Deradicalization of Pakistani youth and role of education

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Umar Riaz Abbasi

IT has been observed that the rate of radicalization has increased in the youth of Pakistan after the incident of 9/11. The concept of Deradicalization has been explained with respect to the contribution of religious education in madrasas and schools.
However, the fact is that the Islamic education given specifically in madrasas is making the youth adopt those practices that lead to violence and extremism. In fact, education in Pakistan is just a part of the historical and contemporary forces that drive towards the predominant exclusivist disclosure with respect to religion and politics.
Pakistan has fought many frontline battles against the wars of sectarianism and terrorism. Thoughts fomenting and fostering the essence of violence and extremism and their reinforcing ideologies and psychological facts are embedded in the tone and colour of religion. The onset of operation Zarb-e-Azb throttled the war of terrorism apparently, though its ideological urge is still revitalizing the young minds of youth directed towards the utilization of weapons against the peace and harmony of the country.
De-radicalization is thought to be the source of countering hard-military practices for fighting ever-growing militancy and terrorism. It is a dire need of Pakistan to come up with the policies to evolve the aboriginal de-radicalization along with the implementation of such policies in an enduring and viable manner with no chance of failure. High school students are instructed to associate themselves with the religious groups by cultivating healthy patience and tolerance in them.
Such religious groups contribute significantly to both processes: radicalization and anti-radicalization. Teachers can implement essential efforts through the introduction of Islamic education via integrating the religious values within the subjects of Islamic education. Additionally, the plantation of nationalism values should also be incorporated in the Islamic education which can be helpful in teaching the students about the peaceful behaviour with the objective of brotherhood. Various developing theories outline the contribution of education and learning in combating the radicalism. Role theory and counter-radicalization theory are among those.
The former states that in schools, application of the learning system is one significant effort in the eradication of radicalization through education. Whereas the later theory argues that the preventive approaches are highly important for the prevention from developing and evolving radicalism in which community plays the role of subject along with the objects in strengthening and empowering the strategies of combating radicalism.
Islam is a religion that teaches to control one’s anger and try to have peace in the environment. It can be learned from the practices of the prophets as well as some of the great leaders who lived successful lives while adopting these attributes. The peace education is a long-term solution having sustainable impacts with respect to the resolution of conflicts and prevention efforts as it stresses on the root causes of the conflict. Peace and tolerance help to build a behavior which emphasizes on spreading happiness and harmony across the regions.
Pakistani society is evolving with more frustration and violence in the temperaments of the youth who have a zero tolerance level. It is compulsory to nourish the youth of Pakistan in an environment where they get peace education.
Fundamentally, peace education stresses on resolving the conflicts and on compromising which today’s generation does not follow. All over the globe, in the last few years, Pakistan was named as a terrorist country because of the extreme and violent cases, occurred in especially Karachi. Due to such cases, the ethics and calmness from the country have faded away. Many global investors and stakeholders had feared to come to Pakistan due to the violent activities.
Thus, the youth needs to know and understand the significance of the peace by adopting the teachings of Islam that will help them in resolving issues such as aggression and assertion. In this article, the youth radicalization in Pakistan has been discussed in which, the role of Islamic education is ought to be important. It has tried to explain the concept of Deradicalization which is possible only if Islamic education is considered central in every approach of life. Challenging the youth radicalization in Pakistan requires a holistic approach on the basis of Islamic education that involves the actions of police against the militant organizations and approaches and the support to those political, social and educational institutions which promote Deradicalization.
Qualitative study and content analysis has been used as a research methodology in order to frame the whole research. Hence, the research aims to provide a way forward on how the Pakistani youth can transform itself and live a life full of peace and tolerance.
—The writer is well known Author and Lecturer at National University of Modern Languages Islamabad and can be reached at drumarabbasi101@gmail.com

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