Radical West much bigger threat to peace than “Radical Islam”

In a recent conference in an Indian university, a well-known American peace activist spoke about the need for dialogue with Western analysts elaborating how a renowned TV anchor changed his view about radicalisation of Muslims after having a dialogue with him. While previously he talked of “radical Islam”, now he agrees that it would be more appropriate to talk of “Radicals within Islam” as only about 4 per cent of Muslims held radical views. The logic was good-intentioned, but it was faulty, as it was apologetic and defensive, awe-inspired by the might of Western propaganda. It succeeded only in slightly diluting the blame on Muslims as a whole and failed to put the greatest truth of the modern times: that it is almost total radicalisation of West rather than any of Muslims, which has been the biggest foe of peace in every dimension of individual and organised human existence in recent times. 

The West believes that its set of political, social and economic ideologies, what I call Westernism, is the only correct ideology for the world, and it alone has the right to define various concepts and parameters, and it alone has the right to endeavour through all possible ways, for the propagation and implementation of its ideology. Of course, they have made the world believe, even against their inner beliefs, that religion, individually or collectively, has no role to play in the modern “civilised” world. If the proponents of any other ideology, religious or non-religious, challenge the concepts of Westernism and try to prove the superiority of their ideas, they are mocked, ridiculed and rejected. They are described as “uncivilised”, “radicalised” and “extremist” forces. It is therefore no surprise that even “radicalisation” has been given a definition that suits their ends. According to Wikipedia, “Radicalisation is a process by which an individual or group comes to adopt increasingly extreme political, social, or religious ideals and aspirations that (1) reject or undermine the status quo or (2) reject and/or undermine contemporary ideas and expressions of freedom of choice.”

 “Status quo”, of course is the dominance of Westernism, which should therefore not be challenged. Further, “Freedom of choice” too does not mean absolute freedom of choice but only freedom of choice determined by the ideologues of Westernism. As part of the status quo, the world cannot be given any other choice except to endorse the Western model of democracy, Western paradigm of secularism, and Western definitions of “human rights”, free market, freedom of expression and “freedom of choice”, Western concepts of society, West-dominated international organisations, West-sponsored treaties and Western principles of armed interventions. Moreover, Western leaders and analysts alone have the right to interpret their own ideas, concepts, treaties and agreements in their own ways, even if their interpretations continue to change from time to time, and from country to country. It is no surprise therefore that West alone (except a few others who have become powerful enough not to accept their monopoly) has the right to amass all kinds of weapons and use them wherever they want for the “protection” of their “interests”. Again, it is only their interests that matter, and others have absolutely no right to work in accordance with their interests. 

The most notable form of radicalisation of the West is its theory of violence and its involvement in violent conflicts. It is working on a well-planned categorisation of violence to suit its political and economic ends. Instead of reacting on the basis of the magnitude of violence, its reaction is based on political considerations. Any violence, which is linked or can be made to appear linked to religion, especially Islam, is worthy of highest condemnation, but any violence, which is related to the effects of West’s ideological or political positions is either not talked about or becomes “collateral damage”.

Look at the American interventions in the Middle East. The latest round of extreme radicalisation of America began with 9/11 attacks. Those, whoever they were, who executed the plan perished with the planes. The accused mastermind --- a formal enquiry was not even required for the American administration to act on its assumptions - was killed in an isolated attack about 11 years later in Pakistan. In between, the coalition led by the US devastated two countries and killed 2 million innocents who had nothing to do with 9/11. But the international media did never allow the role of West in terrorism to be debated, and whenever terrorists’ attacks occur, there is a repeated focus on the radicalisation of Islam and Muslims. Nobody dares to ask the Western powers why they killed 2 million innocents, and how they should be made to compensate for this colossal loss of lives. 

In recent years, Western role has been prominently there in all the conflicts in the Middle East. But again, it can be seen that their weapons go to the side which toes their lines and against those which have refused to surrender to their diktat. And always, the media would blame the loss of lives on the forces that are not pro-West. In Syria and Libya, they supported the rebels supplying huge weaponry and all the intelligence required for their operations and held the governments responsible for the bloodshed. In Libya, they succeeded in toppling Gaddafi, in Syria they failed to defeat Assad. In Yemen, they are supporting the president, who has fled to Saudi Arabia, an American ally, against rebels who have already taken over the palace as well as major areas of the country. In Egypt, they helped the military stage a coup against an elected president. They were the major suppliers of manpower and weaponry to ISIS when it was battling Assad but are now bombarding them in Iraq, as they now threaten American allies in the region. Still, they are only a friendly enemy, as their presence helps America in perpetuating their hold in the region. 

 As discussed earlier, the categorization of violence has been on political rather than humanitarian lines. If magnitude of the loss of lives due to man-made causes is taken as the criterion of categorisation, the following categories will emerge:

1. Violence caused by human actions: abortions killing more than 50 million humans before birth every year

2. AIDS which has consumed 40 millions in last 2 decades (owing to uninhibited sexuality)

3. Alcohol-related deaths: around 2 million every year

4. Murders: again around 20 million every year

5. Wars, which have consumed 180 million lives in last century and about 2 million since the beginning of this century;

6. Civil wars, which might have consumed around 0.3-0.5 million since the year 2000

7. Terrorism, which may have killed around 0.3 million in last 25 years (including al-Qaeda, LTTE, Indian terrorist organisations like Naxalites)  (These are broad estimates only.)

Most of these are the results of the concepts of “freedom” promoted by West and political ideologies aimed at hegemonisation of the world by West, which they have pursued throughout the modern history. (To read the full article, please visit MG website)


The author is Delhi-based thinker and writer with over a dozen books including his latest, Qur’anic Paradigms of Sciences & Society. He may be contacted at