Sierra Leone Collateral Registry to improve access to finance for MSMEs

Minister of Finance and Economic Development and Governor of the Central Bank Monday (June 12) jointly launched the Sierra Leone Collateral Registry, an electronic public database holding information on security interests in movable property.

 

The Registry is an initiative of the Bank of Sierra Leone with technical and financial support provided by the World Bank Group to improve access to finance, particularly for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Established under Part II of the Borrowers and Lenders Act, the Registry is a web based system that allows lenders to search for any pre-existing security interests over movable assets provided as collateral. It facilitates the use of movable assets as collateral that may remain in possession or control of the borrowers and thereby improves access to secured finance.

 

 

 

Movable assets are the main type of collateral that MSMEs, especially those in developing countries, can encumber to obtain financing. Given opportunities in agribusiness among others, the Collateral Registry regime allows farmers and entrepreneurs to unlock significant sources of capital with assets that would otherwise not be looked at by lenders as potential collateral.

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Politics

APC Secretary General Ambassador Yansaneh announces the resolutions at the June 1st NAC Meeting
EBK endorsed to continue as Chairman and Leader,continue to unite and transition the party.
 
Selection or Endorsement of Presidential Candidate who will appoint a Running Mate to be endorsed by NAC.
 
National Executive Officers must have served at regional,district or constituency level to be qualified for selection or election.
 
Must n paid up and active in the last 10 years and paid up for 7 years . 
 
Will sign an undertaken to support whoever is selected or endorsed . 
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