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Opinions of Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Columnist: Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai

Let’s avert religious extremism from our youth

Islamic extremism in the Middle Eastern nations and some parts of Africa has now become a source of worry to many governments in developed and developing countries.

The reason for this is that the extremists have transformed themselves into Talibans, Al shabab and ‘Boko Harram’ and Islamic State or ISIL who are busy recruiting young men and women in Europe, Africa and Arab countries to fight established orders in the world.

What the leaders are currently doing is acquire weapons to fight to oust governments in Iraq, Syria and disturb the Nigerian government and some nations in West Africa such as Niger, Cameroon and Chad.

The fighters use both conventional and crude methods such as the use of guns and suicide bombers whose activities have claimed the lives of thousands of people and got some others to run away from their towns and nations to seek asylum in and outside their countries.

Currently, the Nigerian government which has given itself three months to end the activities of Boko Harram is busy rebuilding shattered towns and villages to get the displaced people to return to them.

In Iraq and Syria the Islamic state actors have made gains to the extent that the governments of those nations are under pressure to fight back with the help of the United States of America and other friendly nations like Russia.

The Iraqi government and the American-led coalition are for the first time in months putting military pressure on the jihadists on multiple fronts, officials say.

Supported by increased American air power, Iraqi forces are on the outskirts of Ramadi, pressing to encircle the capital of Anbar Province, which the militants took in May, and cut it off from resupply and reinforcements.

And in northeast Syria, the American military last week said it had parachuted 50 tons of ammunition to Syrian Arab fighters. The intent was that those fighters would join a larger body of Kurdish forces in advancing toward Raqqa, the Islamic State’s capital in Syria, and perhaps draw some Islamic State fighters away from Iraq to defend the city.

Lt. Gen. Sean B. MacFarland, who last month became the American commander for the effort in Iraq and Syria said “We are doing what you always try to do to the enemy and that is force him to fight in more than one direction at the same time,”. He had previously served in Iraq as a brigade commander who worked with the Sunni tribes in Anbar Province.

Apart from Iraq and Syria where combined forces of the of Europe and America are fighting off the extremists the Nigerian government of general Buhari and neighboring states are trying their best to control the extremist forces of Boko Harram.

However, the struggle has become difficult because the Islamic extremists have begun using various methods to recruit young men in Europe America and Africa to team up with them. They do so by using the social media to indoctrinate them to the extent of changing the Islamic doctrines to the. While Islam lays emphasis on all round learning the extremist would tell the young ones to kick against western or secular education.

Again they would tell the young men to ignore the Islamic belief that abhors killing souls to kill the so called infidels even in mosques and gain access to go to heaven.

Because some Ghanaians and Africans and young ones abroad are being enticed by the Islamic extremist, governments in Africa, religious leaders and parents have a duty to find solutions to the subtle ways of enticing the youth into Islamic extremist forces.

Governments must organize programs together with the civil society bodies to educate the youth on the dangers of leaving Ghana to join the ISIS or ISIL in their activities across the globe. The parents and teachers of the youth must pay attention to the activities of the youth at home and schools to determine whether or not they are engaged in activities that are contrary to their requirements.

This way we would be in a position to stop our young ones from being lured into the fold of Islamic extremists in North Africa, Middle and Far East and Africa