This is The Problem!

By: Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Thu 16 June / Jun 2016. 10:19 PM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

Finally; the long kept secret plan to counter extremism was acquired by “Al Ghad”, months after it was outlined; thanks to Uncle Sam’s foreign affairs’ report that criticised the absence of tools and discourses of implementation.

Similarly, thanks are due to the current government, as well; for publicising the document, but I still do not understand why did the former government keep it hidden as if it were some high grade State secret?! I read through the document yesterday, and found no reason for it. Many had anticipated its contents, beforehand; because we all know the official mind set in regards to extremism and terrorism.

Nonetheless, while I do not intend to belittle the efforts of those who prepared the plan, nor underestimate some of its vital points, which would indeed help identify extremist inclinations and behaviours in various discourses of religious speech, financing, and education; the problem with this plan, is what superficial and deformed conclusions it makes about extremism and terrorism; it addresses them as inputs, not outputs, as if they were either an abstract intellectual phenom, brought about by mosques, education, charity funding, or a security situation that needs to be contained.

More so, while these are indeed some of the influencing factors, they are not at all in exclusion or isolation from the totality of societal, political, economic, and psychological determinants. Thought, or intellect, in the end, is a reflective product of a reality, and if we do not approach our reality objectively, as well as the dominant conditions that push youths down this path, we will be spinning round a vacant circle for a very long time.

Extremism cannot be isolated, as a social phenomenon, from the lack of space for youth to invest their existence and energy in something productive, to develop their identities and talents correctly; to explore themselves and drive their development down a positive course in society, universities, and in schools. And it should not be totally about religion, but different aspects of a person’s growth process.

In my opinion, one of the most important institutions countering extremism in the Country today is the creativity club in Karak, run by Eng Hussam Tarawneh, which takes on the duty of developing the scientific, musical, artistic, and creative talents of youths. This idea has to be generalised all across the governorates of Jordan, and headed by Tarawneh himself. The same goes for the development pioneers initiative supervised by Fadi Ghandour and run by Samar Doudin, as well as the societal initiatives that have been spreading recently; like book clubs and athletic clubs that direct the energies of youth towards sports.

In the past, schools played important roles in these fields; through extracurricular activities, like theatre, musical, sports league, and library hours. These activities are almost non-existent anymore!

The idea is not about reviewing books or monitoring. Although this is good, inducing a qualitative shift in the curriculums themselves, to make way for scientific research and cognitive critical activity, as well as integrating extracurricular performance into annual academic evaluation, as they are not in any way less important than the books they are studying themselves.

Youth and social immunity against extremism is not built with monitory practices, and floating concepts, for governments to exploit the flamboyant definition to lock up everybody who opposes official policy under the justification of extremism and encouraging terrorism. On the country, countering extremism and building immunity against is enabled by the expansion of public freedoms and expression, allowing for youths to express their opinions and positions peacefully, to intellectually fence thought with thought, for the word of enlightenment to battle and triumph over darkness, through historic social debate between reason and fanaticism.

A strong society is one that is democratically open and free, not one that is terrified and walled in with fear of the world outside, only to realise that the problem is within!