The Other Face of Extremism The Other Face of Extremism
By: Prof. Mohammed Mokhtar Gomaa
Minister of Endowments
 
   
     
 
Every day, we witness the heinous crimes committed by the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group and its affiliate, ISIS. In fact these shameful crimes violate the simplest human, religious, moral and cultural values. Every day, the official newspapers publish the brutal crimes committed by ISIS, such as what took place in Kobanî, where the terrorist group slaughtered the innocent people with cold blood, as well as mutilating the dead bodies; all these crimes are committed to spread fear among the innocent, and to compel them to give up without resistance.
As a matter of fact, there is another type of extremists, those who act as the other side of the equation, who go for idleness, orgy, immorality, obscenity, and moral and intellectual deviation, all of which our values, morals, cultures, upbringing and religion cannot tolerate. In fact, anyone, who feels jealous about his /her religion and homeland, would never accept neither any encroach upon the constant facts, nor any deceptive call for libertinism. While we exert every possible effort to counter religious extremism and intolerance, which humanity had never witnessed before, those liberal extremists fuel these terrorist inclinations, either deliberately or accidently, and astonishingly, they help in providing these inclinations a sort of sympathy. 
If psychologists proved that for every action there is a reaction, equal in magnitude and opposite in direction, then, we would have to stress that extremism begets extremism; indeed, the human life is based upon several rules and codes, such as; diversity, as Allah Almighty says: "Had thy Lord willed, He would have made mankind one nation; but they continue in their differences" {11:118} and difference, as His Almighty says: " Had God not driven back the people, some by the means of others, there had been destroyed cloisters and churches, oratories and mosques, wherein God’s Name is much mentioned"{22:40}. Thus, forcing people to follow one single religion, or to adopt one single doctrine either religious, or political or social or intellectual or ideological one, is an inconceivable matter, since it opposes all the universal rules as well as the human nature and the universe schemes and codes; in fact, none of the political systems throughout history could ever accomplish such target.
If the concept of "Accepting the Other" is part of the fundamentals of Islam, thus, everyone is free to do whatever he/she wants as long as he/she does not cause harm to other people, and the limits of the freedom of any person, whatever his/religion is, should not exceed or assault or destruct or perverse the freedom of the Other.
As it was stressed several times before, intolerance cannot be abolished until getting rid of the sources of reluctance and idleness; as a matter of fact, indulgence in idleness and corruption would fuel extremism. It is agreed that everything has two wings and a centre, if we pull one wing, the other wing will fall; however, if we handle the centre, we may achieve balance. Imam al-Awza'i had said before that every order Allah gives to Muslims, Satan interferes and tries to drag them either to extremism and negligence or excessiveness and dereliction. In fact, countering extremism cannot be accomplished by fighting religiosity; however, the best way to blockade and eliminate extremism is by disseminating the true essence of Islam, its great culture and its acceptance of diversity and difference. If a reasonable person is exposed to the true tolerance of Islam, then gets in contact with extremism and intolerance, his/her human nature will lean to tolerance and simplicity, which are the true origins of our religion.
Moreover, we must stay away from, first, the misconceptions that prevailed at certain times, and second, that drying out the extremist sources requires as well drying out the religious sources. These misconceptions aggravate extremism and intolerance, and make them a fertile ground for violence and terrorism.
As a matter of fact, no one can intellectually challenge and eradicate extremism and terrorism except he/she is a true believer, someone who can understand and apprehend religion correctly, so that not to leave a room for the extremists to agitate the commoners and affect their minds. The best ways to counter extremism is to spread the moderate tolerant Islamic approach, to abide by the true Islamic teachings, and to resist the extremist way of thinking with a moderate one.
In this regard, we must assure that any violations or infringements of the doctrinal constants will not serve but the extremist and terrorist powers, since the extremist groups will make use of these miscalculations in order to propagate the rumors of negligence.
We must stress that Islam is not permissible for the unqualified, however, we must return to the specialist scholars in the doctrinal and Fiqh issues, so as to keep away from controversial issues that incite the feelings of the society. Indeed, we are in dire need to unit in order to support the work and production issues and to establish good morals.