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Opinions of Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Columnist: Abu Hafiz

Extremism has a greatest propensity to ruin the sustainable peace and security in Africa

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It has been a little while I published my thoughts on issues that matter in our global society. Many factors have crippled me out of the contemporary scene and it makes it very difficult for me to present my name in the floor of the media. But a centipede which loses one of its legs doesn't become a cripple.

Openly, I have conceptualized ideas relating to extremism. In conceptual discourse, extremism can be defined as the state of being fanatical or zealous, or the adoption of radical views and measures in social relations. Thus, extremism exists where and when the individual or group operates beyond or contrary to existing societal standards or normality, to project and promote views and ideas only acknowledged and accepted by a few.

However, the concept of “extremism” does not have any specific meaning until we have identified a particular sphere either political, religious or social and a specific cause or issue to which the concept is applied. According to Irving Hexham, it is difficult to distinguish between ethnic, political, ideological and any other form of extremism. Hexham’s assertion indicates that “extremism” as a concept is not only peculiar to religion; rather, its usage is influenced by the perspectives and intention of the user. Religious extremism occurs when ideological beliefs are religious in nature, and ideological behaviours are religiously motivated and rationalised.

Truthfully, before we can live peacefully in our communities there is the need for us to keep aware of divergent views. It is not unaware that people are from different backgrounds in our various societies. If we really possess the intention of advocating peace in African communities then we must also develop the attitude of respecting others opinions.

In fact, condemnation is one of the acts that brings controversy in our social communities, the critiques of others’ religion or culture has never yielded any positive results in our lives. There are many intolerant people out there who think only on party lines and not how to advance or consolidate the peace and development of our communities. There is the need to rethink and overhaul the current extremisms in our societies. Africa as a continent is never ready to imperil peace and unity for personal belongings.

Undoubtedly, the religious leaders have been preaching against this never-ending act but a mass of people are fuelling it. I believe my gallant reader will concur with me that in the era where extremism occupies a scintilla of space, sustainable peace should never be expected. And if we are willing to maintain peace and unity in our communities we must completely prevent the publication of extremism. We mustn't forget that an opinion expressed by an individual does not project an opinion conceptualize by all.

Conspicuously, it is relevant for us to be cognisant with the people we are living with. We should portray an outstanding nobility with people, in an instance where you are not comfortable with their practices or actions. The world is full of diversities and if we are able to respect our differences, then the seed of peace will definitely prevail. Let me state that a modicum of extremism is too risky and detrimental to our peaceful countries because it has the propensity to trigger terrorism and civil war.

Conclusively, extremism remains a global fracas which continues to create wars in our surroundings. Indeed, it will sound rationally if the African Unions or groups join hands to fight this mischievous act but it does appear conspicuously, that West African Center for Counter-Extremism (WACCE) and other African groups are doing very little about it. I have no authority to authorize this but I will entreat them to come with all the arsenals at their disposals to fight extremism as a matter of urgency and alacrity.

The writer is a teacher trainee partaking in the out segment of the In-Out program in basic seven at Nyohini Presby Junior High School.