Tragedy at the Doorstep of the Liberator

By Majed Iqbal and Waseem Aslam

“Today the university was struck with a tragedy that we consider of monumental proportions” was the reaction of Charles Steger the President of Virginia Tech yesterday where 32 students were shot dead by what seems was a lone gunman. Never could the word’s ‘monumental proportions’ be more apt for any incident than this. It is indeed an indictment of the world in which we live in today that students aspiring to learn would find their lives ended in a hail of bullets.

The shootings at Virginia Tech are not an isolated incident. Ever since the Columbine High School Massacre in April 1999 where 15 High School pupils were shot dead, the number of shootings at educational and other institutes in the US has been an all too regular occurrence. In fact the term “going postal” which refers to taking revenge on your former work colleagues was coined because of a shooting incident by a former postal worker in the US.

The responses to these shootings have been quite predictable with debate over the motives for the shootings. The initial response of the police being inadequate and the gun laws in the US . In the hysteria of trying to explain this tragic incident the real debate will be forgotten and ignored.About the shootings The Rev. Jesse Jackson said “It’s one of the biggest modern day tragedies we’ve known. We must double our efforts to reduce easy access to guns and take more seriously the need to address mental disorders and mental depression.”

There has been no evidence to suggest that the gunman was mentally depressed or that the hundreds of other shootings that occur everyday in America are all linked to some kind of mental disorder but this is an easy get out clause when confronted with incidents that shake the very fabric of the society in which you live, in reality it is the safety blanket of a failed society.It may be fair to say that there are too many guns in America just like there are too many knives in London ; but is this the real cause for the spree of shootings that plague everyday America and the recent knife attacks in London ? Will stricter gun laws put an end to murder and violence in modern day Western Society?

It is very interesting to observe that there is little genuine interest in trying to understand the causes for such violence. However, European Countries as well as America have been heavily engrossed into rationalizing the causes for ‘extremism’ amongst Muslims.

This has simply not been confined to research but active policies have been implemented to ‘root out’ such ‘intolerant’ views. Hence, Muslim groups and individuals have been ‘bargained’ with by governments to carry out the ‘work’ on the ground to tackle the issues with great financial rewards as well as acquiring some form of status.

Why is there not an approach to understand what ‘radicalises’ a young person with a decent up bringing, stable family and who adopts liberal values in a free and democratic society? Surely, American and British Ideals must be the best. In fact, there is so much confidence in these principles that this is what is being sold internationally to countries like Iraq and Afghanistan .

So why is there no debate in Western Societies as to what ‘radicalises’ a youth to behave in such a way?
It is time for the Capitalist societies to stop burying their heads in the sand and wake up to the fact that this self professed great liberator of man has in fact imprisoned the American people to those carrying guns.

Eliminating guns from a society can only temporarily hide the problems which lie under the surface. The American people need a coherent and consistent premise from which to solve life’s problems. Where Capitalism has failed and has only created misery Islam can succeed and give hope to the American people.
A look at Muslim communities throughout the world shows that despite having a great proliferation of guns very rarely are disputes solved using them, rather more traditional values of Islam are often referred to.

 

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