Suffice to say, for the past few days, the spotlight has been on Muslims and Islam in Singapore and around the world. It began with Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam warning that isolationist religious tendencies will lead to a more fragmented and divided Singapore. We were told how greater religious conservatism, if left unchecked, could undermine the racial and religious harmony here.
Before the dust settled on the debate on K Shanmugam’s speech, we learnt yesterday about the repatriation of 27 Bangladeshi nationals. They had subscribed to violent, radical ideology espoused by extremists preachers like Anwar Al-Awlaki. They wanted to carry out armed jihad overseas, including in their own country, Bangladesh.
And so, the spotlight just gets brighter. Muslims just can’t catch a break, can we?
We cannot emphasise enough that Islam is a non-violent religion which preaches tolerance and respect of others. These “Muslims” who carry out violent jihad are also in the minority. There’s more than 1 BILLION of us but there’s less than 100,000 who are, in a word, terrorists. Do your math.
Sometimes, the world forgets that there are other terrorists enemies out there who are non-Muslims. We think it is time to remind the world that terrorist organisations comes in all shapes and sizes and religious beliefs.
We bring you the top 5 non-Musim terrorist groups in the world today:
1 Forcas Amardas Revolutcionarias da Colombia (FARC)
In English, FARC refers to The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. It is a guerilla movement believed to have been formed in 1964 a a result of the liberal-conservative conflict in the country. FARC based itself on communist ideology and sought to protect farmers against capitalist privatisation of their land and other natural resources in Colombia. These days however, FARC is more widely-known for its involvement in the illicit drug trade. Besides making money from narcotics, they also make money from extortion, kidnapping and illegal mining with its operational theatre spanning many countries South America. Needless to say, the members have eraned themselves a reputation as violent terrorists, with their use of paramilitary tactics, bombings, murders and assasinations, to protect and expand their interests.
2 The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)
The Lord’s Resistance Army is a terrorist organization operating in parts of Uganda, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and parts of Southern Sudan. Not only is it classified as a terrorist organisation, the movement is also known as a cult led by its charismatic leader, Joseph Kenny. The group started out with noble objectives of creating a peaceful and prosperous Uganda. Now, they carry out murder, child sex slavery, abductions, mutilations, and the recruitment of child soldiers with impunity. During its reign, LRA is belived to have been responsible for about the death of 2,300 people, the abduction of thousands of others and the displacement of many in the central regions of Africa.
3 Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)
No this is very different from the Workers’ Party that we have in Singapore. PKK was a student-led initiative; it was formed in 1978 and sought to achieve cultural and political rights and self-determination for the Kurds in Turkey. The group is now based in Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan while it operates in Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq. Guess what? PKK and the Kurds in general, are not fancied by IS.
4 Naxal / Naxalites
The Naxalites is a Maoist rebel group closely associated with the Communist Party Of India. Many states in the country have fallen to the expansionist ambitions of this group. Like the LRA and FARC, the Naxalites also began with the aim of protecting the rights of the workers. They even had support from Mao Zedong in China! The group began to grow rapidly; even university students were dropping out of school to join them. State action in the 1970s crippled the group’s activities but it remains a thorn in the side of the Indian government. They countinue to kill civilians and government security personnel. In recent times, Dr. Manmohan Singh, branded the group as the “biggest threat to national security” in India.
5 The Irish Republican Army (IRA)
The Irish Republican Army was founded in 1913 to wage a war of indepence against the British. Like many of the other terroriss groups above, the IRA was very adept at guerilla warfare. The end of the war caused a divide in the IRA between the Irish National Army faction which supported the treaty, and the other members, who remain commited to to the ideology of the IRA. In the ensuing civil war, IRA suffered massive casualties and eventually lost the war. It has however continued to exist. It harbours ambitions to overthrow the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland, in order to establis an Irish Republic. It is not averse to carry out assasinations and car bombings, to strike fear and impose its political will on others.
So there you have it, the top 5 non-Muslim terrorist groups in the world. Terrorists really do come in all colours, creed and religious beliefs.
Give Muslims a break!