The word “radicalism”, as derived from the Latin radicalis , once meant “having roots”. Today, however, radicalism has become associated with religious extremism and terrorism in the Muslim world.
Radical movements that can transform society, ideology and policy are also capable of triggering anger. Against the backdrop of the recent changes in the Arab world, we can see how radical movements exploited populist revolutions against political regimes.
The size of a movement does not reflect its weakness or strength, since a single, well-thought idea is all it takes to revive the roots of society.
Some believe that the primary motivation behind any major radical movement is its desire to be heard. This is achieved by supporting small movements that are eager to defend their objectives.
Since its emergence, radicalism never stayed away from politics, religion and society.
Radicalism manipulates definitions and roles to enjoy legitimacy in the political arena and thereby impose a new movement.
But “roots” can be dangerous. Radicals in Arab societies only seek their personal interests.
Once a person claims “roots”, he may attempt to impose them on others.
All radical movements cause chaos, division and misunderstanding. Radicalism cannot lead to real freedom in a society with multiple currents.
The human mind is more than just a machine memorising history. And radicalism, until it recognises this, will wither from its rusted roots.
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