We live in a world of ideas, perspectives, perceptions, opinions and beliefs always combined with ego. This is what life is really about. You think your beliefs are better than others? More ‘true’? Let me tell you, there is not right or wrong as everything falls under perception. It will depend whether I see it right or wrong according to my ideals. But after all, we all reach to the same point and end up deciding whether we want to acknowledge the truth or enjoy happiness. There are very few things in our existence where truth and happiness can be really combined at the same point of time and situation. Religion, unfortunately, isn’t one of them.
I am a Deception and behavioural expert. My expertise lies on profiling and analysing human behaviour in many ways, mostly from the security perspective. I collaborate with several international security agencies on various matters, putting my focus on a trending topic nowadays as it is counter-terrorism. My core function is to understand Were does Extremism and Terrorism begins? (ITS CORE POINT) ‘Terrorism is a massive killing due to political or religious ideologies. The main aim is to portray superiority of those ideas over the others by creating terror among the general population.” But again, this definition falls under a matter of perception. We generally call it “Terrorism” but those who do it consider it as belief, as a ‘must-do’ action in order to achieve some reward or compensation. It is very important to understand the fact that we may have a different perspective than others in life. It is all about how you interpret the information around you.
Most people expose themselves to information that matches their own worldview. It is uncomfortable to do, otherwise and understand others’ perspective.
Therefore, I would like you to understand that before judging or profiling someone, we shall first take their place and see the world from their eyes.
In my experience as criminal intelligence advisor, I have had to analyse, adjust and believe other people’s ideas in order to introduce myself in their own minds. From Races, Castes and economic backgrounds to religious groups such as Christianity, Jewish, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Islam, I have put myself on their feet and observe. After all, and yet today, everything has been manageable without big internal conflicts but I found a huge gap of misunderstanding among the world and Islam.
Against other religions, the Quran was written to be understood literally and it lacks of symbolism or vague analogies, as other religions do. We should understand that normally, religious books are written by various authors in different situations and at different points of time. Reading the Quran myself I have noticed the obvious differences between the presence of various authors and the unique presence of just one, at one particular point of time. That helped me develop my very own understanding about Islam being a non-Muslim. Evidently, there are certain contradictions along the book but, against other religions, the author provides us with the solution to the same ones. Even if there are two statements about the same topic, it is mentioned that the one written later supplants the earlier one! In fact, once you go through it, you can clearly see that early passages represent the wisdom of peace and tolerance whether the ones written later, put their focus on violence and non-tolerance. And that was a very fascinating fact for me while trying to understand why my conversations with some of my Muslim colleagues were going so smoothly while talking about the Quran just highlighting peaceful passages but, in the other hand, my conversations with jihadists were focusing on the violent passages instead. If the Quran is made to be interpret literally, why do they behave differently when it is mentioned “Muslims must not alter or ignore any part of its message or they will burn in a fiery torment forever”? That was one of the key points of my profiling analysis when I understood that it is not about different interpretations but taking the part you consider relevant to your own existence. That shows to the world that not all peace-supporter Muslims will necessarily become jihadists and that Islam doesn’t represent extremism from all its verticals.
However, when I came across the Sharia Law, I realised that Islam plays an important role in politics as it can be considered more as a religious ideology than a religion itself. In fact, it falls under the field of sociology when you look at the facts that cover legal and social matters. Sharia Law represents a totalitarian and violent reality focused on the means of ordering at various levels and even facts such democracy, liberty of speech or certain social rights must be eliminated. This stroke me the most as my religious understanding was more focused on ‘faith’ than ‘order’ and, doing some research, I noticed that there are 85 sharia courts only in the UK, followed by Germany and France, among others. After realising this reality, I began wondering whose perception is right? Shall sharia law courts be followed by westerners or shall Muslims blindly follow the western legal structure?
At that point, I was half-way understanding were terrorism really has its core point when I saw the following quote “All Muslims must struggle until all Governments have been converted to Sharia law”. This represented a very important point in my self-research towards understanding extremism and even more when I stalked for a few days some of the Islamic political leaders. We could observe deceiving body language in several interviews –given in English- while later they will claim something completely opp to what was claimed before to their fellow followers, of course, in Arabic. As my reading was going on, I came across the concept of ‘Taqiyya’ of ‘Lie to the enemy’. Islam considers acceptable to lie to the enemy in order to win the war. Recalling the sharia law, this is the origin of war, to promote and install Islam in every indoctrinated country.
So, after all, I came across the concept of peace through social media, where I read the following quote ‘Islam is the religion of peace’ and then I immediately heard in the news that a new attack happened in Iraq. For someone like me, who is able to get into people’s mind to uncover the truth, this was a contradictory and fascinating reality on how the perception of right and wrong influences society. Therefore, both realities are true.
Is Islam a religion of peace? Yes. Does Islam represent peace to most of Non-Muslims? No. Then? Who is right? Well, peace is a very broad concept and for Islam, peace is the installation of the same in every country whether for Non-Muslims, is the absence of conflicts of any kind.
So once I ended my research, I continued dealing with some of pending cases regarding jihadist attacks in the middle-east. I had then a much more clear mind about how Islam can easily be misinterpreted by non-Muslims and this is due to a standard perspective of peace without trying to comprehend the Quran. Terrorism does not rely in religion or ideologies but in the influence that those elements have on our personality.
TEDxGGDSDCollege, 20th Aug 2016. TED Talks.
RAUL VILLAMARIN RODRIGUEZ
Co-Founder/ Co- CEO
IRIANS- The Neuroscience Institute